From Screenwriting for Hollywood.com: 7 Tips How To Write A Romantic Drama That Sells
In writing romantic comedies and dramas, everyone’s idea of a good romantic movie is different, but certain romantic films sweep the nation.
What do all great love stories have in common?
There is something taboo happening in each of these films: an affair, social class differences, friends crossing the line to become lovers, falling in love with a prostitute, meeting through the Internet, dating a co-worker… What is forbidden is exciting.
2. Focus on ONE COUPLE only
Romantic movies that focus on several couples never do as well as movies that focus on one couple. Two hours is not long enough to get to know two people, much less five or ten or fifteen people. For audiences to fall in love with your lead characters, they need the full two hours and lots of good reasons.
3. Loving you AIN’T EASY
Some of the characters in these movies do immoral things or have fiery tempers. When there are plenty of good reasons why one should NOT love a person, it makes the love all the more powerful, passionate, and painful.
Throw the taboo circumstance on top of the difficult personality, and our characters have some challenges, conflict, and obstacles to overcome. Every good story must have obstacles to overcome. In the older movies listed below, there is no happy ending. Ultimately, they do not overcome the obstacles they face.
5. The FANTASY
The fantasy is, of course, to meet someone and fall in love, to stay in love, to have a best friend for life, to have an ally in the world, someone who understands you, and even maybe financial comfort. Everyone can relate to the search for love. Everyone has a secret hope to find a lasting love. This hope for love is a part of every romantic screenplay. In real life, romantic splits happen more frequently than people finding their soul mates and staying together forever. You will have to choose, as the writer, do you feed into the fantasy or tell the tale of a broken heart?
6. The ROGUE and the DAMSEL IN DISTRESS
I, and most people, love this set up of lead characters, the rogue man who does things his own way, paying no mind to the rules of society, and the beautiful damsel in distress who is always a pain in the ass, but she is just so damn pretty she gets away with anything! There are infinite ways to create these character types and you can change the genders. This is a winning and entertaining combo.
Every great love story has a frustrating long awaited kiss packed with conflict and emotion. Put some thought into this moment of your script… choose a location that enhances the moment by contrast, put an obstacle to the kiss, add some element that will make the moment memorable.
Did you like this article about loves stories? Make sure to check out The Mason Jar, a coming of age love story from the male perspective by James Russell Lingerfelt. The novel helps readers find healing after severed relationships.
The Mason Jar movie is scheduled for pre-production in 2015 and will be directed in the same dramatic and romantic tones as The Notebook (2004) and Pride & Prejudice (2005). Follow him on facebook or twitter for updates.