On Themes: How To Write About Love

Love is a broad topic. You can love your significant other, your family, your friends, your pets, objects, anything.

There are certain kinds of love. There is such a thing as loving too much or loving too little. Sometimes something is mistaken for love or there’s no love at all.

When it comes to novel writing, romantic or not, there’s always some sort of love element thrown into the mix. No matter who it’s between, someone is loving someone or something.


Common themes about love:

  • Loving others – relationship
  • Loving others – friendship
  • Loving yourself
  • Mistaken love
  • Lost love
  • Forbidden love
  • Marriage/Divorce
  • Parent/Child
  • Love triumphs
  • Happy love
  • Unhappy love
  • Accidental love
  • Forced love
  • Rejected love
  • Love at first sight
  • Teen romance

There’s so much more, but I can’t think of them all right now.

What kind of love are you writing about?

Before you begin, figure out what kind of love you’ll be focusing on. A sweet romance? Erotica? Friendship? Is this something you experienced in real life, or are you winging it?

Either way, lay it all out for yourself so you can figure out where to go next and when. Of course, your characters will have a lot to say about it, as they should, but it would help if you had some sort of idea.

What makes a good love story?

I’m sure this goes without saying, but…

Emotion. You need emotion.

If your main character is falling in love, let your readers fall in love, too. There’s nothing I love more than falling in love with a fictional boyfriend and then getting mad that he’s just that: fictional.

How love can help your characters grow

We all have a heart. We all feel love, we all feel heartbreak.

Falling in love or falling out of love can help define us as a person. It puts us through a certain challenge that we may or may not be ready for, but we face it head on because that’s life. This should be no different for your characters.

If someone asked your protagonist out, what would they do? If someone broke up with them, what would they do? If they broke up with their significant other, what would they do?

If they were losing a best friend, if they rekindle with an old family member, what would they do?

In conclusion

Love is important and you can interpret it in so many ways. When it comes to writing about love, let it come from the heart. Let it come from experience.

Okay, this is getting corny now, so take this as you will.

How do you interpret love, romance or otherwise? What other tips do you have? Let me know in the comments below!

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16 thoughts on “On Themes: How To Write About Love

  1. Love always manages to turn up in my stories. Friendship and romantic love are the more common ones. Once or twice I’ve thrown in parent to child love, which is a nice change of pace. Something that amazes me with love themes is how often people take them more seriously than the rest of the book. Keep thinking of how fans will argue of ‘shipping’ and not bring up anything else. Humans really do seem to take their romance to heart.

    • Love is limitless, I think. There are so many different kinds of “love” out there. But I will agree that people do search for that romantic piece. They always seem to think that the characters HAVE to end up together, which may not always be the case.

  2. I think the best part about reading/writing a love story, whether the romance is the main focus or a bonus event, is when I get pulled into the characters’ love. I get the tingly feelings the characters get for their first kiss and my heart breaks when they exchange their first fight. It’s even more exciting when the love is there but the characters are fighting to let it happen. I become a cheerleader to encourage them through the whole book.

    I think, my favorite romance would be any story from the Dark-Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Her series is a paranormal romance that hits it all. Love, hate, fighting, magic, friendship, and all those perfectly heated moments between the great characters. Her talent as an author is what I aim to hold some day.

    I love romance novels of almost any kind. This is a topic I love talking, thinking, dreaming, and writing about.

    • That’s awesome. That’s the way it should be, in my opinion. Though I’m not a big romance reader, that series you mentioned does sound interesting!

      • I would recommend it to everyone. If you aren’t a big romance reader, some of the scenes might be a bit much. But there is so much more to their tales. It pulls the stories of Greek Mythology and twists them ever so perfectly to life in our modern world. If you want a good romance series, this is it!

  3. Awesome tips, Rachel! Just in time for the season too! Writing true love in stories sounds really difficult, and the fact that there are so many different kinds of love makes it that much harder. Even having to write a believable love that is “forced” or “fake” sounds just as difficult as “true” love.

    • Thank you! And I agree. I decided to write about different themes, but once I wrote this post (and even the one about death) I’ve decided that I think I might expand on these two topics in later months.

Let me know your thoughts!

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