Plotting a romance novel is easy. All you do is throw two characters together, add in conflict, a couple of roadblocks and an overwhelming attraction that blossoms into love. Finish with a happy ending.
Presto! You’ve got yourself a story.
Oh. I see.
You’re not sure where to start.
Well, fear not, dear writer, the Internet’s got your back!
There are tons of plot generators on the web.
PlotGenerator.org came up with this one: “Police officer Kate England loves swordswoman Kimberly Jones, but Laura Williams, her strong, hairy, stunning, smart rival is causing problems for the would-be couple. Kate is also smart, brave and kind too, but Laura brings out a peculiar, wild, tactless streak Kate never knew she possessed, even though Laura is just a lowly housekeeper. Laura and Kimberly share a passion for birdwatching and baking, hobbies that put Kate to sleep. Desperate to keep Kimberly’s love, Kate tries a no-fail cookie recipe with splendid results. Determined not to be shown up, Laura munches her way through dozens of cookies and feeds the rest to the cow. Fortunately for Kate, Kimberly was hidden behind a copse of trees practicing her swordplay and saw Laura’s foul deed. Kimberly and Kate are reunited, decide to marry, and plan a honeymoon in England and Ireland.”
Great, eh? PG provides all the details, right down to the adjectives. All you need do is fill in the blanks!
Springhole.net allows more room for the writer’s creativity. Here’s what I got: “The lead character tries a love spell. A collaborative project with a fun-loving magician leads to something more. The love interest must suddenly travel to a distant location.” One story? Three stories? It’s up to you!
Chaotic Shiny seems to concentrate on the paranormal. “The adventurous, pessimistic heroine has been involved with the supernatural since she discovered her fey ancestry. After she takes in a frightened stray, she plunges into a treacherous adventure. Can she escape the mysterious, sensual demon who claims he only wants to help?” Who couldn’t run with that story line?
Here’s a Regency romance plot generator: “Sarah Towers, the fourth of ten children of an ambitious lord, lives in Essex. At 28, she has not lost hope of finding true love. Her eyes are stormy gray and doe-like. She is independent yet sometimes pessimistic. Her greatest joy comes from writing poetry and stories. While strolling round the grounds of her own home she meets Richard Sheridan, who mistakes her for someone else. He is a much-decorated sea-captain and has been very depressed of late. At first he finds her lacking in the social graces and she cannot understand him. But when she runs away from him, he knows he can’t live without her. Throw in a pair of wayward puppies and things really get interesting. Will they realize they are perfect for each other?” Puppies! It must be true love!
For those who prefer a variety of suggestions, Seventh Sanctum will generate up to ten. Below are two:.
“In this story, a spiritual nuclear engineer has a chance meeting with a network engineer with a peculiar affinity for magic. What starts as detachment becomes love. Yet, how can a surrender tear them apart?”
“In this story, a gentle prostitute is in love with a psychiatrist who inherited a family curse – all thanks to a pleasant surprise. What role will somebody breaking something important play in their relationship?”
Engineers, psychiatrists, and prostitutes! Oh, my!
Cheap Peeks allows you to choose between basic romance, LGBT romance and paranormal romance. They also do mystery, but you gave up on that idea, remember? Here’s a basic romance plot: “The girl’s name is Olivia and she is graceful and insolent. She enjoys crafts. Her occupation is doctor and overall she is scary smart. Her hair is brown and to her shoulders and straight. She is 5’5″ and is thin and fragile looking. She wears sexy dresses and high heels. She meets David in a hospital. He is a Police Officer, geeky and quirky, and he enjoys reading. He appears to be frightened. His hair is honey blonde and very short. He is 6’1″ and has an athletic body. He wears off-the wall, unique clothes that make him stand out in a crowd.”
Note: As a writer, I’m sure you have the passing acquaintance with grammar necessary to correct any mistakes plot generators make.
Last is Generator Land, which creates fantasy romance plots like this one: “A lesbian vampire falls in love with a human. The two need to learn to grow up even though they are scared.”
Seriously? Get a plot.
Patricia Sergeant explains Donna MacMean’s version of the W Plot.
Laura Brown on Word Grrls writes about a variety of plotting methods.
And Lara, of Write, Lara, Write, also reviews several methods, with lots of links including one to a printable worksheet.