I think the hardest genre to write for is romance. There’s really an art to doing it, whether it’s in a super hero comic book or a Harlequin special for $3.99 at the drugstore. Everyone has their own ideas about romance and who they think is their ideal mate, so often this can be hard to gauge. Everyone has their own fantasy about how it unfolds. Some like it quick, some like it slow, some like it somewhere in the middle.
I tend to prefer a slow build-up into something akin to epic, but it’s a harder way to write it. When writing the romantic plot for the characters, I have goal post scenes that I aim for that are in my head. Every touch and every hint has to be played out correctly to lead into that particular scene. Fan fiction has been great at helping me practice these techniques. Sometimes I rush too much, sometimes the tension could have been built better, and sometimes I’m too subtle and miss a moment. It’s not always easy finding the right balance. I think about authors who’ve achieved what I’ve set out to do and break it down. I also look at authors that didn’t and see what went wrong and fell flat.
At the same time, each story and each writer has this sort of gusto that will draw people in. It doesn’t come in equal amounts to either. Some romances could be greatly written, but the reader might not fall in love with the characters as they should. Some romances could have been written better, but there’s something about the characters that makes them intrinsically likeable and interesting that the reader can’t help but love with them.
Romance may be the most popular genre around, but at the same time it’s a challenge to achieve balance and win over a large crowd. It’s a question of how stand out from the largest crowd. It’s about knowing how to control yourself and your writing. Most of all, it boils down to sheer luck that you’ll strike all the right chords to make it right.