Do you dream of writing a romance novel? Are you writing romance or interested in writing your own love story? Then these writing prompts from Sunday Times bestselling author and The Novelry writing coach Libby Page should help.
Below you’ll find lots of romance writing prompts to inspire your romance writing. Maybe you’re looking for an idea for a romance novel, in which case use these prompts as a starting point to generate some love story ideas. You never know where these story starters might take you.
Or perhaps you are already writing your love story but feel stuck and in need of a fun exercise to boost your creativity or beat writer’s block. It can be helpful to turn to writing prompts if you’re unsure where to take your story next. Even if the writing prompts are completely different to the romance novel you’re writing, challenging yourself to think up new ideas with the help of a writing prompt can make you feel more creative and spark fresh ideas when you return to your novel. Working on a writing prompt takes the pressure off, which is sometimes what we need when we’re working on a novel. Let your imagination run wild and have fun.
How to use these romance writing prompts
You could pick one writing prompt and spend a lot of time fleshing it out as a full chapter or complete short story. Or how about trying to plot out a whole romance novel based on one of the love story prompts, thinking about what the main plot points would be? You don’t even have to write any of the scenes—just use it as a helpful exercise in plotting a romance novel.
Or choose several writing prompts and have a go at writing the first chapter, a short scene for each of them or even a number of short stories.
Maybe challenge yourself by setting a timer for five minutes per writing prompt. Pick a writing prompt, set the timer and start writing! See how much you can come up with in that time.
You could even use these prompts with a writing friend: each write a response to the same writing prompt and then compare results. It might be interesting to see how you approached the same prompt differently.
The prompts feature a mix of male/female, male/male and female/female examples, and some where the gender isn’t specified, but of course you can adapt the examples as you like. Happy romance writing!
Historical romance writing prompts
A World War 2 soldier is given the task of guarding the prisoners of war in a POW camp. Except he forms an instant connection with one of the POWs, a connection unlike anything he’s ever experienced before and that cannot be described as entirely platonic…
As a debutante among polite society, your every moment is planned by your domineering mother and you’ve always obliged her, until the day your carriage collides with Clyde Hiddleston’s. He is a renowned scoundrel and bootlegger, and his escapades have led him down the path of ruining more than one lady’s reputation. He’s also about the most beautiful man you’ve ever laid eyes on...
It’s the First World War and you are a young woman whose sweetheart has been lost in action, presumed dead. Except one day he turns up unannounced on your doorstep. But you are engaged to marry later that week. It is a loveless union but the marriage, to a wealthy former soldier released from duty due to injuries, will pull you and your family out from poverty—which is especially important to you given your father is seriously unwell and needs money for his care. Do you choose true love or duty? And how do both men take this new turn of events?
Martha, a young lady-in-waiting, joins the household of a fiery young mistress who is intent on never marrying, despite the protestations of her family. At first, she finds her mistress rude, arrogant and infuriating. Until one incident makes her see a softer side and stirs feelings she has never experienced before… Describe the incident and what happens next.
An Earl and a young Lady are betrothed in an arranged marriage by their families, having never met in person. But they are both fiercely independent and neither wants the marriage to go ahead. So, they both adopt disguises as servants and escape. Except the two characters meet on the road and form an instant connection, each thinking the other a mere servant…
Science fiction romance writing prompts
A couple meet in a world that seems like our own and fall in love. But soon after news breaks that half the world’s population are actually very convincing cyborgs. How does this affect the new relationship?
An engineer is tasked with decommissioning a robot that has been deemed to have dangerous technical faults. But when she turns up to take on the task the robot is not at all what she was expecting. The robot appears not to be a robot at all, but a handsome, charming and very funny man…
An astronaut sets off for space on an important mission, leaving behind the love of their life. But when they return from their month-long voyage they find that time dilation means that ten years have passed on Earth. When they meet again things are vastly different—apart from the spark between them…
The world is being ravaged by an unexplained plague. Two scientists are enlisted by the government to come up with a cure and must be locked in isolation together while they work. They are exes, something neither realizes until they are locked in the laboratory together…
An anthropologist at the height of her career is selected after a long process and sent to make first contact with a newly discovered alien race. It’s a huge moment for her career and humanity. But the first thing she thinks on meeting the alien ambassador is how hot they are…
The wife of a leading robotics expert receives a sudden call from his laboratory. His latest experiment has gone wrong. She arrives to find her husband a complete amnesiac, and his personality and memories in the body of a robot…
Fantasy romance writing prompts
A werewolf falls in love with… Think of a scenario that you haven’t read before and that would make you want to find out more. Then write it!
Your female protagonist is a witch who casts a spell to conjure her one true love. But someone very unexpected appears…
During a magical tournament a wizard is tasked with casting a spell to summon their true love. But their best friend appears instead. Admitting the spell didn’t work would mean forfeiting the competition, so the two friends decide to go along with it. But as the two characters fake true love, it turns out that pretending to be in love soon becomes difficult to decipher from the real thing…
A necromancer brings their ex back from the dead just to continue an argument with them—but ends up falling for them instead.
Something is ridding magic from the world. A good witch and a bad witch must work together to save the future of magic, even though the way they want to use that magic is very different. Sparks fly along the way.
A crown princess must embark on a dangerous journey to save her kingdom. Assigned to protect her are a strong and noble warrior, a brooding, intelligent mage, a charming and charismatic bard, and a fiery and brave huntress. Of course, they are all devilishly attractive…
An assassin must kill an evil queen for the greater good, but soon realises the ruler isn’t as evil as they first thought. Is the assassin being led astray by their feelings for the ‘evil’ ruler? Or is the assassin’s cause less righteous than they first thought?
Our protagonist is placed under a curse by a witch. The curse can only be cured by true love. They search high and low for true love, but can’t seem to avoid or stop thinking about the witch…
YA romance writing prompts
In a charming costal town, an introverted teen character encounters a dynamic local indie teen rockstar at a planning event for the first ever music festival overlooking Oceanside.... Write a scene where one of their exes appears.
When a teen finds a journal which reveals a century-old mystery, this character is drawn into a captivating tale of forbidden love. This character teams up with a teen with their own secrets who edits the school yearbook. Write a scene where they have conflict with each other.
In a world forever changed by the plagues of the last decades, two teens train to fight each other. They’ve always known their destiny: one lives, one dies. Amid oppressive rules, they both have their own reasons for challenging the status quo. And either their shocking love will ignite a revolution and save their lives, or they’ll kill each other as The Fates intended. Write the scene where these two encounter each other for the first time...
Contemporary romance writing prompts
Two characters from very different cultures meet at a festival. Opposites attract and they immediately hit it off. They spend every moment of the festival together. For three days and three nights it feels as if they are in a new world, away from real life. But once the tents are packed up the reality of their starkly different worlds and all the challenges that come with that culture clash starts to encroach on their new but profound love…
Two single parents get chatting at the local park. They hit it off and there’s immediate chemistry. They start to meet regularly, sharing a strong connection. But one day an incident occurs that makes them realize they have drastically different approaches to parenting. How do they navigate this new understanding?
Write about first love that is shattered by a tragic accident. Then write what happens when the two characters meet again for the first time since that accident—thirty years later.
During an election campaign the sons of the two main candidates find themselves in the same room at a rally. Despite their preconceptions about each other and the rivalry between their parents, there is an instant attraction and they form an unlikely bond. Theirs is a forbidden love that would have huge political ramifications. Can they make a relationship work?
A young woman who is grieving meets a mysterious stranger at a grief support group. He is kind, supportive and extremely handsome. He invites her to join a different local group for people dealing with loss. But when she turns up the group is decidedly mysterious. There are moments when she wonders if it might even be a cult. But the guy is still as lovely as ever. As they grow closer, things become more troubling… Write about her experience of falling in love whilst also worrying that all may not be as it seems…
Romantic comedy writing prompts
Two romance writers go on the worst first date of all time.
Two romance writers compete to organise the most romantic date ever. But neither date goes according to plan… Write about what happens. Then write the conversation when each writer tries to defend their failed date.
Two chefs go on the worst first date of all time. Write about it, including—in detail—what they eat.
The best date of all time is suddenly and very dramatically interrupted. What happens?
A new couple share a family Thanksgiving dinner from hell.
Write dialogue between two love interests where they each respond with only one-word answers. Try to make it funny!
A professional chef thinking of starting his own business takes a beginner’s cookery course to scope out the competition. He can’t let anyone know he isn’t a novice but gets annoyed when the—extremely handsome—instructor keeps making ‘mistakes’. But the instructor knows exactly who the chef is and is testing him until he cracks. Write about one of the cookery lessons, and make sparks fly!
Two romantic comedy writers pair up to try to write the funniest, most romantic romantic comedy of all time. To make it feel authentic, they go on lots of research trips together. But the line between fact and fiction soon begins to blur…
Enemies to lovers romance writing prompts
A character bumps into the roommate they haven’t seen ever since they moved out suddenly and stole something precious. Write what happens when they meet again, and what was stolen and why.
‘If …. hadn’t happened, they would have been the best of friends. But it did, so they are sworn enemies.’ Write about what happened.
‘Harry was the absolute last person Lara wanted to see walk into the room. But he was also the only person who would be able to help her get out of this awful mess.’ Write what happened before Harry walked in the door and what happens next.
Two sworn enemies join the same support group. Write about the first meeting.
You and your irritatingly handsome work rival are tasked with organising the office summer party and have drastically different approaches. Describe the first planning meeting.
Two work rivals at an advertising company are sent away on a client photoshoot on a tropical island. There’s a promotion up for grabs for one of them if the photo shoot goes well. But when they get there everything goes wrong. The photographer and models don’t show up and a tropical storm is on the horizon. They have to work together to decide what to do next. And as they spend more time together it seems there is a fine line between despising someone and finding them irresistible…
Two sworn enemies want to adopt the same dog from their local animal shelter. Neither backs down, so they agree to share custody. What happens next?
Best friends to lovers romance writing prompts
Someone is keeping the biggest secret from their best friend. They are on their way to a joint friend’s wedding when their aeroplane gets stuck on the tarmac for hours. As they sit and wait it becomes harder and harder not to spill the secret… By the end of the flight the two friends have a whole new understanding of their relationship and what they mean to each other. How are they going to get through the next few days at their friend’s wedding, where the focus should be on the bride and groom and not their own drama? Especially when they are sat next to each other for everything…
Two best friends take a road trip. Every single thing that could possibly go wrong goes wrong. Except each new disaster somehow brings them closer together and causes sparks to fly. Write about what happens.
Two best friends go on a double date, except they have much more fun with each other than their dates. When one character suggests they ditch their dates and go somewhere else the two of them the other character readily agrees. But is it a date? Or just two friends hanging out? Friends who happen to have the most amazing chemistry…
When two best friends were teenagers they made a jokey pact that if they were both still single at forty they would get married. Now their fortieth birthdays are fast approaching. One of them raises the pact and jokingly suggests they should get planning their wedding. Together they start planning a joint birthday party that gradually starts to feel more and more like an actual wedding…
Exes to lovers romance writing prompts
Former high school sweethearts are sat next to one another at a mutual friend’s wedding. They try to get through the whole meal pretending not to know one another, until someone says, ‘You two used to date, didn’t you?’ Write what happens next.
After the wedding, the two former high school sweethearts who have just spent an evening trying to ignore each other are left having to share the last taxi from the wedding venue back to the hotel where all the guests are staying. Describe the car journey from the venue to the hotel.
Two exes are paired together at a speed dating event. Write about happens in the five minutes they have together.
Former lovers reunite when their beloved cat, of whom they have shared custody since the separation, becomes suddenly ill. They decide to put their differences aside in order to nurse the cat back to full health. As they come together on this joint mission they are reminded of the things they used to love about each other…
Small town romance writing prompts
A small-town girl introduces her out-of-towner boyfriend to a beloved but extremely unusual family tradition. Describe the scene.
A real estate agent tries to convince an attractive out-of-towner not to buy the small town’s most beautiful house. But the out-of-towner is charmed, by both the house and the real estate agent. Write the scene, thinking about why the real estate agent doesn’t want to sell, why the out-of-towner wants to buy and what happens next.
The owner of a local coffee shop agrees to let a film crew use the coffee shop as a set for a week, even though he can’t stand city slickers and show business, because his business which he inherited from his deceased father is struggling to stay afloat. Everything about the Hollywood crew arriving in his town appals him—apart from the very attractive lead actor…
A grumpy but loveable florist is happily minding her own business in the small town where she grew up when her old flame returns to the town for a family funeral. She fully expects the old flame to return to the big city after the funeral but instead they hang around, showing no signs of leaving. In a town this small, it’s only so long before their paths cross… The florist finds her former lover completely changed, and rather charming. But can she trust this new version of the person she thought she knew?
Lily has always held a grudge against her former college rival Jake for being frosty, antagonistic and generally irritating. But when she finds herself bumping into him on a business trip to the small town where he grew up, the way the people there talk about him makes her wonder if she really knows him at all…
Character writing prompts for romance writers
- Describe the contents of your main character’s pockets/handbag. Do the same for your love interest.
- If your main character found $100 on the ground, what would they do?
- Write about three places where your character has lived that meant something to them.
- What does your main character’s handwriting look like? What about your love interest?
- Describe three objects found in your main character/love interest’s bedroom. Make one of them surprising.
- What does your character like to read? And how do they organize their bookshelves?
- What would be your main character’s karaoke song of choice? What about your love interest? And would they both do karaoke willingly or begrudgingly?
More romance writing prompts
If you’re still feeling stuck for ideas for your romance novel, here are even more romance writing prompts to get you thinking!
Write a playlist of favourite songs for your main character and your romantic lead. Then write the scene where they swap playlists.
‘Sparks fly at the…’. Write a list of the most unlikely endings for this sentence. Choose your favourite and write the scene to go with it.
Write about a character getting the dream proposal—but from the wrong person.
‘They say that opposites attract. But these two really had nothing in common.’ Write a description of the most unlikely pairing you can think of. And then try to find some common ground between them—and a spark of chemistry.
What is the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you? Write about that situation but make it happen to a character who is the complete opposite of you.