Suspense in Romance Novels


A good idea is necessary for every great romance novel, but on its own, a great idea can’t make a novel successful. The idea also needs excellent execution, which often involves the use of suspense.

Two writers can start with the same premise. The one that understands how to use suspense will create a page-turner while the other one will deliver a bland and boring book.

Readers care about what is happening in romance books for two reasons. The first reason is the interest and self-identification with the characters. The second reason is the interest in the emotional conflict.

The suspense in romantic novels is not the same as suspense in thrillers. It doesn’t have to involve dark hallways, dead bodies, and weapons.

Romance has a lot of subgenres and thriller romance is one of them, but it is not the only kind of romance.

All good stories have some kind of suspense in them. That’s what makes them good. In a broad sense, the readers want suspense because that’s what makes them turn pages. It is what is going to happen to the hero or the heroine or the next situation that pique the interest of the readers.

Successful writers of romance novels know how to make their readers care about what is happening in the story and create suspense by sharing information in small increments, withholding important pieces in the beginning and slowly sharing more and more towards the end. Every scene in a good romance novel not only moves the plot forward, it also leaves the reader wanting to know more. No matter if a scene ends with a cliffhanger or simply raises a new issue, it leaves the readers in suspense and that’s a big part of what good romance novels are about.