Tuesday Talks: Relationship Drama-Rama

TuesdayTalksCCochet180Hello all! Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Talks. Today I’m rambling on about something that comes up quite often in reviews: Conflict. In every book, the characters face conflict, whether internal or external, sometimes one or the other, at times both. When it comes to writing romance, one conflict which is usually a given is the relationship between the main characters. Will they get together? Won’t they? If they’re an established couple, does something come between them?

Then among the characters relationship there’s external conflict as well. Someone’s trying to kill them, people are out to separate them, aliens have landed and the fate of the human race is down to Carl and his sexy lover. I’ve been told, the more conflict the better, but sometimes, the main conflict in the romance is simply the relationship and the struggles the protagonists have to face to attain their happily ever after.

I’ve read plenty of romances where the main focus is the relationship. Heck, I’ve got a few myself. One thing I’m seeing is reviews where folks are saying something akin to:there was no conflict, or the story was boring, nothing happened, it was just about the characters and their relationship. Obviously it also comes down to the reader.

If the characters are well written and I enjoy them, I’ll be drawn into their world and care about what happens to them and their relationship. There doesn’t need to be a whole lot of external conflict or three separate plots going on. I’m happy to read about their relationship and how they get together. Some folks believe as it’s romance, the main focus should be the romantic relationship, while others believe there needs to be more to keep the story interesting.

What do you think? How much conflict do you believe a romance novel should have? Should it always include action? External conflict? Angst?


  1. I think all kinds of stories can work–from the romance as the sole conflict all the way up to the earth is in danger + the romance–& if they were all the same it would get pretty boring.

    That said, the characters should always do something, IMO. They shouldn’t solely be acted upon or sit around thinking too much–unless they’re extremely interesting characters with cool thoughts (and I’ve met some of those too)! But that something can be chasing Mr. Right (or running from him) or just trying to figure out where they fit into the larger world.

    I hope a few other readers agree, because at the moment I’m fresh out of aliens trying to conquer/destroy the world or intricate mysteries that could lead to one MC’s untimely demise. :)

    • Lol. I agree with you. If the story and characters are compelling enough, I don’t believe the characters have to suffer an insurmountable amount of angst throughout the entire book to make it enjoyable, nor does a character’s life have to be in danger.

      I’ve read plenty of romances where the main focus is the relationship and have thoroughly enjoyed the book, while at the same time someone’s declared the story boring because “nothing happens” or “there’s no conflict” when in fact there is. Obviously it depends on the reader and what he/she enjoys. I’ve just seen the “there’s no conflict” come up quite often in m/m recently and I’m curious as well as to what folks think.

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