Revenge is a hot hook for any romance, but it can also present a challenge! To help you bring that all-important spark to your revenge romance, here are the editors’ top ten tips…
- Motivation for revenge is key! It can’t be something petty, or make the hero look weak (e.g. enacting revenge on a girl for breaking his heart aged 16 just makes him look like he’s never grown up!) It needs to be bigger than this, so…
- Make the reason something juicy and multi-layered to add motivation and keep the reader (and even the heroine) guessing why it has affected him so deeply.
- Beware the revenge plot based on a misunderstanding – this can get very frustrating for the reader!
- Spare a thought for the person in the wrong – their behavior needs to be just as, if not more, well motivated as the person seeking revenge years later! Perhaps they did something bad, but for a very good reason…?
- There needs to be more to your character than just a thirst for revenge that has consumed and driven them for decades. Otherwise they may seem like a crazed psychopath, or even worse, a pantomime, 2D villain!
- Remember, revenge is not an emotional conflict! What else will keep your characters apart (or together) once they’ve resolved the issues that trigger the revenge plot?
- Heroines out for revenge – use with caution! They can work brilliantly, but she must be very well-motivated as it is essential your heroine has the readers’ empathy.
- A revenge plot is, by definition, driven by characters pushed to their emotional limits. if you’re drawn towards very dark-hearted heroes seeking vengeance for past sins, you might need to work that bit harder to persuade us why why should fall in love with him – especially if his behavior is particularly outrageous!
- The power balance in a revenge plot is inevitably skewed towards the avenger…so make sure the other character has personal traits that allow them to balance this out!
- And the best way to seek revenge – well, in the bedroom of course 😉 (for some series!) They do say it’s best served hot…!
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below!