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How to Write a Contemporary Romantic Comedy by Catherine Bennetto

Catherine Bennetto was a student of the first ever online novel course held by Curtis Brown in autumn 2013. She published her debut novel How Not to Fall in Love, Actually as an e-book in which she managed to take a fresh and funny look at the romance in the contemporary world. Make or break is her second novel that is already available in the paperback. Her writings usually are described as light-hearted, heart-warming and even hilarious.

We liked her tips on how to write a romantic comedy and decided to share them with you.

Try to be original

Being original when writing a romantic story might be an impossible request for many writers, especially for those who appear to be only at the beginning point of their writing path. However, because there were so many romantic places described before you, finding the unexpected location and portraying unusual circumstances is worth spending time on. Avoid writing about something that has been done for you.

Comedy as a personal thing

A particular joke can be funny for someone and at the same time it might terrify or offend another person so you need to be careful with using humor in your writings. However, in your works, it is better to write about what you consider to be funny. After all, this is how you view the world and this is how you want to express yourself.

Relationship as the ultimate goal for the characters

It is an inborn craving of a human being to have romantic relationships. However, try to avoid making a relationship an ultimate goal. Yes, while reading a romantic comedy, we do expect the main characters to get together but describing their other goals, obstacles and frustrations can make the story more engaging. It would not be interesting to read further if we all knew that two people who have emotions towards each other would eventually get together. Allow your characters to have their own ambitions and walk the reader through their personal struggles. Do not limit the characters’ goals to only marrying each other.

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Try not to use clichés

We all know what to expect while reading romantic comedies so try to avoid clichés at all cost. Romantic comedies tend to be predictable anyway so adding some spice, which will leave a reader doubt whether there will be a happy ending, will help you create a memorable story. Being inventive is the key.

Make sure the communication is up-to-date

If you are writing a contemporary romantic comedy, incepting communication via modern technologies is a must. We live in a digital age so popping up next door to discuss current news is a thing of the past. Social media rules now so make sure that you incorporate this method of communication into the plot.

Don’t wander too much

Always keep in mind how precious your reader’s time is. We live in a very fast-paced environment and no one really has the opportunity to read three pages about how gorgeous the park is during the fall. The modern reader wants everything here and now so don’t waffle and get straight to the point.