Shake Up The Romance!

by , Tuesday November 21, 2017
Shake Up The Romance!

Shock The Romance Genre By Upsetting The Norm!

Join in our newest competition here and show us how YOU would unsettle the narrative...



Are you tired of reading the same old romantic plot, the same old plot twists, the same physical characteristics or behavior in romance stories? And does the predictability of those stories take away from otherwise good writing or interesting ideas?
It's sad when you give up reading a story halfway through because the characters fall flat or you've predicted every twist and turn since the first chapter :(
Here is a writing competition to change all that by fighting the norms that seem to dominate the romance genre today. In this competition, the task is to write a romantic story that defies the usual plot structure, that shakes it up!

To help you decide where you should focus your energies, here's some pointers:


1. This is the narrative structure of "the ideal romance:"

  1. The heroine’s social identity is destroyed.

  2. The heroine reacts antagonistically to an aristocratic male.

  3. The aristocratic male responds ambiguously to the heroine.

  4. The heroine interprets the hero’s behavior as evidence of a purely sexual interest in her.

  5. The heroine responds to the hero’s behavior with anger or coldness.

  6. The hero retaliates by punishing the heroine.

  7. The heroine and hero are physically and/or emotionally separated.

  8. The hero treats the heroine tenderly.

  9. The heroine responds warmly to the hero’s act of tenderness.

  10. The heroine reinterprets the hero’s ambiguous behavior as the product of previous hurt.

  11. The hero proposes/openly declares his love for/demonstrates his unwavering commitment to the heroine with a supreme act of tenderness.

  12. The heroine responds sexually and emotionally.

  13. The heroine’s identity is restored.

From Radway, J. A. (1984). Reading the romance: Women, patriarchy, and popular literature. Univ of North Carolina Press.


Here's what you can do with this structure...

  • Pick 3 points and create a story where you change them. For example, you could pick 4, 5 & 6 and change the roles up so that instead it's the hero who interprets, it's the hero who responds and it's the heroine who retaliates, but make sure that you respect the order ;)

  • Change the whole structure. That is, start with the last points and finish with the first; change the roles from male to female and vice versa!

2. We have all read the “and then I met him and my life stopped and started with this gorgeous creature who Mother Nature had bestowed upon the most beautiful eyes and the most bad-boy smirk” kind of romantic story at some point in our lives. Heck, we've all written stories like that in our inception days of writing.


What you'll have to do with this idea is to scrap half of it and turn it into “and then I met him, gorgeous like nothing I’ve ever seen, and in that momment I knew that he was going to be the next person I was going to kill\maim\hate\do horrible things to\get revenge for\etc.” The point of this is to take a break from all those romantic clichés and write about more female characters that are strong teenagers who actually know how to differentiate between a douchebag and a guy who actually cares for them.

Attention: you don't necessarily need to turn the story into a gory and/or bloody romance, all we mean is to find new and different ways to give more depth to your characters...


3. Write about a male protagonist who encounters this gorgeous girl and falls for her, but throughout the story he realizes that the perfect girl for him is actually that quiet, shy, nerdy girl who everybody ignores ...Or that girl that's always the rebel and seems like she doesn't care about romance - or any other character that isn't perfect with characteristics that don't resume to "eyes like two drops of an ocean, lips plump and rosy, hair stylized by Hades himself, and a bod to droll over for decades." Let them change each other as the story progresses.


So, are you ready to join in the romance writing fun?



How to Participate

Pick from one of these options:


  Write a fanfic where you use either one of the pointers above; it doesn't matter if you go with a hetero pair, or a homosexual one. Love has no gender or limits.


  Write an original story based on them. Same rules as with fanfics <3


  Don't want to write a story? Make a cover\art\trailer instead that reflects the main idea of this competition.



The Prizes

Winning entries will be shared on Movellas' social media (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, etc.)


1st Place will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or the novel Call Me By Your Name written by André Aciman!


2nd Place will receive a $20 Amazon gift card.


Best Cover/Fanart/Trailer will receive a Movellas-themed surprise :)



May the muses torment you with a lot of plotbunnies!




Open globally

Multiple entries allowed (maximum - 3)

You may not update your entry/movella once the competition deadline has passed.

You may not use the same movella in future competitions.

You may not use a movella that has already been published in other competitions.

Check out the Competition FAQs for more...
NOTE: Covers must use resources licensed under CC0, or Public Domain. If you’re creating something that will be listed as a fan work, then you may use resources relating to your chosen fan-base (or combination of fan-bases), but it must be listed as fanfiction when you release it on Movellas.



The competition ends Wednesday, January 17 2018

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