14 Romance Book Cliches

Cliches aren’t always a bad thing, but it’s always good to at least be aware of them when writing your novel. They can often be amusing when you stop to think about it.

Here are some good romance book cliches I’ve noticed tend to pop up frequently…

  1. Gotta hate ’em before you can love ’em. 
  2. Never say the simple thing that would clear up a misunderstanding. Ever.

  3. Be unreasonably effected by the sound of his voice.

  4. Describe his voice/eyes/laugh with strange, food-related similes. 
  5. Shortcut to conflict: two guys! Love triangles for the win! 
  6. Always eat at restaurants or get takeout. If you should happen to cook a meal, be sure it’s unreasonably fancy and requires no cleanup. 
  7. Include as much internal dialogue as possible! 

  8. At some point insist on needing some “space.” 
  9. Have an sneak-attack kiss. Nothing more winning than borderline harassment! 
  10. Almost die. 
  11. It is way more romantic if the dude always apologizes first! 
  12. Meet the psycho ex and instantly feel inferior. 
  13. Have an adorable car. 
  14. Look pouty on the cover. Because relationships shouldn’t be a smiling matter. 

What’s your favorite/least favorite cliche in fiction?

Perry is a 20-something with a lot on her plate! She’s wife to Tyler; mom to four little boys, two dogs, one cat, and 12 chickens; and author of five little books. She’s the admin of this site, as well as a freelance book designer. She lives in the sunny southwest.

Offers: cover design, formatting, graphic design, web design at perryelisabethdesign.com

7 Comment

  1. Haha. All so true!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! 😉

  2. MMMMWAAAHAHA. I could come up with a few dozen more. I’ve got a character that I can’t wait to write because he’s so cliche in his expression of affection and… man. It’s not gonna work for him. And I’m blaming the GIRL.

    1. I bet you could! Sounds like you’re making cliche really work for you! Hilarious!

  3. I hate the image that comes to mind when the heroine “swallows hard” when first checking out her romantic hero. Try it. Swallow hard. Does that look sexy? Cute ? Desirable? Makes me think of a sore throat. And I see it ALL the time in romance novels.

    1. Ew! You’re right… Sounds like a bad case of tonsillitis! 😉

  4. […] apologizes first. Ruth doesn’t have a cute car (more like a donkey). In fact none of the typical cliches portrayed in romantic stories are […]

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