5 Ways To Add Love To Popular Genres


With Valentine’s Day upon us, I was thinking about how much we all love to go on date night or movie night on this day.

So, just for some lighthearted fun this week, I wanted to have a look at how we could bring a shot of romance to some of the most popular movie genres.

And I’ve also included some fun challenges for you as a writer – let us know how it goes.

1. Ransom For My Valentine

Suspense, excitement, lots of twists and false clues – these are the elements that make a great thriller. It’s about keeping audiences on the edge of their seats, biting their nails as they wonder, ‘What will happen next?’

When a loved one is in danger in a story, the suspense is always more intense.

Challenge: Why not write a synopsis of a plot where a spouse, child, mistress or lover is held hostage?

2. My Funny Valentine

Comedy focuses on the foibles of human nature through exaggerated situations and over the top characters.  Romantic comedies are often froth and fun – but they always show how true love wins the day, with a few comic mishaps along the way.

Challenge: Why not write a comic dialogue scene for a rom-com between a stand-up comedienne and her dull-as-dishwater boyfriend?

3. Kung-Fu Valentine

Action movies are characterised by a hectic pace – a fast-paced plot takes centre stage.  There’s a lot of kinetic fighting, fast and furious violence, massive explosions and car chases.

Sometimes love makes us do extreme things and we fight harder for those we love than even ourselves when the occasion calls for it.

Challenge: Why not write a scene where a female martial arts star takes on all the rivals for her crush’s attention with some kick-ass moves?

4. Forgotten Valentine

Dramas give us a dose of realism and usually have us reaching for a tissue or two to wipe away a tear. In these stories, we see the best of human nature – and sometimes the worst. As they typically they focus on relationships, character is all important.

Family dramas, for me, are always absorbing dramas – the family dynamics and hidden secrets make for great viewing.

Challenge: Why not write a short play about a middle-aged daughter trying to track down a woman who wrote her father a valentine’s letter fifty years ago? How will she get her widower father a reunion with his lost love?

5. Die, Sweet Valentine

A horror film has one purpose – to get the heart racing with story lines and characters that prey on our deepest fears or longest held superstitions or irrational beliefs.

Another great staple of horrors is urban myths – like a haunted house or a ghost hitchhiker.

Challenge: Why not describe a setting where it is rumoured that two teenage lovers were slaughtered on Valentine’s night?

 by Anthony Ehlers

If you enjoyed this post, read:

  1. 5 Ways To Start Using Killer Dialogue In Your Story
  2. How Do You Come To Story?
  3. Back To Basics: 3 Steps To Setting

If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg or sign up for our online course.