Q&A: LOVE STORIES AND OUTER MOTIVATION
Q: I’m writing a love story and have already developed the hero’s inner motivation and inner conflict, but I’m worried about her visible goal. Is my hero’s desire simply to win the love of the romance character enough?
A: YES, just winning the love of another character can be enough of an outer motivation for a love story. This is true for the heroes of both GOOD WILL HUNTING and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, and they were hugely successful movies. But the reason they were so successful was because of the conflict — seemingly insurmountable obstacles (an abusive childhood, cancer, and both characters’ deep inner conflicts) stood between these heroes and the characters who were their destinies.
As for structure, dramatic love stories should follow the same six stages and five turning points as any other genre. Stop worrying if that makes them harder to write. Writing is always hard – that’s one of the things that makes it worth doing.