10 Tips for Writing a Killer Revenge Plot!


Revenge is a hot hook for any romance, but it can also present a challenge! To help you bring that all-important spark to your revenge romance, here are the editors’ top ten tips…

  1. Motivation for revenge is key! It can’t be something petty, or make the hero look weak (e.g. enacting revenge on a girl for breaking his heart aged 16 just makes him look like he’s never grown up!) It needs to be bigger than this, so…
  2. Make the reason something juicy and multi-layered to add motivation and keep the reader (and even the heroine) guessing why it has affected him so deeply.
  3. Beware the revenge plot based on a misunderstanding – this can get very frustrating for the reader!
  4. Spare a thought for the person in the wrong – their behavior needs to be just as, if not more, well motivated as the person seeking revenge years later! Perhaps they did something bad, but for a very good reason…?
  5. There needs to be more to your character than just a thirst for revenge that has consumed and driven them for decades. Otherwise they may seem like a crazed psychopath, or even worse, a pantomime, 2D villain!
  6. Remember, revenge is not an emotional conflict! What else will keep your characters apart (or together) once they’ve resolved the issues that trigger the revenge plot?
  7. Heroines out for revenge – use with caution! They can work brilliantly, but she must be very well-motivated as it is essential your heroine has the readers’ empathy.
  8. A revenge plot is, by definition, driven by characters pushed to their emotional limits. if you’re drawn towards very dark-hearted heroes seeking vengeance for past sins, you might need to work that bit harder to persuade us why why should fall in love with him – especially if his behavior is particularly outrageous!
  9. The power balance in a revenge plot is inevitably skewed towards the avenger…so make sure the other character has personal traits that allow them to balance this out!
  10. And the best way to seek revenge – well, in the bedroom of course 😉 (for some series!) They do say it’s best served hot…!

Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below!