It is a good idea to include some kind of love attachment in your novel, especially if you write YA because that is such an important part of growing up. A love interest always spices out a novel, even if it is just a sub-plot and constitutes just a little bit of the story. Romance adds conflict and feelings to a story and makes the heroes sound more human and capable of weaknesses.
- keep it a subplot (in the Hunger Games, the main plot is the battle for survival, the love story is jut weaved in to add more drama)
- make it serve a purpose such as weakening one character or awaking the jealousy of one character and making the MC do mistakes or opening up a new world. (A romantic subplot in a mystery raises the stakes; it adds suspicion to the relationship and fear of losing the other one ) (In the Hunger Games, the love story saves Katniss's and Peeta's life. Their love touches the hearts of the public.)
- use the romance streak as a way to add conflict. (In "Star Wars," Han Solo and Princess Leia's romance do not end up in passion, but in perpetual conflicts where they search each others' attention negatively)
- start by showing the MCs comfortable in their home /world
- when the couple meets, it is like a clash
- they first dislike each other (Peeta first joins a group of professional killers before partnering with Katniss)
- their are forced to stick together (Katniss and Peeta are first paired because they are from the same district)
- the couple is tested for the first time. They must help each other to survive. They learn more about each other because some important, new information transpires. (In the forest, Katniss and Peeta are alone and need some kind of human warmth, plus they need each other to survive)
- the couple trust each other a little bit deeper. Scene that reveals how their feelings are changing for each other
- the couple is put a second time to the test. Twist or revelation of a deep secret.
- follow the temptation. After the second test, they both have a chance to choose another path. However, they have been through a lot together and they want to see what will happen if they stay together.
- then they live a beautiful moment together where they think they have reached their original goal.
- the couple is ripped apart because one of the two did not tell the whole truth or something was hidden from them.
- they go back to their old world, but are not happy because they miss each other, because they just realized their goal has changed.
- the couple go through the third and final test. One rescues the other.
- they finally face a dark moment where they seem to have everything and the situation is hopeless (Katniss and Peeta are the only survivors and Katniss needs to kill Peeta to win)
- comes the magical moment (Katniss gives the poisoned berries to Peeta and threatens to eat them too)
- the couple is finally happy.