It's great that you're exploring different genres and trying your hand at writing a romance novel! Writing to fit specific tropes can indeed be challenging, especially if it's not your preferred style. However, with the right approach and mindset, you can still make progress and create an engaging story.
Here are a few suggestions to help you stay motivated and navigate the process of writing a trope romance:
Embrace your unique style: While trope romances are popular, don't be afraid to infuse your own storytelling style and preferences into the narrative. If you enjoy fairytale adaptations or stories where romance is the B plot, find ways to incorporate those elements into your novel. This will not only make the writing process more enjoyable for you but also add a fresh perspective to the genre.
Identify the core elements: Even within the confines of a specific trope, there is room for creativity. Identify the core elements of the romance trope you're using and think about how you can put your own spin on them. Consider the characters, their motivations, and the conflicts they face. By adding unique elements or unexpected twists, you can make the story more engaging and differentiate it from other books in the genre.
Plan the plot in broad strokes: While you mentioned that outlines aren't always helpful for you, having a solid idea of the plot can be beneficial, especially when writing to fit a specific trope. It doesn't have to be a detailed outline, but having a general direction and key plot points in mind can provide you with a roadmap to follow. This can help you stay motivated and focused as you write, knowing where the story is heading.
Break it down: Writing a first draft can be overwhelming, especially if you're struggling to stay motivated. Break the process down into smaller, manageable tasks. Set realistic goals for yourself, such as writing a certain number of words or completing specific scenes or chapters within a given time frame. Celebrate your progress along the way to maintain motivation.
Find inspiration: Surround yourself with inspiration that resonates with your unique style and preferences. Read romance novels that align more closely with your taste to get a sense of what works well in the genre. Explore other mediums like movies, TV shows, or even real-life experiences to gather ideas and inspiration that can spark your creativity.
Remember, writing a novel takes time and effort. It's natural to encounter challenges and moments of doubt along the way. Stay committed to your goal and find joy in the process of crafting your story. With perseverance and a touch of your unique style, you can create a romance novel that captivates readers and brings you fulfillment as a writer.