If you’ve ever considered writing a romance novel…what are you waiting for? Romance is one of the best-selling genres and has a built-in audience addicted to the drama, intrigue, and complex characters created specifically for them. Danielle Steel is one of the highest paid authors in the world with Nicolas Sparks as a close second.
Maybe it’s time to add your name to that list.
But romance writing, unlike many other genres, usually follows a pretty specific set of rules; there are methods that make some authors more successful than others. Here are some tips to consider as you embark on your career as a novelist:
As with any genre, it’s important that you read anything you can get your hands on, but with romance it’s even more crucial. As you examine more and more books by different authors, you might see patterns that work for you and some that don’t. By reading the works of others, you’ll get a better idea of your own voice and, because romance is so personal, the result will be a book that will engage your reader and leave them begging you for more. And if you truly don’t love what you’re reading, then romance might not be the genre for you. Romance readers can tell when an author is not completely invested.
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
As with most fiction, there needs to be a conflict or problem that your characters must overcome, but with romance you really need to think about what the issue is going to be because this will be the central theme of your book. It needs to be believable to the reader and something that falls somewhere in the middle of complex and simple: it can’t be a simple misunderstanding that could be solved in a short conversation, but on the other hand, it can’t be so complicated that it will get in the way of the couple’s happy ending (which is an important facet of romance writing).
Of course your book will have secondary characters, but be careful how much you develop them. With romance writing, the focus should really remain with the hero or, in most cases, heroine. Generally speaking, most romance novels are told in first-person so that the reader will be truly invested in their story. Developing this point-of-view allows the reader to feel the emotional response you’re looking for when it comes to romance.
FIND YOUR VOICE
Yes, romance novels are all similar in some ways (for example, they generally all end with a happy couple). And while you should follow the general guidelines, make sure that your book is…well…YOU. While there might be comparable conflicts throughout many romance novels, you need to include your own twists and turns along the way that the reader doesn’t see coming. Be daring. This will keep the reader engaged and your novel moving at the perfect pace.
While romance always includes a physical relationship, pay attention to how this plays out in your book. Yes, you can include knee-weakening physical scenes, but an emotional connection between your characters is a must. This should be carefully developed which will only add to the reader’s emotional experience and response to your book.
So, off you go! It’s time for you to face that blinking cursor on your screen and start writing the romance novel you know you have inside of you. And if you’re not quite ready to start, maybe it’s time to just settle on the couch with a novel that just might spark your own ideas.
If you would like to talk to an Outskirts Press Publishing Consultant about publishing your romance novel or other book, call us at 1-888-672-6657 or visit our website at www.outskirtspress.com to chat with a Publishing Consultant.
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