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How to Write Romance Novels

Updated on June 15, 2011

Romance novels are the most popular type of fiction books in North America, but they are popular everywhere else in the world as well. Writing romance novels is considered less challenging than writing many other types of fiction because there is such a basic, set formula for writing this type of fiction. However, there are endless variations of the basic themes, giving you plenty of creative interpretation of the essential romantic relationship.

Because romance books sell so well, an enormous number of romance titles are published annually. Your best chance of getting a book published is likely by writing a romance novel. Here's how to write one:

Create Your Characters

Come up with a strong, interesting heroine who wishes for love and an alpha-male hero who deserves it. These characters are standard in virtually all romance novels, though the degree to which these traits are present varies. Some people portray the heroine as shy or weaker than the standard romance novel heroine, but most publishers require her to be a spunky character who will stand up for herself. This is what will make your female readers root for her. The hero of the novel must be strong and worthy of devotion and respect.

Create a Reason to Keep the Couple Apart

Think up a plausible reason why these two characters can't be together throughout most of the story line. The plot of a romance novel is generally the dramatic problems that keep the two main characters apart and the couple overcomes those problems.

Depending on your book's subgenre, you may create legal problems or a crime drama that keeps the couple apart. If the tone of your book is lighter, it might be simple mistrust or another suitor that is getting in the way. It could be an old love who comes back, familial objections, even a natural disaster that keeps them apart. For serious drama, throw in cultural differences that make the relationship seem too difficult in the beginning of the relationship.

Engineer a Happy Ending

Write a romance novel story in which these problems keep the couple apart for most of the book, but allow them to get together near the end of the book. All romance novels have a happy ending with the couple together and in love. It may end in a wedding, a family or just the final admission that the two were made for each other. The problems they faced along the way should be resolved by the end so there is nothing to keep the couple apart any longer.

Does It Sound Easy?

To most people, writing a romance book sounds easy, but it's more difficult than it sounds. To effectively write a romance novel that has a compelling story and that will convey the proper drama and romance can take time and practice. Just keep at it until you have a romance book that you would want to read if it were on the shelf. That's the key to writing a romantic novel that generates enough interest to get published.


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