- Books, Literature, and Writing
How to Write a Romance Novel They Can't Put Down
Wanna Learn How to Write a Romance Novel?
Whether you are passionate about learning how to write a romance novel and get it published, or merely curious, you'll want to hear this advice from a romance-novel author.
Tina Adams, pen name of Morgan Leshay, has written two romance novels, and The Legacy of Sleepy Hollow. I tracked her down to ask some frank questions about the business and art of how to write a romance novel and get it published. Redemption
And... I didn't stop there. In my quest to learn all about how to write a romance novel, I asked some other folks for advice as well. So there's quite a goodie-bag of resources listed below to help you become a great romance writer.
Included are video interviews with advice on writing romance novels targeting a younger audience (Generation X), video interviews on breaking into publishing, and finally advice from Beverly Jenkins, a very popular black romance novelist. Listening to successful writers always jolts my juices and inspires me.
Let's Start Learning How to Write a Romance Novel
Interview with Tina Adams about How to Write a Romance Novel
Me: I'm guessing that a good place to start might be by reading a number of popular romance novels? Is that true?
Tina: Yes, that is a good place to start because it gives you a feel for what readers are buying at any given time, and also you will know if this is the type of writing you are comfortable with doing.
Me: Who are some of your favorite romance novel authors?
Tina: I have sooo many favorite authors it'd take too long to list them all. A few are: Karen Marie Moning (love her Highlander and Fever series!), Nina Bangs, Johanna Lindsey, the late Kathleen Woodiwiss. (See list of Amazon titles below for purchasing info.)
Me: Can you tell us a bit about your beginnings as a writer?
Tina: As for my struggles, I started out with a huge dose of self-confidence (today I recognize it as pure arrogance, lol) that since I'd read so many romance novels (I was 16 at the time) I could write one in my sleep. NOT. It didn't take me long to realize I needed to learn the craft of romance writing.
Me: So what specifically did you do to learn how to write a romance novel?
To Write a Great Romance Novel, Start by Reading the Best - A Sampling of Tina's Favorite Romance Novels
Step One of Secret Formula for Writing Romance Novels: read lots of great romance novels (this is a fun step, no?)
Some folks recommend listening to the best of Romance Writing. Hearing a story read will increase your awareness of it's pacing and dialogue, which will make you a better writer. Audible has all the best Romance Titles available for download now
"The decision to kiss for the first time is the most crucial in any love story. It changes the relationship of two people much more strongly than even the final surrender; because this kiss already has within it that surrender."
How Did You Learn To Write a Romance Novel?
I sought out and read every piece of information I could find (lots of Writers Digest magazines and books!) on writing fiction and writing romance.
I hung out in chat rooms online where published romance authors used to hang out (this was years ago when AOL was cool) and they'd answer your questions if you asked. (Romance authors are nice!) I gained a lot of "inside information" there, things you didn't (and still don't) necessarily find in magazine articles and such.
So essentially, I read, I networked...and I practiced. At that point (when I set out to learn the craft) I'd already read hundreds upon hundreds of romance novels.
But as time went on, I became frustrated. I KNEW what I needed to know. I could write well, I could dream up amazing concepts that I knew people would love to read. I'd learned about plotting and characterization, even revisited grammar (ugh!), but still hadn't finished a book.
Upset with myself and about to give up on writing, I sat down and gave my story-in-progress a long, hard look. I wanted to know WHY it wasn't finished. What was holding me back? This is when I put together the Magic Formula. A step-by-step process map that helped me complete my first romance novel in 72 hours.
That was a "first draft", but still, the core of the book was complete.
Books on How to Write a Romance Novel
To Write Steamy Hot Love Scenes in Your Romance Novel....
First to learn about the different kinds of romance novels, go to http://trudydoyle.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/whats-the-dif-between-romance-erotic-romance-and-erotica/
Next, if you are searching how to write a scene with serious sexual tension, then I totally have the book for you.
This book can help you turn up the heat in your romance writing. If you are stuck writing a kissing scene and want some how-to advice, this book is for you. Check out it's 5-star reader reviews and give it a try. Available both in paperback and Kindle editions.
Is There a Magic Formula for How to Write a Romance Novel?
What does Tina Adams mean by having a secret formula to write romance novels?
Me: So you had all the ingredients for a good story, but somehow you were failing to put them together? So the 'magic formula' was about putting the ingredients together?
Tina: Yes, it's how to take a story concept and turn it into a complete romance novel.
Me: So you created and sold a home-study course on how to write a romance novel that included information on getting your romance novel published, right?
Tina: Yes. But even with the best advice, getting a contract with a big publisher and ending up with your books on the shelves at Barnes & Noble was always a huge challenge with uncertain outcome. Now, this past year, I decided to try my hand at publishing some of my Romance stories through the Amazon Kindle store.
Me: And how has that gone?
Tina: Amazingly well. It has far exceeded my hopes. When the first story we published (I'm working with my daughter now) did well, I thought it could be beginner's luck. But now we've duplicated the same success and even helped others become successful in this venue. So I took my previous novel writing course on creating a compelling Romance novel and updated the information to include writing and publishing Romance on Kindle.
Me: And where can people get this info?
Tina: At WriteARomance.com
Me: Thanks again. Wishing you and your daughter much success. Maybe I'll next interview you on mother/daughter collaboration!
How to Write the Love Scene in Your Romance Novel
Many writers struggle with writing a steamy sex scene in their romance novel. Read Tina's advice
A lot of people struggle with writing a steamy sex scene. They've got flirtateous dialog, a great plot and setting, but as the clothes come off, the writing stumbles. So I asked Tina for some advice.
Me: How do you write sex scenes?
Tina: You need to shift your focus. See, a lot of writers think a sex scene is about "who puts what where", but that's not it at all.
As a writer, your entire goal is to entertain and satisfy your reader. To do that, you must focus on moving them emotionally. And that's what you should concentrate on when writing your love scenes: the emotions of your characters. When it comes to love, it's all about what your characters are feeling.
Pack your love scenes with emotion, and they will be outstanding.
Hope this helps!
Me: Thanks, it definitely helps.
If You Want to Write Romance that is Extra Steamy
Perhaps edging into E-R-O-T-I-C...
A Kindle Romance Writing guide with a somewhat steamier slant on romance writing and an emphasis on writing and publishing on Kindle is also available and very affordable. It is called How To Write Hot Romance/Erotica for women. and as the title states, it is geared towards women readers and writers.
How To Write a Romance Novel - Advice for Aspiring Writers from Romance Novelist, Diana Palmer
Here Diana Palmer talks about getting started writing, finding a publisher and more.
And there are MORE video interviews below..... don't miss them!
Diana Palmer Books
Diana Palmer's recent books feature lots of rugged outdoorsmen.
Romance Author Beverly Jenkins Talks About Where She Gets Her Ideas - and What's Unique about Writing Romance Novels for the Black Audience?
Beverly Jenkins talks about her process for finding inspiration, writing her books, paying the bills and more. Beverly Jenkins is one of the best historical romance authors, in addition to being a leading writer of African American romance novels.
Beverly Jenkin's Latest Novel
Bestselling author Beverly Jenkins returns to the charming town of Henry Adams, Kansas, in this heartwarming story of family, friendship, and the surprises hidden in our lives
With 32 out of 35 FIVE-STAR customer ratings (the other 3 were 4-star ratings) this recent novel by Beverly Jenkins makes me think she just keeps writing better and better. Wow!
Get More Advice on How To Write a Romance - For Detailed Info on Improving Your Romance Novel, Consider a Critique Group
I've had great luck with a writing critique group and here is why. If one person reviews your story and says the beginning was confusing, then maybe you should change it, or.... maybe it is just them, right? But, if three out of five people who read the first chapter of your novel says they didn't understand what was going on, then you know you have to make some changes.
A writing critique group can also help pull you along. If other people are posting something they have written, you'll find yourself wanting to keep up and get their feedback on your stuff. I highly recommend writing critique groups. Just be sure before you sign up that you are going to commit the time it requires -- that's only fair to other group members.
So here are some links that may help you find a romance writing critique group. Oh, and I definitely think you want a group that is dedicated to writing romance. You don't want a writing group where one person writes romance, another mysteries and another for kids.
- Passionate Critters | Romance Writing Critique Group
We're passionate about writing romance!
P.S. How's the Market -- If I Do Learn How to Write a Romance Novel, Will I Get Rich?
The romance novel genre represents 26.4 percent of all popular fiction sales, but each individual book generally represents a fairly modest number of sales. Authors should begin in romance writing because they love the genre and love writing, not hoping to get rich.
The really big earnings come to authors who acquire a following and have readers with their wallet open by the time their next book comes out.
One interesting observation, the heroes and heroines in romance novels have little racial or ethnic diversity. Some feel that there is an untapped market for writing the romance novel that takes the reader beyond the middle or upper-class white world.
The dramatic rise in Kindle book sales has the potential income for new romance writers rising even in this downturn economy. Click to learn more about how to prepare a story for Kindle publication
Good luck to you on your journey of learning how to write a romance novel.