The Secrets of Writing a Romance Novel
Making a romance novel may sound easy, but in real life, this is a hard task for both young and experienced writers. They often face with critical notes and comments to improve the writing. First of all, this genre is considered to be full of cliché and third rate storylines. As a result, the author must find excuses before doing something wrong.
Different authors who write romance novels have opposite points of view about the meaning and role of this genre. On the one hand, they discuss the options to change the romance format to break away with its tag of ‘guilty pleasure.’ On the other hand, writers insist that the romance novel has its original style and can’t be changed.
So there are still discussions about writing a romance novel according to well-known format or choosing a new shape for such art. Yes, it is a serious question, but the more important is people’s impressions. They are the target audience of all books, so writers must perform art exactly for them. Your goal is to make readers amazed, happy, and excited, and methods of reaching such a result are not the focus.
But before the professional guide in writing such books, you need to get acquainted with the important theory. It means you should know 4 main elements of each romance novel. Exactly such features make the text to be romantic in its sense and novel in its type. That’s why you must find out these important elements of each novel.
Main Elements of a Romance Novel
All romance novels consist of 4 parts:
- Emotional connection
The love relationship is the focus of a romantic story, but also the writer must add concrete facts. For instance, demonstrate that your heroes are attentive to note feelings of other people. If there is no emotional connection, your characters hardly could create an atmosphere of closed and bounded relationships.
- Physical attraction
There would be no romance novel without it. Your protagonists must be bounded together with physical attraction since its beginning. Besides, stories like ‘from hate to love’ are quite popular, so the connection between characters may start unusually. After your protagonists become closer, their relationships should also grow.
- The first scene for main characters
Experts insist that such meeting is bitter important for your readers. Writers usually don’t understand such fact, but readers aspire to see the deep meaning of the protagonists’ first meeting. You know your characters and maybe understand the final for them, but your target audience is full of expectations. So don’t let them down! Both characters must be involved in such a scene, so use more emotions, descriptions, and dramatic atmosphere.
Making a storyline means to create a chain of events, situations, and people connections for your romance novel. This is a background and main concept of your book. Readers aspire to get something new and interesting, so give them more details about your storyline. If you ignore this element, then your story wouldn’t be logic and real, it would definitely seem fake.
These must-have elements will be in your romance novel, no matter what. So find out special tools and recommendations on how to make your text exciting and demandable among your readers.
How to Write a Romance Novel Step by Step
Stage #1. The Inspiration
The author is hunting for new, interesting, and encouraging ideas for his romance novel. Besides, he needs inspiration not only for making the storyline. He must create awesome portraits for main and second lead characters, think of unusual situations, places, elements of story.
Sounds easy, but in real life, the writer would sell his soul for successful ideas. To save your soul, you can use other effective ways of getting inspiration.
Use a Real Story
There is no better base for any book than a real story. When your readers see a note ‘based on a true story,’ they will choose your romance novel without any doubt. There are numerous examples when exact real story becomes a hit. For instance, The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, The Vow by Kim Carpenter, and so on.
Readers will be more excited if you share interesting and real situation from real life. In a romantic field, it gives them hope for beautiful relationships and mutual love, which can overcome all difficulties. So you can choose such approaches in writing:
- Use the story of your own relationship from the past. Just change names, situations, places, and other circumstances;
- Talk to your relatives and friends. Maybe they can impress you as much as a Titanic passengers’ stories;
- Read more about the life of famous people. Be sure that Henry Ford had an exciting life, not only his inventions in automobile manufacturing.
Watch Movies or TV-Shows
There are so many interesting shows on TV today, which can inspire you. It’s a popular idea not to watch TV at all, but writers can miss a great part of exciting stories. Be sure that you can never know when and how you can become inspired. Maybe you will see someone face or new color and here is an idea!
You can use modern or classic stories. Also, you may use paintings, songs, theater performances, and other kinds of art. Frankly speaking, there are no special rules in such situations. You can do all you like just to get a piece of inspiration. All you need is to transform the idea into your unique romantic story.
Then you may follow these steps:
- create your unique characters;
- write their background and stories;
- choose the most proper type of romance novel.
This task doesn’t seem easy, but you may get professional help. Experienced authors can bring you new ideas and help to create the best story.
Take a Look on Contemporary Books
If you make research on popular contemporary novels, then you can get really important information. It helps you to understand the readers’ expectations and desires, and as a result, you will give them a desirable romantic story.
There would be no problem with information to analyze. You can find most books online or in a nearby library. Here are several romance novels which are currently in the TOP: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, and Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James.
Stage #2. Writing Process
Writing takes most of your time. If you make all the preparations and get enough inspiration, you can finish your paper in a week. But try to leave yourself several months to make romance novel slowly and mindfully.
Use Novelty in Your Story to Impress Readers
You can give your characters special features or hold their story in another universe. Be sure that creativity is always on trend. Readers are fed up with standard characters, situations, and problems.
At the same time, you need to use an exact formula in writing. For instance, if you choose the love triangle for your storyline, you should equally describe all characters. Only such an approach will help you create an enigma which characters will create a couple.
Make a Strong Setting
Build your storyline on numerous events and situations to make it logic and exciting. Don’t hesitate, logic, and smooth plot development. Without a proper setting, your readers will become bored very soon.
For instance, you may hold your story somewhere in North Macedonia and add national charm to your characters. That’s why you need to get actual information about North Macedonia and its culture.
Create the Main Conflict
Conflict is not a negative issue, but a progressive element of each story. It may be mild or severe but belongs to obvious elements of all books. Your conflict must have the following features:
- be real, but not made out of whole cloth;
- drive more action to the storyline;
- help to evaluate the situation and relationships between the main characters.
Usually, the central conflict in romance novels is created to test the love between men and woman. There are different kinds of it, but usually, the conflict should be the same for all the main characters. Remember that your story will not evaluate without such a situation.
Consider Intimate Scene
The romance genre means using such kind of stories, so you should think about its details. Of course, no one can demand from you intimate scene in the novel, but your readers will definitely wait for it. If you understand what people require from your book, you should give them such hot stories.
To reach the most natural impression from your intimate scenes, try to use your own experience. Never add something you are not sure about, because you may put it across your readers. You should better avoid the ordinary description of the process, but add more passionate and emotional elements of an intimate scene. For instance, express its sounds, feels, touches, etc. Make sure that you truly feel the passion between your characters.
Avoid Catchall in Your Text
Sometimes it is very hard, but you can’t expect readers to love your book full of cliché. Try to get rid of well-known phrases, actions, places, and so on. They only harm the general impression from your romance novel and can make people give up your book.
For instance, readers are fed up with stories about tall, handsome, and cold-hearted bosses with the trauma that occurred in childhood. But if you add other descriptions and issues, such a storyline has chances for success.
Create the Logical Ending for Your Story
Your aim is to satisfy your readers and make them happy, so give them such pleasure. Romance novel means that you should make a happy ending. It could be an open or closed end, but always with a hope for a better future for your main couple.
The most popular ending for a romance novel is a wedding or marriage proposal. But readers adore reading more about their life after marriage. So share at least one chapter of their ‘happily ever after.’ It would be perfect!
Stage #3. The Improvement
It’s never too late to make your romance novel better. There are several tips and recommendations on how you can reach perfection.
Read Your Novel
Imagine that you didn’t write this text and read it by yourself. Don’t hurry up and read the novel slowly so that you can enjoy every word. Try to make it in several days after finishing, so your mind and eyes can take a rest from writing. The point is writers can’t see weak fragments and apparent mistakes, because they are too tired to reread and rewrite sentence by sentence.
The best way is to read your novel twice. For the first time, make notes while your reading to make corrections in the future. And for the second time read it aloud to determine the readability and rhythm of your content.
If you have an opportunity to present your book to other people and get their feedback, then do it. Sometimes the only person who can read an incomplete novel is your editor. His notes and general impression will be very useful. Make yourself ready for constructive criticism and consider it as a stage of novel improvement.
Maybe you will think about small and big changes in your storyline. Remember that you are making your romance novel for your readers, so try to improve the text according to their expectations.
When you have collected notes and other people’s feedbacks, you should use them. Make corrections, add something new, or delete odd sentences. Revise till you feel your romance novel is done.
After your paper is done, you can send it to a publisher. In the nearest future, your audience will enjoy your novel.
Additional Tips for Romance Novel Writing
These tips are recommendations, not rules. Remember, that romance novel is a literary genre, but not academic writing where everything is done according to strict requirements. So you may use such pieces of advice:
- always prepare for writing beforehand;
- work on your writing style to make it exciting and unique;
- communicate with your fans and potential readers to understand their expectations;
- write a paper according to grammar rules;
- make drafts in electronic versions not to lose anything important.
In addition, don’t hesitate to get inspiration. It is very important for an author to get a muse for creating characters in a romance novel. You may use books, movies, songs, and even real stories or couple goals. Also don’t forget about professional writing help with any kind of papers, including books. With such preparation, you have all chances to write new, interesting, and amazing romance novel!