Tips for Writing a Romance

So let’s continue with our explorations of other genres. Today I want to talk about writing a romance. Now romances are a little different than the other genres we’ve explored because it’s not about big plot points. So let’s look at some tips for writing a romance.

  • Know your genre and learn the expectations that go along with romance. For instance, it’s not a romance unless it has a happy ending. Now is not the time for cynicism. It must end in a HEA or at the very least a HFN.
  • It must have well developed characters. Romance novels are more character driven than plot driven. So you need strong characters to move the story forward. And obviously the relationships between your characters must be developed as well. Make them believable and relatable.
  • Don’t make your characters perfect. No one can relate to a perfect character and truly invest themselves in your characters and story. Give your characters flaws to make them like real people.
  • Stay within the realm of the possible. You don’t want your story to seem outlandish or contrived. Make your plot and the obstacles to your love believable.
  • Avoid flowery prose to describe your characters—or anything else for that matter. Overly wrought descriptions are in poor taste. Descriptions should be natural and integral to the story. Don’t overdo it.
  • Write sex scenes with care. And write them according to your taste. Some authors like to start the action then let it fade to black, leaving the details to the reader’s imagination. Others like to describe it all. There’s no right or wrong. It comes down to what you feel comfortable writing. Don’t force a sex scene just because you feel you have to. And if you do decide to describe the action, don’t go over the top with your descriptions and comparisons. You don’t want to sound ridiculous. Stick to being accurate in naming body parts and describe the feelings involved in the scene. Focus on the feelings to add depth to the scene and make it memorable.
  • Avoid overdone tropes and clichés, like the love triangle. This is why it’s so critical to read in your genre to know what’s been done way too much. Be original. Original is good.
  • Have more relationships than just the love interest(s). We have lots of different relationships in our lives. Familial, friendships, professional, and on and on. Add depth to your story and to your characters by showcasing these other interactions.

Remember romances are not about plot points and what’s happening. We want interesting things to happen to keep our reader interested, but it’s more about the characters and how they interact with each other. Don’t be afraid to give romance writing a try. What are your best tips for writing romance? Share below and happy writing.

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