Fiction writing is huge fun, and it’s EASY if you’re writing romance. All you need is two people, attraction, messy stuff, a BIG BANG (pun intended)… and happily ever after. In some forms of erotic romance, you can have more than two people, but the basic formula remains the same. If you remember that, you can’t go far wrong.
As we said in our article on romance novella tips:
Focus on Genre: Create a Couple, a Situation, and Hot Love Scenes.
You’re writing romance fiction to make money. You’ll be streets ahead of other writers when you keep keywords and Amazon’s Search algorithms in mind. Focus on a hot-selling romance genre.
If you’re writing at novel length, you’ll have more characters (family, or sidekicks for your two story people, as well as other characters), and a sub-plot, but to repeat, the basic formula stays the same.
Why am I harping on the “formula”? One reason. If you keep the formula in mind, you can let your creativity rip. Forget the formula, and you’ll end up with a short story or novel, but it won’t be a romance. Readers who buy romance, actually want the romance. It’s all too easy to lose track of that; stories tend to morph as you write them.
Let’s look at three fiction writing tips you’ll find useful.
1. Your Focus Is on the Hero, and Heroine, So Keep Them Together
“Billionaire” romance is hugely popular. Let’s say you decide you can write billionaire romances, so you plot out a simple story. Girl meets billionaire, chaos ensures with internal obstacles (billionaire hates mouthy, take-charge women/ girl hates arrogant men) and external obstacles (whatever), billionaire marries girl.
Keep your focus on your two primary characters. In a romance, aim to get the hero and heroine together as soon as possible, and keep them together as much as possible.
So in your billionaire romance, your billionaire’s got some legal hassles and he’s in court; his love interest is his lawyer. She’s taken over as head of his legal team at the last minute. She doesn’t want to be there. Yada, yada… they have to be together because she needs to get up to speed on the case, so she spends a week with him on the tropical island he owns… you’ve got them together, and you’re keep them together, until the happy ending.
2. Create Internal as Well as External Conflicts for Your Story People.
You’ll have a lot of stuff which keeps your hero and heroine apart. In our billionaire romance example: he’s just been divorced; he thinks all women are gold-digging bitches like his ex. She’s never been married, and doesn’t do relationships.
If you’re writing at novel length, internal conflicts are essential. He’s too arrogant, which means he’s estranged from his family. Your heroine helps him to see that: he becomes a better person because he loves her.
Ditto for the heroine. She keeps people at arm’s length because her parents died when she was young. Her grandmother took her in, she loved her, but her grandmother died too. Subconsciously, your heroine thinks that people mean pain, so she focuses on her work. She becomes a better person when she falls in love: she opens herself to other people, and joy.
3. Read, and Check Out Publishers’ Guidelines.
Read. If you’re writing romances, you need to read romance. Your reading will tell you what sells. Check who published a book you’re reading.
Romance publishers like Harlequin have strict guidelines for their various lines. You can check Harlequin’s guidelines here. Since you’ll be self-publishing, you don’t need to follow any guidelines. You can write what you like.
That said, if you want to target a particular kind of reader, looking at publishers’ guidelines can help. For example, I enjoy reading Harlequin’s MIRA line; it’s rather more mainstream than most romances. MIRA’s guidelines don’t tell you much, other than word count; they want authors to submit via an agent.
If you wanted to write a MIRA-worthy romance – because they sell – you would read MIRA books with care. When you started your novel, you’d make sure that you included the elements that MIRA’s readers seem to enjoy. You’d also read the readers’ reviews of MIRA books to see what readers especially liked.
So there you have it; three fiction writing tips to help you to write romances. If you love to read romances, you’ll enjoy writing them.
We cover everything you need to know to write bestselling romances in our new online writing class, Hotter, Hottest: Write Bestselling Kindle Romances.
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