How to Write a Romance Novel Like a Professional Writer
We grow up as teenagers heady on romance novels and their inexplicable charm.
Whether it was Nicholas Sparks’s bittersweet stories or Danielle Steele’s fairy-tale romances, our teenage years were made more charming by stories of love.
Romance permeates every aspect of the literature that we grow up with – from fairy tales to “serious” novels.
However, writing a romance novel is no easy task.
There are several sub-genres and exciting routes that are available under the broader umbrella of romance as a genre, and as a writer, you need to find what works the best for you.
Writing a romance novel is not a piece of cake.
It takes hard work, patience, and a creative bend of mind that would help you innovate and write a novel that can be a bestseller.
There is no set formula on how to write a book, but there are some essential tips that can help you in the journey of becoming a romance novelist per excellence.
Given below are a few of them:
Create Strong Protagonists
Your characters carry your story.
A romance novel is primarily driven by the two people who fall in love.
So, when you start writing your book, the first thing that you got to do is create character sketches for your leads.
Outline their quirks, find their unique characteristics, indulge in finding their background stories – all of these come together to make your characters well-rounded, and saves them from existing only in correlation with each other.
Establish A Setting
Once you get your character sketches in place, the next important thing is to determine where your story is set.
Are they set in a small European town where everyone knows everyone? Or are they set in a faraway city in the Middle East?
The location of your novel makes a considerable difference in terms of how your characters act.
Consider the setting as your third character and develop it just as you would sketch out your protagonists.
Develop Your Minor Characters
Your novel is not confined only to the two leads.
As much as people in love like to believe that they exist in their bubble, there will always be other characters whose actions and presence shape the story.
So, as the author, you need to give these minor characters some personality and agency in the plot as well.
Whether it’s the best friend or the father or just a professor at their college, they need to have a well-formed character sketch as well.
If you keep introducing random characters through the novel, your reader can lose track and might make you lose your flow as a writer, leading to a confusing read overall.
Best Romance Novels of All-time
Find Your Plot Device
A plot device is the event, thing, or person that helps the story progress in a particular direction.
It could be something as simple as your protagonist’s lost cardigan or the event of them moving to a new country.
While there are conventional plot devices or tropes that you can take the aid of to progress your story, what will be super exciting is if you find a way to create a brand new plot device that genuinely changes the direction of your novel.
Determine Your Target Reader’s Profile
Just cause its romance the story does not need to be generic.
Sure, you can write something basic and predictable, but that will not propel you towards a place on the NY Times Bestseller’s List.
For you to write the ultimate bestseller, you need to know who you are writing for.
Are you writing for teenagers, young adults, or adults?
Are you writing for a particular market? Are you trying to tell a love story that people will identify with irrespective of their gender identity?
Once you know your target audience, your work becomes infinitely more comfortable to navigate.
The way you would write a teenage romance will be infinitely different if you were writing for people in their 30s and 40s.
Bring In Your Book’s Intrigue Point
What sets your novel apart?
This is the question that should keep you up at night.
We have seen too many stories about boy meets girl, falls in love, family objects, fights, and then finally a resolution.
No one wants to read old stories any longer, even if it makes you feel good.
So, think about something that makes your story stand out.
It could range from a broad range of topics such as questioning the societal norms and showing how even a personal story can highlight bigger issues that affect all of society.
Do proper research and find that factor that will make your work stand out from the rest. You can even learn about the political scenario of where your story is set and weave that into the love story.
Read Your Favorite Author’s Works
The best way to get the creativity flowing is to get some much-needed inspiration.
Go back to your trusted romance novels from your teenage years or pick up one of the more recent ones for you to get some encouragement.
It is advisable that you read romance novels that go beyond the usual tropes and ventures into more advanced characterization.
Have An End In Sight
When you start writing your novel, you also need to know how you wish to end the book.
Without knowing how to finish up your book, you might find it extremely difficult to get done with your first draft.
Having even a vague idea about how you want to end the novel is a great help.
That, along with the plot device, can shape an exciting narrative.
However, your end can always change and evolve as you write the story!
Don’t Be Hard On Yourself
Writing is a tough job. It takes years for people to finish a novel.
So, do not be discouraged if you are unable to meet your targets or if you get stuck on the way.
There are many book writing template, and combined with that these tips are surely going to go a long way into setting you up on the track!