First-time romance writers, hold your seat as we are about to share the top ingredients of an epic romance novel. Romantic novel fiction writing may seem easy on the surface. Those stolen glances, lingering touches, passion igniting dialogues, and yearning for each other – in reality, a romance novel is one of the hardest book publishing genres.
People read romantic fiction to release emotions and escape to a make-believe life where there’s empathy, value, happy endings, and full mind and body experience.
So, if you are self-publishing a book or participating in a writing contest, learn how to write a romantic novel to please your readers.
How to Ace the Game of Romantic Novel Writing – Tips and Ideas
With these easy tips, learn how to write a book with romance sprinkled in every chapter and ace the game of romantic novel fiction publishing.
Make Your Main Characters Strong and Compelling
Everyone loves heroes sweeping their lady-love’s feet off the floor. But things have changed, and readers actually look forward to heroines making the first move and sweeping their men off the floor.
In short, romance novel fiction requires compelling and strong characters and dynamic chemistry between the protagonists. Make the backstories that impact their viewpoints and decisions outstanding.
For instance, if the hero’s back story includes a history of a failed marriage or death, it ensures the storyline is imbued with a lot of suspense or tension when he has a romantic encounter.
Creating a Driving Force
This is called the driving force of the character, which is split into two – external and internal. External is there in plain sight, established early in the book. Example: The hero doesn’t want to get into a relationship, or he doesn’t want kids even after marriage.
Internal driving force takes longer to establish and is developed as the story develops. For example, what makes the hero hate relationships now? Or why doesn’t he want kids of his own?
What is the real reason? Betrayal by an ex? Drunk father? The internal back story will be revealed to your readers at some point in the book.
However, you must remember this from the beginning to ensure the character’s actions, reactions, and decisions are consistent.
If you are interested in learning how to write a speculative fiction book, read this post.
Focus on the Secondary Characters Too
In romance novels, the characters and dialogue exchanges with each other fuel the story. However, nowadays, the sidekicks, as in the friends and family, also play intriguing roles in making the love story dynamic.
The potential love interest, crazy best friend of the female lead, funny sister, enticing villain, father of the male lead, and of course, their advice and actions add juice to the story.
Don’t neglect these supporting characters because you can always create a series of novels based on their lives.
Choose the Most Suitable Subgenre
Books contain numerous subgenres, and as an aspiring romance novelist, you must know where you belong. A book’s subgenre helps writers find their readers’ community.
As a book publishing company, we often receive answers from writers like, “Yes, mine is a love triangle full of thrill and supernatural elements.”
So, what is it exactly? Supernatural? Thriller? Or College Romance?
While there are a great many pieces of advice, practices, book publishing and marketing tips, writing guidelines, and perspectives in self-publishing romance novels, one loophole that new authors often ignore is not tagging their work with the right genre.
The subgenre will allow you to set your romance story within a particular group.
For instance, select supernatural romance if the book is about ghosts, vampires, and otherworld creatures. If you are inclined towards kings, dukes, and viscounts, your novel might be a historical romance.
You can also read our detailed post on how to find your genre here.
Create an Ideal Setting for the Romance to Brew
The setting is practically the most important thing in romance novel fiction writing. It informs about the characters’ background, habits, culture, and atmosphere.
For example, a modern-day New York teenage romance will feel much different from a 15th-century love story set in Scotland.
You must enhance your reader’s imagination by vividly describing the setting and backdrop of each scene, including the location, outfit, food, hair & make-up, people’s habits, architecture, buildings, roads, and shops.
Make sure you are specific and correct. If you are writing a period drama, initial research will help you perfect the scene.
Write for the Women Readers
In book publishing, it is important that you narrow down your target audience. Women take up the majority of the audience for romantic novels. So, it is important that you write for them and please them without alienating a fraction that constitutes your male readers.
Choosing Your Target Audience
You cannot expect that a 40-year-old reader will be interested in a story about a college girl who falls for a nerd.
Write characters your target audience can connect with.
While finding the right readers is an important element in romantic novel fiction writing, it is also possible for older women to enjoy teenage novels and vice-versa. For instance, Julia Quinn’s Bridgeton series is loved by several age groups.
Writing Tips When Women are in Focus
There are a few details you must keep in mind when creating your female characters, such as her age, personality, physical features, hobbies, occupation, and location.
The home is still an important element to women readers. So make sure the home setting is properly described, like how it is kept, decorated, and organized.
Women love emotions and don’t shy away from showing all of them. So, don’t be afraid to write deep and strong emotional scenes and dialogues for your female characters.
Use kids in your story; they can add layers to your romance novel.
Make the female lead a feminist or equalist; they should be head-to-head with the male lead.
Quick Read: Learn How to Self-Publish a Romance Novel
Make Your Character Believable
Once you have selected your characters, make them believable and realistic. Give your characters struggles, happiness, obstacles, and sadness.
A perfect person doesn’t exist; even superheroes are imperfect. If your character has all happy experiences with perfect scenarios, your readers won’t feel connected to them. So, make them imperfectly perfect.
Don’t create a perfect relationship because there’s none in real life. And that’s why troubled childhood, temporary separation, and misunderstandings are basic ingredients of romantic fiction.
Christian Grey was a hit because he had a complex personality. Everyone loves Durjoy Dutta’s novels because his characters are almost as real as you are.
However, if your main character is too flat, your readers won’t love them. Your characters need to be multi-dimensional to create the right balance.
Include a Solid Romance Trope
Romance tropes keep readers engaged and add thrill to the plot. They have existed for many, many decades now, right from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet time, and are here for a reason.
Romance tropes are typically plot twists, a means to an end, character development points, and tension brewers in a love story. They may be objects, situations, or people. They help writers to advance the story as they have imagined.
Some common tropes include two brothers falling in love with the same girl, enemies becoming lovers, one or both lovers pretending to be someone else leading to a lot of lies, or family, career, or health forbidding the hero-heroine to marry.
However, don’t rehash the same tropes in every novel you write. You will likely disinterest the readers.
You must ideally consider the common tropes and alter them to your imagination.
Add Intimate Scenes to Improve the Romance
You don’t have to be EL James, but you definitely need to find the right balance when writing scenes that involve physical intimacy. It should not be too overt or too tame.
For a successful romance, erotica or graphic sex isn’t a requirement.
For instance, sex scenes shouldn’t exist for the sake of it. They should be placed to improve the plot or show character development. Make sure the scenes are vulnerable, as is the case in real life.
It is important that you vividly explain the characters’ play of emotions during these scenes. This will help readers understand characters and their true intention much better, even if it’s not explicitly mentioned elsewhere.
Ensure the intimate scenes match the subgenre and setting of the story. For example, graphic sex is inappropriate for a teenage romance but is a necessity if your readers are adult women.
Intimate scenes also define your writing style – they help differentiate you from being an erotica novelist and a romance writer.
Self-Publish Your Romantic Novel with Confidence
Whether you want to learn how to write a book in the romance genre from scratch or ace the game of romantic novel fiction writing, this blog will boost your caliber.
Hope you have familiarized yourself with these things. Now, if you are looking for book publishing options, we have some interesting offers. Check them out here.