Want to write a romance novel? The first thing to do is to read other successful romance novels. That’s the best way to get a general idea of what kinds of things work and what doesn’t in this genre of fiction.
If you’ve already spent enough time consuming romances, though, and want to really get down to putting together your own manuscript, here are a few things to keep in mind while you write:
- Write in the third person. The most successful romance books always come written in the third person. You’ll be served well doing the same.
- Keep minor characters to a minimum. People read romances for the relationship between the hero and the heroine. Extra characters are a distraction, so use them only when needed.
- Have an appropriate level of sensuality. Romance isn’t complete without some amount of sensuality. Be careful not to cross over the line and end up with erotica, though. Check popular romance novels and match the level they use.
- Avoid introducing wacky elements. The audience for romance novels isn’t usually the same as the readership of vampire romance fiction. While there may be some crossover, it’s best to stick to tried and true elements, especially if you’re a first-timer looking for your break. Leave all the weirdness to other writers — you don’t need them.
- Keep background to a minimum. Background exposition slows down stories. Romance novels work better moving forward, so only offer enough to keep your readers informed about what’s going on.