Romance Book Writing 101

With the month of love upon us, I thought I would focus my next two posts on one of my favorite genres to read: Romance.

Writing a romance book might seem like a walk in the park but it is actually a difficult process, just as writing any book can be. Three basic concepts to understand before jumping into writing your big novel are plot vs emotion, first person vs third person, and 2 people POV.

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Plot vs Emotion: Like any novel, when you plan your plot you increase the stakes until you reach the climax and then resolution. All romance books must end in a HEA (Happily Ever After) or point to a second novel. But as the action increases, in your romance, the emotional stakes need to increase between your main characters as well. Maybe, in the beginning, they share a kiss, then a date, and then have sex. After each connection, the physical and emotional connection between the characters needs to balance before they get thrown out of whack by the next stake.

First person vs Third Person: In romance, the traditional readers still enjoy the third person but there is a high number of books written in the first person. And they do well! This is because romance books focus a lot on the emotional connection which can be explored deeper when you are inside the head of the character. But this can be difficult as some authors fall on tangents and forget to move the plot forward. As you choose between the two styles, experiment with both and see which one works with your main characters and their story the best.

Two people POV: Often, romance books will switch which character they are following every other chapter. This allows the reader to get into both characters head and understand what is standing in the way between the couple coming together. The problem with this is an author can overshare and all of a sudden the reader doesn’t believe the problems holding the couple apart are believable. The traditional route of following one character is still in use in the genre (like the best selling Fifty Shades Grey).

After deciding which of these you will be using for your writing, you are almost set to go. The only thing left to decide is the heat level for your romance book. Check out my next post for an explanation of heat levels!

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