Writing a Romance Novel
4 Products to Help You Write a Romance Novel
Do you want to write the next bestselling romance novel? Every aspiring romance writer needs to start with a solid understanding of the basics, such as what a romance novel is, how to write love scenes, and much more. The following products can help you complete your first draft, revise your completed manuscript, or just learn a bit more about this loving genre. If you don't find what you're looking for, browse our books and webinars for romance fiction writers!
On Writing Romance
If you are a first-time romance writer or new to the genre of romance writing, you'll need On Writing Romance by Leigh Michaels to help you start and finish your love story. In this 264-page book, available in hardcover, paperback, or eBook versions, you'll learn everything there is to know about writing romance novels—regardless of your level of romance writing experience. In fact, On Writing Romance is the perfect resource for you if:
- You are getting ready write & are looking for tips on selecting and researching your story or studying the romance novel
- You want to establish your story's framework including its essential elements, hero/heroine, conflict, relationships & resolutions
- You are writing your romance novel. You'll find chapters on starting your story; creating sexual tension and love scenes; using point of view; writing dialogue and introspection; building a believable plot; and tying everything together
- You are ready to submit your romance novel to an agent or editor. You'll find chapters on revising your manuscript and marketing your novel
- You're looking for a sample query letter, cover letter, synopsis, cover page, or list of romance publishers
Learn what sets a romance novel apart from a fiction novel with romantic elements, how to create the perfect romantic couple and maintain the sexual tension between them. Plus, when you read On Writing Romance, you'll read detailed descriptions of more than 20 subcategories within the romance genre and get essential information on how and when to submit your novel to an agent or editor.
Worried About Writing Love Scenes? Read This Excerpt From The Book:
"It’s important to understand that a love scene isn’t the same as a sex scene; a love scene in the romance novel can be any physical expression of affection between the main characters. A kiss, a hug, a touch between hero and heroine are all love scenes on a smaller scale. Even a look can sizzle with sensuality, and a foot massage—if well written—can be as arousing for the readers as a sex act.
Relatively speaking, sex is a very small part of love, and romance novels—even those toward the erotic end of the spectrum—are love stories, not sex stories.
While it’s hard to picture two people falling in love without displaying any physical affection at all, a romance novel might include nothing more than a touch of the hand here and there, and a single chaste kiss on the last page. Or it may include mind-bending and intimately described oral, vaginal, and even anal sex in every chapter.
Physical attraction between the characters is important, of course, but when their attraction is deeply emotional as well, the love scene will be far more involving for the readers.
To be effective, love scenes have to fit into the course of the story and heighten the tension and conflict. Even if the actual love scene is a calm interlude in the conflict between the two main characters, the act of loving should lead to increased difficulties later. Every love scene should have a purpose in the development of the overall story, not just be there to titillate the readers. If the love scene can be removed without destroying the story, it shouldn’t be there in the first place.
Two people who have slept together are going to behave differently afterward. They will not hop out of bed the next morning acting as if nothing happened the night before. Their actions have changed them and the situation—and, inevitably, the rest of the story. Once your lovers have kissed, touched, or made love, they may try to pretend it never happened—but they, and the readers, can’t forget.
In many beginning writers’ stories, love scenes are like frosting on a cake. Frosting is applied to the surface, and it adds nicely to the taste. But essentially it changes nothing—the cake is still the same underneath. A good love scene is more like applying heat to the cake batter—once it has started to bake, the cake gets a lot tastier, and there’s no way to reverse the process."
Remember, writing a romance novel doesn't have to be complicated—it can be fun! Follow the advice and tips found in On Writing Romance to complete your first draft or revise your manuscript. Buy your own copy today!
The Everything Guide to Writing Your First Novel
If you are looking for a book with valuable advice for writing any type of genre novel, The Everything Guide to Writing Your First Novel is for you. Not only does it contain specific information about romance writing, but it also explains the subgenres of fiction novels, helps you develop your cast of characters, plot, and setting, and guides you through writing your first draft and revising your novel.
Before you start writing your love story, it's necessary to know what a romance novel is and what your readers will expect from a romance novel. Page six explains what a romance novel is, saying, "Romance novels are about a romantic relationship (usually) between two people, and about overcoming the obstacles that keep them apart. These days there are plenty of the familiar heterosexual romance novels as well as gay and lesbian romance novels."
Read an Excerpt From This Book:
There are two general types of romance novels: category romance and single titles.Single-title romance novels tend to be longer and have fewer constraints. Category-romance novels are shorter; they follow specific publisher’s guidelines about aspects like historical backdrop and the level of sensuality.
For many years, so-called “Regency romance” (set in nineteenth-century England) by authors like Georgette Heyer and Barbara Cartland were wildly popular; more recently paranormal romance has surged to the forefront led by the surprising success of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series that became breakout adult bestsellers.
Romance readers expect:
- A love story
- A central obstacle or conflict that keeps the lovers apart and must be overcome
- Erotic scenes and often hot and steamy sex
- Main characters who grow and change over the course of the novel
- An emotionally satisfying and upbeat ending
Writing a romance novel is demanding, and exotic settings and historical time frames require a sense of authenticity. A romance novel that is insufficiently researched will disappoint readers. Another typical shortcoming in a romance novel is the clichéd character—the evil mother, the shrinking violet, the profligate rake, and the other stock characters of romance novels that have been written a million times. The challenge for the writer is to come up with new twists on old clichés. Clichéd plot twists can also weaken the novel. Estrangement driven by a misunderstanding, for example, has been used and overused. Sex is an important ingredient in romance fiction, sex scenes written with purple prose and flowery euphemisms will generate more laughter than heat."
Gain valuable advice on novel writing with The Everything Guide to Writing Your First Novel. It is truly a comprehensive guide that you'll refer to again and again. Buy your own copy today!
How to Make Your Romance Hot Enough for an Agent: An OnDemand Webinar
In this 90-minute online tutorial video, Sara Megibow, a literary agent at Nelson Literary Agency, shares what agents are looking for in a romance novel from aspiring authors. Among the many topics she discusses in How to Make Your Romance Hot Enough for an Agent are: how agents evaluate submissions; writing tips for romance writers; understanding the romance writing market; and platform-building. In general the way the submission process works is that you submit the requested materials, which include a query letter. Then you wait until you receive a response from an agent or editor. Oftentimes if an agent or editor is interested in knowing more about your work, they will request sample pages, followed by the full manuscript. If your manuscript impresses him/her, they could offer you representation. Then you'll sign a contract and hopefully sell your novel to a publisher!
Not every writer will land a publishing contract. In fact, every day aspiring writers experience some form of rejection. Have you ever received a rejection letter that left you wondering what exactly was wrong with your submission? Perhaps knowing how most agents evaluate submissions would be helpful. Megibow explains that superior writing; a unique concept; platform; and professional attitude are the four criterion that agents evaluate submissions on. Keep these in mind when you are ready to submit your next manuscript to an agent.
If you are polishing your submission package, you'll want to make sure your manuscript stands out from the slush pile. How do you do that? Here are Megibow's tips for making your manuscript stand out:
- Superior Writing
- Completed manuscript
- Strong mechanics
- Authentic characterization
- Engaging plot
- Interesting world
- Unique narrative voice
- A brilliant pitch. Remember, a pitch is a one or two sentence description of your book that engages readers immediately. It can sound like the back of the book.
- Strong hook
Watch a Preview of This OnDemand Webinar Here:
A Sneak Peek From This OnDemand Webinar: Common Mistakes Beginning Writers Make When Querying an Agent
If you have queried an agent or editor before, chances are you have experienced rejection. Wondering why editors passed on your submission? According to Megibow, here are the possible reasons why an agent passed on your submission and what you can do to avoid making these mistakes:
- Data-dump. Don't share too much information about your characters, setting, theme, plot, etc. Keep it concise and only include necessary details.
- Awkward world-building. Don't include too many details.
- Poorly developed plot. Make sure the reader knows who the characters are, what their relationship is, the stakes, and what they are to overcome.
- Weak opening pages. You must nail the opening pages. Those are the ones the sales reps, book buyers, and editors see. If they aren't engaged right away, it's a pass.
- Awkward use of backstory. Make sure the backstory make sense and doesn't seem forced.
- Including too much dialogue.
- Easily-resolved conflict. If your characters can solve the problem over a glass of wine, it's too simple.
- Inconsistent POV. If the swapping of narrative voices is uneven or awkward, the mechanics of writing isn't strong enough.
- Unrealistic character motivation. Make sure your characters interact authentically because it has to be believable.
- Weird sexual tension. It should be steam and hot between the hero and heroine. If it's awkward or weird it won't work.
- Bad sex. Readers expect sex scenes and will want to know what it was like. It's important to achieve a balance of details without oversharing.
If you have enjoyed watching the preview video or reading tips from this online webinar, be sure to download the entire 90-minute presentation and learn the specific elements of a romance novel agents look for in submissions; common red flags to avoid in your romance novel; and how to make an accurate list of legitimate agents who rep romance novels and how to approach them successfully. Buy How to Make Your Romance Novel Hot Enough For an Agent today!
Writing a Romance Movie Script? Choose Final Draft Screenwriting Software!
Are you new to screenwriting or looking for help with writing your next script? Choose Final Draft 8 screenwriting software! Many screenwriters within the film industry use this bestselling software to help them write movie scripts, television episodes and stage plays. It's also endorsed and used by award-winning writers such as Oliver Stone, Tom Hanks, and James Cameron. Final Draft also provides you with the right tools and features you need to start and complete your current script.
Specifically designed for writing movie scripts, television episodes and stage plays, Final Draft combines powerful word processing with professional script formatting in one self-contained package. There’s no need to learn about script formatting rules; this innovative program automatically paginates and formats your script to Industry standard as you write.
If you are considering writing a script for a romance movie, Final Draft 8 can help. When you use this screenwriting software, you'll be able to manage and view the details of your scene, format the pages of your script, and jumpstart your writing using a built-in template for a television show, screenplay, stage play or graphic novel.
Some of the Best Final Draft 8 Features:
Final Draft screenwriting software contains many features, including scene views, outlining, text highlighting, file formatting, built-in spell check and thesaurus, text to speech, a format assistant, pre-formatted cover pages, and customizable reporting. Some of the most popular features screenwriters love about Final Draft 8 are:
- Automatic Formatting and Pagination. Save time and use this feature while you write your script. It automatically will format and paginate your work to industry standards and will ensure your final script looks professional.
- Built-in Templates. This software program comes pre-loaded with hundreds of templates for any type of writing project! Some examples include templates for graphic novels, query letters, TV scripts, plays, musicals, and movies. Plus, if you can't find the type of template you need, you can always download additional ones through Final Draft.
- The Panels System. When you use this feature, you can split your screen into separate panels. This allows you to view a selected scene and your notes written on virtual index cards at the same time. This is great to use when you are starting the revision process because you’ll be able to put two different parts of your script side-by-side, and quickly make the necessary edits.
- ScriptNotes. When you have new ideas and suggestions, you can use Final Draft‘s ScriptNotes feature. ScriptNotes store your notes and any deleted fragments for you without taking up space on your screen.
- Compatible with other software. Not only is it compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X, but it also works well with other writing software you may have.
Watch a Demo Video:
Do you want to know what else Final Draft 8 can do? Watch this demo video and find out!