Thursday, March 19, 2020

How to Write a Romance Novel ðŸ ðŸ

How to Write a Romance Novel ðŸ’â€" 📕 How to Write a Romance Novel Romance novels have always captured our hearts - they contain the intrigue, intimacy, and basic human drama that all readers love. And while it was once a â€Å"shameful† genre read mostly in secret, romance today is having a huge moment, with mega-popular books like Outlander and Crazy Rich Asians even being adapted for film and TV. So why not get in on the zeitgeist and learn how to write a romance novel of your very own?Luckily, though love itself may be hard to explain, the process of writing about it isn’t. Here are our seven best tips for writing romance, including all the crucial elements you need. We’ll use examples from a variety of sources to show you how to employ them - though not all these examples are strictly romance themselves, their tropes and techniques are key to the genre. How to write romance that'll make your readers swoon  Ã°Å¸Ëœ  1. Find your nicheIf you've never even tried to write romance before, don’t worry - we’ll start you off easy. The first thing to know is that the genre, like Walt Whitman, is large and contains multitudes. There’s no one right way to write romance, as evidenced by the fact that it encompasses so many subgenres!Popular subgenres of romance include:HistoricalContemporaryYoung adultFantasyParanormal/supernaturalReligious or spiritualEroticSo if you’re concerned that your writing won’t â€Å"fit† with the genre, never fear: you just have to find the right niche. And the best way to do that is by reading romance yourself! Of course, you may have already read quite a bit within a particular subgenre and you’re confident that’s where you fit in. But if not, now’s the time to explore the many glorious facets that romance has to offer. 2. Set the stage effectivelySetting is absolutely paramount in romance. Why? Well, for a couple of reasons:Romance is all about escape - and if the setting isn’t immersive enough, readers won’t be able to lose themselves in the story.Many romance authors go on to write a series based on their first novel (more on that later). So the setting needs to be a place both reader and author will want to return to, book after book.What defines a strong setting in romance?Contemporary romances tend to have cozy, small-scale settings: quaint villages, college campuses, etc. There might be a local haunt where the main characters frequently meet (such as a diner or bookstore), and where gossiping friends and neighbors hang around to add a bit of comedy. If you’re sticking to the standard, you’ll want to have one of these â€Å"compact† settings where people can’t help but run into each other. 😉If you’re writing for a more specific subgenre , however, your setting could take on different qualities. For example, the historical romance Outlander takes place in a small settlement in the Scottish Highlands, but the constant tension and violence that occurs there doesn’t exactly make for a cutesy, cozy setting. Nevertheless, it works for the story because threats from the outside ultimately bring the main couple closer together. A strong main couple is key to compulsively readable romance. Image: Buena Vista Pictures4. Use tried-and-true tropesNow we’re getting into the meat and potatoes of the story. Again, there are so many possible paths for your main couple to take, it’d be impossible to describe them all! But here are just a few tried-and-true devices that many romance authors have used successfully. (If you’re hungry for more, you can always check out this post on classic romance tropes.)Friends/enemies to loversTwo of the most beloved romantic devices of all time. The main couple knows each other, but they just don’t see each other in that way - or they may not like each other at all.  Ã°Å¸Ëœ § Luckily, all that's about to change.Friends to lovers tends to work best when there’s another big conflict or project distracting one or both of the main characters, so they don’t get together until the very end. This is basically the plot of that Netflix movie Set I t Up: the two main characters are so focused on getting their bosses to fall in love, they don’t realize that they themselves would make a great couple.Enemies to lovers is the perfect device for two characters who clash in some fundamental way. For example, one might be very Type A and the other more Type B (see: 27 Dresses). Or one is a hardworking single parent while the other is a spoiled rich bachelor/bachelorette who’s never had to work a day in their lives (see: Overboard).And of course, there’s always enemies to friends to lovers - arguably the most effective and realistic iteration of this trope, as evidenced by Pride and Prejudice and When Harry Met Sally. The hero and heroine hate each other at first sight, gradually get to know one another and become friends, and ultimately fall deeply in love. It’s the perfect combination of fiery tension and genuine connection, and if you can pull it off, the payoff is incredibly satisfying.One helps the ot her one healAs we discussed, the hero in romance often has some deep psychological wound inflicted by his past. (The heroine can, too, but it’s more common among heroes.) It might just be a backstory detail, but it can also serve as a source of conflict for your couple: the damage impedes their relationship or his mental health, so the heroine has to help the hero heal.A prime example of this device occurs in Me Before You, in which the heroine, Louisa, literally becomes a carer for a quadriplegic man named Will. Will is bitter and depressed at first, but eventually he opens up to Lou and becomes much less negative - not to mention he helps her see own potential. We’re not going to give out any spoilers, but it’s safe to say that he’s much better off for having met her, and both agree that their time together was invaluable.Choosing each other all over againAh, the quintessential trope of Rachel McAdams movies. For those who haven’t seen The Noteb ook or The Vow, this device involves the hero and heroine either being separated for a very long time, or one of them outright forgetting who the other one is - due to amnesia, dementia, or some supernatural phenomenon. Then they have to choose each other all over again, hence proving that they’re well and truly soulmates. (For a more recent example, check out the season four Black Mirror episode â€Å"Hang the DJ.†)Also remember that, as much as readers love these devices, it’s still important to put your own spin on them. Infuse unique elements to add intrigue/suspense, or just for pure entertainment! For example, Ten Things I Hate About You is based on Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy The Taming of the Shrew - but it’s set in modern day with high schoolers, which makes it much more fresh and accessible. A new romance book template... that's made for you Read post One of the best tactics for writing intimate scenes is to simply study those that you think are written well. The author you emulate will depend on your subgenre and personal taste, but some mainstream authors who write good, nuanced love and sex scenes are Curtis Sittenfeld, Sally Rooney, and yes, Nicholas Sparks. The more you read and hone your own language for it, the better your love scenes will be. Trust us: your readers will thank you. Tips for writing love scenes 🔠¥ and more on how to write romance ⠝ ¤Ã¯ ¸  6. Don’t neglect secondary charactersWhile the main couple is obviously where most of your characterization focus should be, secondary characters are critical to a well-rounded romance. After all, when the heroine’s agonizing over her hot-and-cold text conversation with the hero, who’s she going to ask for advice? Why, her Tinder aficionado roommate, of course.Secondary characters fill out the world of your romance novel. Friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and even arch-enemies - say, someone who’s competing with one of your main characters for the other character’s interest - all contribute to making the story come to life.Best friends are typically the most important secondary characters in romance, since they’re the ones who dispense advice, give pep talks, and generally add color to the story. They’re often a little bit quirky, but that’s why the main characters love them†¦ and why readers do too!Still, ensure tha t most of the focus remains on your main couple, as we mentioned. Former Harlequin editor Ann Leslie Tuttle notes that secondary characters can sometimes become â€Å"too pervasive† in romance, which is a big no-no. â€Å"You don’t want to run the risk of making them more interesting than your own hero and heroine,† she says.Series potential?Having a solid secondary character presence is especially important if you want to turn your novel into a series. There are a few ways to create a series from a standalone romance, but one of the easiest (and most enticing to readers!) is to write the next novel about one (or two) of the secondary characters - especially best friends, siblings, or romantic competitors of the main characters. Emily Giffin does this seamlessly in her novels, Something Borrowed and Something Blue: two of the heroine’s best friends in the first book, who initially seem like opposites, end up getting together in the sequel.This strategy i s great because it ensures a smooth transition from book to book, since readers will already be familiar with the setting and cast of characters. Plus, it sets you up for a cycle that you could theoretically repeat ad infinitum: each new sequel simply centers around characters who were secondary in the previous book. Best of luck and have fun romancing your readers!  Ã°Å¸â€™ËœWhat's one of the best ways to hone your romance writing craft? Reading, of course! Here are some Reedsy Discovery lists of romance books to get you started (and possibly find your niche):40+ Paranormal Romance Books with Bite30+ Best Young Adult Romance Books That You Can't Miss Out OnThe 10 Best Historical Romance Novels Like Outlander

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