The list of romantic novels that inspired generations and caught the imagination of many young adults and teenagers is endless. Romantic novels let readers escape their humdrum lives and live vicariously through the characters.
Not everyone can relate to being a super-secret spy on a mission, but everyone can fantasize about meeting their soulmate on vacation to a romantic destination. Writing a romance novel can be just as exhilarating as reading one.
You may know how to write a novel, but there are specific additional points to consider while writing romantic novels. Here are a few that you should keep in mind.
8 Tips to Write a Good Romance Novel
Table of Contents
1. Pick Your Niche
Did you think all romances are the same? Think again! Romance is a genre that encompasses several other subgenres. The subgenres are contemporary, young adult, historical, fantasy, paranormal, erotic, and spiritual.
Understand the differences between these and figure out which one of these your romance novel will belong to. You can even pick out a few books from each of these subgenres to get a better understanding of what to expect.
Reading a variety of romance novels from various niches can help you figure out which one resonates the most with you. If you do not have strong feelings for a subgenre, then you may not be able to write a compelling novel in that.
2. Create Strong Main Characters
Romance novels are all about feelings. You have to make the readers fall in love with the main characters. They have to root for the protagonists to get together.
For this to happen, these characters should seem real. They should have real-world problems that the readers can relate to. All the main characters should have a strong back story.
Why are they the way they are? What attracts them to each other? Two people will not just fall in love without having intense emotions for each other. You have to make your readers feel these intense emotions.
Take the readers on a journey where they get to know the characters as the characters get to know each other.
3. Use Tried and Tested Formulas With Your Own Spin
There is a reason most romance novels follow a similar pattern. It works. There are tried and tested romance formula that works because that’s what the readers want.
Friends who discover that they love each other or enemies who turn friends and then lovers or couples who help heal trauma in each other’s past are just a few examples. Your genius lies in taking these tried and tested formula and adding your own spin to them.
You can take inspiration from real life to add tension to the story. Think of different hurdles that the couples have to overcome to be with each other.
You can even think of alternate endings. The couple doesn’t always have to end up together. Tragic endings often leave a more significant mark on the readers than happy endings.
4. Do Not Glamourise Abuse
Do not, under any circumstance, glamourize or romanticize abuse. Nothing in the character’s past can justify them abusing the other person in any way.
Emotional abuse is also abuse, and for far too long, romance novels have been portraying emotional abuse as a sign of true love. Many people who read these books often start to believe that the romance in the books is the ideal version of a romantic relationship.
They get so caught up in it that they will eventually justify abuse when it happens to them in real-life, especially if they do not have healthy relationships to look up to in their life.
Think about how you would feel if someone treated you the way the character is treating their partner. If it makes you uncomfortable, then don’t make the character do it. It would also be a good idea to read up on consent and toxic relationships to know what they are and to avoid them in your book.
5. Avoid Instant Romances
Their eyes locked across the crowded dance floor. It was love at first sight.
This is the formula for an instant romance. However much you wish this could be true; this is not how a healthy relationship starts. No one knows in a single sight that they met their soul mate. Relationships take time, and your characters need this time to develop intense feelings for each other.
Your readers may love the idea of instant romance when it starts, but soon they will start questioning the logic behind it.
6. Show Vulnerabilities
You only truly get to know another person when they are vulnerable. Your characters need to become vulnerable in front of each other to form a deep connection.
You have to create a conflict or a situation where the characters need to open up to each other and share their secrets. These moments of vulnerability help the characters develop a stronger bond. Their relationship becomes stronger and makes the reader want them to have a happy ending.
Another advantage of showing your character’s vulnerabilities is that it makes them more relatable for the readers. A character without any flaws or fears is hard for the reader to digest.
7. Master the Art of Writing Intimate Scenes
Intimacy is a natural part of every romantic relationship. Romance novels tend to either altogether bypass intimate scenes or show too much of it.
These intimate moments must happen naturally and shouldn’t seem forced. They should also be written realistically.
Another major pitfall to avoid while writing intimate scenes is the use of euphemisms. Fancy euphemisms come off as cliched.
8. Pay Attention to Secondary Characters
Your protagonists don’t exist in a vacuum. Their friends, family, and colleagues are also a part of the novel. You must offer them enough attention. They should also seem like well-etched out characters that have a life of their own.
The bond that your protagonists have with these characters is also essential. Friends and family are a significant part of everyone’s life. Why should your protagonists be any different?
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Writing a romance novel requires a particular skill as you are always threading the line between being cliched and being stoic. Understanding how to write a book and writing a romantic book is different at many levels.
Keep the tips mentioned above in mind, and you will enthrall your readers with a romance that stays in their minds long after they have put the book down.