The Unconventional Guide to Writing a Good Romance Novel

create

 

What does it take to go about writing a good romance novel? Well first, let me throw out the disclaimer I am no way, shape, or form an expert in writing, but it’s a part of my daily life, and besides I know more now than when I wrote my first novel five years ago. And to be honest, I still pick up valuable tips when I stumble upon them.

Even as a novice writer back then, the one thing I knew for sure when I became an independent author was my genre would be romance. I love reading it. Readers get deep down, invested in a romance novel, one of many reasons the genre is so popular. They love the concept of two attractive people meeting and falling in love, are ready to go through boxes of Kleenex when the male and female go through their conflicts and struggles, and can finally breathe again at the end of the story when the love-birds work everything out to live their happily ever after.

So how do you begin a good romance novel? Well, think about story ideas you can write about for your novel, if possible, something that would spark a reader’s interest. After you figure it out, the next move is to work out your storyline. Try thinking about it in different phrases (e.g. beginning, middle, end) and mapping events out. It helps a lot.

The information below are a few ideas to steer you in the right directions.

blur brainstorming business close up

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I need inspiration for my storyline. How do I get it?
You can base a storyline off real-life experiences or something you made up. This is where you get creative and let your imagination soar. Still, if you find yourself at a loss, think about things that have triggered your interest, and why it did, such as books, magazines, tv shows, and movies just to name a few.

What is the age group of your audience?
Determine if adults or tweens will read your romance novel. It doesn’t matter which one you pick, just remember your novel should be age-appropriate for the reader.

Point of View.
When you’re creating your story you should consider what point of view you are writing. I prefer writing in third-person point of view, but choose what’s comfortable for you.

Think about the main character.
The main character tells the story so you want this person to be interesting so he/she engages with the reader (e.g. Joe of Caroline Kepnes’ book/Lifetime Movie YOU).

What type of romance should I write?
By this I mean there are subgenres of romance (e.g. historical, contemporary, time travel, etc.) For example, the subgenres of my stories are interracial romance, which is the partnering between different races; paranormal, these deal with vampires, werewolves, and other undead; and/or urban fantasy, which is good vs. evil. Though writing in different genres may not be the norm, my belief is you should write however you want and do what works for you.

These suggestions are starters to head you in the right direction. I hope you found it useful.

 

 

Using Points of View (POV) in Your Writing

POINTS OF VIEW

When I first began writing, I wasn’t aware that stories were written in points of view. So, what is a point of view? Simply put, it’s a way that writers allow readers to see and hear what’s going on. Point of view in books will contain detail, opinion, or emotion the author wants to accentuate; therefore, a point of view catches the attention of the reader.

The Three Major Kinds of POV

First-person point of view involves the use of either of the two pronouns “I” and “we”. The advantage of this point of view is that you get to hear the thoughts of the narrator, and see the world depicted in the story through his or her eyes. A good novel selection would be Twilight by Stephanie Meyers. The main female character Bella Swan is the narrator; we see things from her point of view.

  • (Example) “I loved Phoenix. I loved the sun and the blistering heat. I loved the vigorous, sprawling city.”

Second-person point of view, the narrator tells the story to another character using “you” and “your”. This is the least used POV. You will see this used more in literature such as a cook book. Although a perfect selection of a novel used this way would be Jay McInerney’s, Bright Lights, Big City.

  • (Example) “You are not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning. But here you are, and you cannot say that the terrain is entirely unfamiliar, although the details are fuzzy.”

Third-person point of view is the most popular of the three and uses pronouns like “he”, “she”, “it”, “they” or a name. The narrator isn’t present as a character. The writer may choose third-person omniscient in which the thoughts of every character are open to the reader, or third-person limited, in which the reader enters only one character’s mind, either throughout the entire work or in a specific section. A good third person POV book is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

Examples:

  • When Jane and Elizabeth were alone, the former, who had been cautious in her praise of Mr. Bingley before, expressed to her sister how very much she admired him.
  • “He is just what a young man ought to be,” said she, “sensible, good humoured, lively; and I never saw such happy manners!”

My preference is third person point of view because it’s what I feel the most comfortable with, and it allows me complete freedom in telling my story. I would like to hear from you. Tell me, what point of view you use in your writing?

 

R. Lynn