5 Tips for Romance Writers

Writing Advice

Romance novels have a wide audience. They take many forms from the clean/cozy romances to erotica. My books lean toward steamy romance. They have lots of steam, but with heavy story. Here are 5 tips that I consider when I write my romance novels.

  1. Decide on a trope and put your own spin on it.

There are many romance tropes out there from enemies to lovers, friends to lovers, forbidden love, slow burn. Whichever you choose, read other books where this trope was used and put your own spin on it. Don’t rely on telling the story the same way. Be creative and inventive. Your readers will keep coming back if you can present tropes in a new light with an inventive twist.

2. Build up to love

If your characters instantly fall in love and start to have sex within a few chapters of a book, you could lose your readers. Especially if you aren’t writing in the erotica genre. There are different rules for erotica novels. In Romance novels, readers want to get to know the characters and let the characters get to know each other. Jumping into bed will make it look cheap and turn off readers. Same with characters declaring their love too soon. I like to say that I make my characters earn declarations of love and sex. Just like in real life, you have to build the foundations of a relationship, make sure your characters have enough time to connect and share their hopes, dreams and baggage before jumping in bed. It will build sexual tension and keep your audience reading.

3. Limit the sex

Your characters have grown to care for each other and you are ready for your first sex scene. How many should you have? Readers like sex scenes, right? Well, unless you are an erotica author, readers like sex scenes in moderation. Don’t throw in more sex scenes unless it serves the plot and moves the story forward. Romance readers want story, not endless sex. My books typically have 2-3 sex scenes. Any more is sex for sex’s sake. I’m not into gratuitous sex. It has to have meaning and be deserved in real life and in books.

4. Slow Burn

Build the sexual tension from the moment your characters meet until they finally have their first sexual encounter. This can be done simply with a look, a fleeting touch, flirting, and inner thoughts. Keep your reader guessing: Will they, won’t they?

5. Happily Ever After

Perhaps the most important part of a good romance is the happily ever after. At some point you want your characters to declare their undying love and end up happily ever after. If not, your reader will feel cheated.

I hope these tips will help! More to come on writing Romance novels next week.

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