Everyone enjoys a great love story — and writing romance novels can be just as much fun as reading them! With this type of fiction, authors create an uplifting story that ends happily for the characters that readers have grown to love. Here’s how to put together a fun read that shows the chemistry of the two characters and leads them toward their eventual happiness.
1. Know That Characters Come First
A good romance novel is all about the two main characters. Their relationship is what the novel is built on, so both characters should be complex and likable. As with many other types of fiction, it helps to create a character sketch of your two main characters so that you get to know them before you put them into their romantic situation. You can do this by simply jotting down some traits they have and their basic histories before you begin the novel. This may help you see the reasons the two of them will fall for each other and fight against obstacles to be together.
2. Pay Special Attention to Your Dialogue
The dialogue of a romance novel often tells the true story of how the relationship is progressing. The dialogue is extremely important for showing how the couple relates to each other and how they fall in love. Writing romance novels requires writing dialogue that is full of emotion, which helps readers feel like they are a part of the conversation. Many romance novels are told from a female character’s point of view. In those novels, the dialogue is the main way that readers get to know her love interest. In “Twilight”, for example, readers gets to know Edward primarily through what he says to Bella.
3. Keep the Conflict Coming
Everyone loves the idea of falling in love immediately and living happily ever after. However, that would be a pretty boring story to read! In a romance novel, there needs to be a conflict that keeps the characters from staying together until near the end of the novel. Some novels may have the couple come together at the climax of the story in order to fight an obstacle together. In either case, it will take a pronged conflict to keep them apart when the reader is rooting for them to be together. Writing romance novels requires creating a sustainable conflict that may continue until the very end. In “Pride and Prejudice”, the biases of both of the main characters keep the couple from getting together until the very end, even when their feelings for each other are strong.
4. Avoid Subplots
While many types of fiction feature subplots and a wide range of secondary characters, writing romance novels is a little different. While you will need a few secondary characters to move the plot along, the focus of a romance novel is narrower than with many other types of fiction. The relationship between the two main characters is the focus, and subplots often take away from that focus. Ideally, every part of your romance novel should build toward the relationship.
5. Remember What Readers Want
Don’t worry if the ending of your romance novel is predictable — your readers are looking for that happy ending! They instinctively know that your characters will get together in the end, and they will be waiting for that satisfying moment. The happy ending is one of the things that the romance genre is known for, and it’s one reason that fans like it so much. Your readers know that the conflict will end during the novel and that their wishes for the couple will be fulfilled. When it comes to your happy ending, there’s no need to hold back.
Writing a romance novel allows you to let your imagination create believable magic that readers will enjoy experiencing vicariously. With likable characters to root for, your novel can cast a spell that pulls readers in for a fulfilling romance. Have fun with the writing process — and don’t forget to get feedback on your writing along the way!
Photo by Alison Curtis