The romance genre is flourishing these days. Everywhere you go, you find the romance genre in its many different forms and media. From films, TV series, Internet series, social media to written literature, romance never goes out of style. Even though we have reached a high-technology world where e-books are competing with the hard bounds and soft bounds, the romance genre is here to stay and will co-evolve with the changing times.
For those who have thought of writing a romance, you guys and girls are not alone. As mentioned earlier, romance a flourishing genre in the realm of literary fiction. Most bestsellers these days are romance fictions, so it wouldn’t be any wonder if a writer would contemplate trying her hand at making one. But making a romance novel or book can be easier said than done. When we are quite not sure what to do or how to proceed with making a romance piece, we can go the basics and essentials of writing a romance.
- Be familiar with the genre. Making a romance novel or book takes some sort of familiarity and knowledge about the genre itself — by being a romance reader. However, there are still a considerable number of people who think they can write a romance but don’t actually read romance materials. Your interest in the genre as a reader, or your lack thereof, will be reflected in your writing. Being a wide reader or having the familiarity with different subgenres of romance (supernatural romance, romantic comedy, etc.) can be a plus, but all you need is to focus on the type of romance you’re thinking about writing.
2. Stick to the formula. You can never go wrong in following the standard formula for romance. Over the years, the formula may have been modified many times over to suit the readers’ changing tastes and preferences, but the basic elements remain the same:
a) Introduce the hero (or main character) and his love interest, or the heroine and her love interest. Make them relatable and as human as possible, beauty, flaws and all.
b) Make a realistic or believable conflict. A love story can lose its glamour if it’s all smooth sailing. Make the situation difficult for the hero and heroine. Set complicated situations that may keep the hero and heroine apart.
c) A compelling resolution. The ending doesn’t have to be always happily-ever-after. You leave the fate of the hero or the heroine to the readers or you can make an unconventional ending for the lovers in the story. What matters is that you give the readers a convincing resolution of the conflict by the lovers, and they become mutually committed to one another.
- Be a writer and reader at the same time. As a writer, you need to be aware that readers read romance because they want to feel something. Romances have varying subject matters, which can sometimes be difficult, gloomy and dark, but there are always redeeming factors such as life affirmation and a positive ending. Although you can have total freedom in your work, you will still need to consider what the readers need from your story — the emotional payoff. Make the challenges to the love of the characters difficult, but also make the triumph and fulfillment meaningful and compelling.
- Make the story appealing. Appealing here refers to the broad sense of the word. Make the story appealing to the senses: describe the physical attributes of the characters in intense detail and the physical attraction between the characters. Make it appealing to the mind: although romance is about feelings, give the readers insights or encourage them to think about how the situations came to be. Incorporate a little bit of the elements of suspense, action and humor where you think they will be best suited in the story.
- Always focus on the love element. With many subgenres that develop from romance, especially historical or paranormal romance, you need to familiarize the readers with the different worlds in these subgenres in order for them to understand what’s going on. Even with all that world-building to consider, you should not lose focus on the most important element of the story: love. You need to keep the love relationship at the forefront from the start of your novel to the last page. Never let any of the lovers in the story wander off for a long time at any juncture of the book, or else risk readers throwing your book to the dumps. They will always keep track of the budding love story and want to see your hero and heroine together, falling in love.
With these basic tips in mind, you are on your way to writing a decent romance. You do not need to make your first a bestseller. All you need is to have a love story that can keep a reader engaged and interest from start to end. So have that pen and paper or computer ready, and write your own romance.