How to Write a Bestselling Romance Book?
What Makes a Good Romance Book?
A romance novel is a work of extended prose fiction with a theme of love. According to the Romance Writers of America, a romance novel must have a central focus on the development of a romantic relationship between two people. The other criteria for a romance novel are that it must have an emotional through line and build to an optimistic conclusion.
Readers come to the genre knowing they will (almost) always get a happy ending in which the protagonists find and profess their love. To entice readers, writers must therefore deliver a fresh premise with strong, evocative prose and pacing that gets to the heart of the story — usually beginning with the protagonists meeting in the first chapter. These will be the elements that usually prompt someone to pick up the book and start reading. Most importantly, the writer’s crafting of the two main characters and their emotional journeys is what will keep the reader hooked.
The must-have elements that will make readers go back to re-read it again and again? Here’s a list of essential elements to support good romance story ideas:
- Interesting characters: The two main characters in a romance novel need to be three-dimensional and lovable. Lovable, by the way, doesn’t mean perfect. Characters with flaws and imperfections have much more depth.
- Believable conflict: What keeps the lovers apart has to be a real obstacle.
- Emotions: Romance readers read for the emotions. They want to experience the growing emotional connection between the two main characters and to fall in love with them too.
- Magic: In a good romance, there’s something almost magical about a couple. What they have needs to be very special. Readers will re-read those magical moments again and again.
- A happily ever after (HEA): Romances need a happy ending. That doesn’t mean that everything about the characters’ lives has to be perfect in the end, but readers have to believe that the characters will master all problems life throws at them together.
How to Write a Good Romance Book?
Romance bestsellers have many things in common: strong characters, a compelling love story, and steamy love scenes. This list will surely act as a guide for beginners. Here are some writing steps and tips to consider when writing your romance novel:
- Choose your subgenre: The romance genre contains numerous subgenres. The most successful romance writers write within a specific niche, which allows them to set their love story within a context they’re passionate about.
- Make your main characters compelling: Writing romance requires strong main characters. A reader’s engagement with the story will likely be determined by the chemistry of your protagonists. Make sure your characters have compelling backstories that inform their points of view about romantic relationships. The best romance authors know how to create rich, complex characters to fuel the love story.
- Set the stage effectively: Setting is paramount in romance. No matter where your story’s set, the most important thing is that it is immersive and feels real. A memorable setting will capture readers’ imaginations and create a vivid backdrop for your romance novel.
- Write a strong main couple: Romance is an extremely character-driven genre, so your main couple needs to have your readers head over heels.
- Use tried-and-true tropes: Romance tropes exist for a reason. Consider the most common romance tropes and brainstorm how you can subvert them in your work. Here are just a few tried-and-true devices that many romance authors have used successfully:
- Friends/enemies to lovers
- One helps the other one heal
- Choosing each other all over again
- Carefully construct intimate scenes: You can’t talk about writing romance without touching on physically intimate scenes — though this doesn’t necessarily mean sex scenes or even almost-sex scenes. No matter how explicit: be careful about how you write them. Craft all descriptions of physical intimacy with a light touch, and only after sufficient buildup — make your readers eagerly anticipate each encounter. Also try to steer away from overwrought, euphemism-filled romantic language that can border on parody. Your intimate scenes shouldn’t exist for their own sake: They should advance the plot or show character development in some way.
- Don’t neglect secondary characters: While the main couple is obviously where most of your characterization focus should be, secondary characters are critical to a well-rounded romance. Secondary characters fill out the world of your romance novel. Friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and even arch-enemies — say, someone who’s competing with one of your main characters for the other character’s interest — all contribute to making the story come to life.
- Give your main couple a happy ending: One of the implicit promises of the romance genre is that of the happy ending. No matter how much turbulence your main couple experiences throughout your novel, they should end up in each other’s arms. It doesn’t need to be a “happily ever after,” but it should at least be a “happy for now”: something to reassure the reader that these two characters are stable for the foreseeable future. However, there are special cases that don’t adhere to this rule. The ending of your novel should also tie up any loose threads that you weave throughout the narrative.
How to Start a Romance Book?
Figuring out where to start telling your story is one of the bigger challenges you face. When you’re deciding where and when to begin, keep the following options in mind:
- Start with one of your two main characters. Readers expect the first character they meet in the story to be either the hero or the heroine (and most often it is the heroine), and they’re immediately prepared to care about this person.
- Start with action. A good option is to show the main character at the point when that character’s life is disrupted by some kind of danger or threat. Starting with action is particularly effective when the situation is easily understood or the peril is something the readers can relate to.
- Start with an attention-getting statement. When the readers are presented with something they don’t expect, they will read on to find out what the heck’s happening.
How to Introduce Characters in a Romance Book?
Good writing is filled with memorable character introductions. Here is some writing advice to help you introduce your characters as effectively as possible:
- Don’t get bogged down in physical appearance: It’s tempting to focus on physical character descriptions. However, one should focus on describing a character’s personality and actions. Use your reader’s imagination to your advantage, that way the character is more likely to stick in the reader’s mind.
- Give your character a memorable character trait: Giving your character memorable character traits or mannerisms early in the writing process can help you create distinct, instantly memorable characters.
- Start with backstory when appropriate: When you’re introducing a new character, it can be helpful to begin by describing the character’s backstory. However, it should be relevant to the character’s eventual story arc, focusing on formative events in the character’s life that support that arc.
- Introduce a character through action. Whether it’s the main character, one of your minor characters, or one of the bad guys, watching a character undergo a daily task or routine is a great way to give the reader a sense of who they are and how they interact with the world around them.
- Introduce the main character as soon as possible: Try to introduce your main character in the first chapter, which will allow the reader to become invested in the story and your hero’s journey as quickly as possible.
How to End a Romance Book?
In a romance novel, we’re striving for a “happy ending,” one that will leave the reader with the confidence that many years down the road, this couple will still be together. They will be able to overcome all of life’s unhappiness and find the strength to make it through in each other, which means we must spend the majority of our story showing the reader that these two people can make their own happy ending. However, various novels diverge from such a framework and go for something unexpected. Here are some tips to ensure that you end your book the perfect way:
- Don’t introduce any new characters or subplots: Any appearances within the last 50 pages should have been foreshadowed earlier, even if mysteriously.
- Don’t describe, muse, explain, or philosophize: Keep description to a minimum, but maximize action and conflict. You have placed all your charges. Now, light the fuse and run.
- Do create that sense of Oh, wow! : Your best novelties and biggest surprises should go here. Readers love it when some early, trivial detail plays a part in the finale.
- Do enmesh your reader deeply in the outcome. Get her so involved that she cannot put down your novel to go to bed, to work, or even to the bathroom until she sees how it turns out.
- Do resolve the central conflict: You don’t have to provide a happily-ever-after ending, but do try to uplift.
- Do tie up loose ends of significance: Every question you planted in a reader’s mind should be addressed, even if the answer is to say that a character will address that issue later after the book ends.
How to Publish a Romance Book?
If you want to sell a romance, you should probably write a romance. One wrote it is time to sell it. Honestly, writing a romance novel might be the hardest step. Instead of perfect you should focus on making your story more compelling. A critique group is very helpful. Along the same lines as critique groups, some people wonder whether they should join professional writing organizations. Before you submit to anyone, revise again. But before you submit to anyone, do your agent/publisher research. You should know which stories are popular and who is representing and publishing what kind of story. Make a list of those publishers or agents you want to submit to. Make sure they are legit (review Pr editors & Editors online for starters); there are a lot of scammers out there, ready to take advantage of eager new writers. Submission is a fairly accurate word for the process. Craft your query/cover letter to exquisite perfection. Yes, this time perfection does matter. These days, most editors and agents post submission guidelines on their websites. Follow these guidelines. An agent may not be necessary. An agent has access to the people a writer may not have.
There are many publication options for writers these days. Only you can decide what you want from your writing career—a small press, e-publishing with Amazon and Smashwords, a big New York house, eternal self-aggrandizing wankery, etc. Talk to other writers about their experiences and take their advice the same way you took the advice of your critique partners: with gratitude and a grain of salt. Get the story done first because the business doesn’t matter if you don’t have a story. As an author, one needs to have a working knowledge of (among other things): Contracts, promotion and marketing, and business planning. Carina Press, Harper Impulse, Loveswept & Flirt, Forever and Forever Yours, and others are some well known romance novel publishers.
Self-Publishing VS Independent Publishing
- Self-publishing: You are your own publisher in this instance. You handle all your own publishing, editing, marketing, and sales. However, there are self-publishing platforms that you can use. KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), Smashwords, and LuLu all offer services and tools to help you self-publish. You have the complete freedom of absolutely every single choice with your book. From the cover art, glossy or matte finish, the price, distribution channels, formats. Everything. However, this can be incredibly daunting, especially for first-time authors. Yes, you can buy services, but that’s not the same as having the support and expertise from a publishing company, always. Marketing and sales are probably the main disadvantages. If you haven’t published a book before or don’t have that big of a following, all your hard work might go unnoticed. With self-publishing, you pay a lot of upfront costs, and you need to ensure that you see those investments play out.
- Independent publishing: Independent publishing is when a publishing company publishes the work of an author. An independent (indie) publisher is defined as one that operates on its own, rather than as part of any large corporation or conglomerate.In comparison to commercial publishers, independent publishers are interested in something else. They make their own decision, not based on profit or quantity…but quality. They have complete autonomy of all decisions, with no restrictions. They don’t publish what people consider to be popular, they publish, quite simply, what they believe in. An excellent independent publisher will also guide you through every step (and hurdle) in the publishing process. From the beginning, say, editing and proofreading, to the end with marketing and sales. Help with marketing and sales is crucial for first-time authors. With independent publishing, you still get freedom and autonomy, but with somebody there (with extensive experience) guiding you through the entire process. Another benefit of independent publishing lies in its popularity.
How Can We Help You Publish Your Book?
Hopefully, this blog gave you some insight into writing and publishing Romance Novels. You can connect with our team, and we will be happy to guide you through the entire process of publishing your book. We the Veronica Lane Books take pride in promoting new talent and bringing out fresh literature to the world.