Write Better: Romancing Readers

Romance novels are among the top three genres published today. Why? Because, romance readers know what they want, and how they want it. So how do you get to know the world of romance readers? Let’s talk about what it takes to write romance your readers will melt for.

Part of hooking readers by the feelings is knowing the age demographic you’re writing for. This will guide you towards your sub-genre, and an age appropriate read. You really shouldn’t write something erotic, if your work is looking for middle-grade readers. So as always do your research and know your niche.

Here’s how I look at it:

10-15 NO SEX! NO CUSSING! It is doable, tweens have relationships too!

16-19 Young Adult. Mild cussing and smooching alright. Not too heavy!

20+ All good! By this point your an adult and can make your own reading choices. Please read responsibly!

Romantic books should focus on the relationship. It is all about falling in(and out, but back in) love. So build a strong setting, because most romance novels are a series, and let us feel that escape of being loved. Keep your sub-genre in mind when building the setting as well, it does need to fit the theme after all. Readers want to be fully engulfed in your world. Next you’ll want to create a spot where your power couple will meet.

Speaking of the power couple, romance is a character focused genre. This requires a strong hero and heroine strong enough to survive the bumps in the road. Now these labels have been gender specific since the dawn of time, but please, don’t think that way now! Apply the roles as YOU see fit, and you will always be right!

About your “Hero”: Its not about the looks, its about the depth. Show the reason this character build up walls over the years, and make the details juicy! Then detail the happy outside façade this now insecure and heartbroken character lives with. The moment the hero meets the heroine, the heroes world get turned for the better.

About your “Heroine”: This character should be struggling with similar issues your hero has overcome. Though the heroine has a past themselves, they find that they will inadvertently help the hero overcome their issues (like a bad break up). This character must still be strong; stronger than your hero, and creates the dynamic of a power couple.

Troupes are hard to avoid in the romance world, so use them to your advantage to create the tension, and comedic relief, needed. Now my favorite troupe is enemies become lovers, but look into them all and choose one that works for you.

Next you want to craft an intimate scenes, keeping your age range in mind. Always read books in your sub-genre, or watch movies rated to your demographics, to help you put you create the scene for your readers. Be careful how you descriptive you are and choose your words carefully when getting handsy to build up anticipation of the emotional beauty in the coming pages.

Lastly, don’t forget your secondary character, like a best friend. They help shape the story and deserve a closing too. Keep your ending optimistic and happy, you know fairytale style. And keep it open for a potential series.

Now go write something!

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