How to Write a Romance Novel

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How to Write a Romance Novel

Postby ሳምቻው » Sun Jan 22, 2006 8:06 pm

How to Write a Romance Novel

Know the romance market," says Sheri McGregor, author of "Under One Roof." Romance novels made up more than 50 percent of mass market fiction sold in 1997. "Read in the genre and find where you think your story ideas fit. Get the guidelines. Then write your story with the market in mind, without letting go of your story's heart," McGregor says.


1. Know the story you want to tell, and know your characters.

2. Join a writer's critique group, either online or face-to-face.

3. Write, write and write more. Nothing helps more than practicing your craft.

4. Develop a thick skin. No one writes a masterpiece the first time.

5. Learn from criticism, but don't lose the voice that makes your writing unique.

6. Read books about writing, such as Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird," Natalie Goldberg's "Writing Down the Bones," or Evan Marshall's "The Marshall Plan for Writing a Novel."

7. Study your market, and be prepared to write for a specific genre.

8. Become familiar with the publishers in your genre and subgenre.

9. Join a romance writers' club and attend writers' conferences. Make sure to schmooze with agents at these conferences.

10. Submit your book to an agent to make the rounds of publishers.

"Emotion," stresses McGregor. "Don't back away from it, because these stories need it. To me, romances are character stories. They may have a complex plot, but it's the characters the readers want to love and get involved with.

Subgenres can range from historical to contemporary to fantasy. Inspirational and multicultural or ethnic romances are also popular.

"It's not as simple as it looks," McGregor says. "I have heard a lot of people say that they thought they'd write romance because it looks like it would be easy. They often find it much more difficult than they thought. Keeping focused on a romance within the context of a larger plot can be difficult."

Remember the audience is largely feminine. More than 90 percent of regular readers of romance novels are women.

No legitimate agent or publisher expects payment from an author to read a submission.

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