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3 Hot Writing Tips For Writing Romance Fiction

 3 Hot Writing Tips For Writing Romance Fiction

Romance fiction is fiction’s most popular genre (category), and has been for decades. So let’s look at three essential writing tips for this genre.

I don’t say “essential” lightly. Authors want to write romance because it’s so popular… but, they want to be improve things. Nasty “formulas” are not for them. They want to rescue romance readers from their own folly.

Listen up, please… I’m begging here. If you want your books to sell, write what readers want to read, not what you want to write.

Essential writing tips for writing romance

The argument starts something like this…

“My romance doesn’t have a happy ending,” an author tells me.

“A happy ending — Happy Ever After (HEA) or at least Happy For Now (HFN) is essential for the romance genres,” I respond.

“Yes, but…”

“Sorry… but if you don’t have a happy ending, you’re writing women’s fiction, not romance.”

Unfortunately, the arguments never end when it comes to commercial romance fiction. Let’s look at our tips.

1. Read romance fiction — VITAL

Many years ago, way back when I was a happy little author-to-be, I read lots of Mills & Boon, and said to myself, “anyone can write this junk, even I.”

Well, I was wrong, and right.

What I did right was read. But I was WAY wrong about the “anyone.”

Here’s the thing. Even though I thought the little romance books were junk, I got a kick out of reading them. They were entertaining — fun to read, and I raced through them.

Moreover, I knew that I could write them. It took me just three months to get a contract for a romance novel series from a major British publisher at that time.

Please understand this important truth: I knew what I was reading, BUT I wasn’t contemptuous of the books.

That’s the tip: READ. If you try to write what you don’t or can’t read and enjoy, your romance fiction will fail.

Yes, you may hit the jackpot like the Jane Austen and zombies book managed to do, but that’s not a romance. The zombies are the entertainment in that book.

2. Write what readers want to read: a happy ending is essential

See above. Everything in romance fiction leads to a happy ending. You’re writing entertainments, as we’ve said. Your books are read by smart people (mainly women, yes) who want to escape their lives for a few hours.

Don’t want a happy ending? Fine. Write whatever you like. But don’t try to palm your words off as “romance”, when you’re not writing romance.

For success… write what readers want to read. (And as we’ve said, and I’ll repeat — read so you know what readers want.)

3. Romance fiction is ALL about the emotion

You’ll take a huge step forward in your fiction writing career when you realize that readers read for the experiences. For the feelings. Readers of horror novels want to be scared witless, mystery readers want clues so that they can find out whodunit — none of this is news.

Romance readers want… Yep. Romance.

Funnily enough, I’m writing this on Valentine’s Day. 😉

Please follow these essential writing tips

You can write whatever you want to write today.

The gatekeepers have gone. However, do remember that you’re writing for readers, who want a specific experience when they read fiction. Please give them those experiences — you’ll sell more. And do remember to write a happy ending for your romances. 🙂

Heart To Heart: Romance Writing For Beginners

Heart To Heart: Romance Writing For Beginners

eBook: $5.99
Author:
Series: Romance Writing, Book 1
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction
Love makes the world go round, and of all the genres in fiction, romance, with its many sub-genres, is the most popular. More info →
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More Heart To Heart: Write Hot-Selling Romance Fiction

More Heart To Heart: Write Hot-Selling Romance Fiction

eBook: $5.99
Author:
Series: Romance Writing, Book 2
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction
I adore writing romance fiction, and now you can write romance too. More info →
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Resources to build your writing career

Get daily writing news and tips on the blog’s Facebook page.

Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check out Angela’s books for writers.

Writing Fiction And Story Length: How Many Words?

Writing Fiction And Story Length: How Many Words?

You’re writing fiction. You want to know how much to write… How many pages? I often get questions about length for novels, novellas and short stories, so it’s worth looking at this.

I find “pages” confusing, because print books’ pages can have huge variations in formatting. And of course, in ebooks there’s Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC), which can be considerably different from the number of your novel’s pages that you estimated.

So let’s focus on how many words in fiction. When it comes to length, it’s easer when you count words.

Writing fiction and length: it depends…

Writing fiction and length: it depends

We talked about how many scenes you need this post, Writing Short Stories: How Many Scenes Do You Need?

Over the years, for my own rule of thumb, I’ve estimated novels to be somewhere between 50,000 and 90,000 words. That said, a lot depends on the genre.

For example, Science Fiction and Fantasy novels tend to be longer. It’s all that world-building. 🙂

In the Romance genre, word counts vary widely. Contemporary Romances (many are at 50,000 to 60,000 words) tend to be shorter than Historical Romances, for example, which may come in at 120,000 words. Again, with the historicals, it’s the world-building.

In today’s world, length doesn’t matter

How long or short your fiction happens to be doesn’t matter in today’s world. No one’s chopping down forests of trees for your Kindle ebooks, after all. KENPC may or may not matter to you, again, depending on the genre in which you write.

That said, readers have expectations. So let’s say that you’re writing in a genre which is new to you. How do you know how many words to write?

Writing in a new-to-you genre: guesstimating your word count

Here’s what I’d do, and what I suggest to my students.

  1. Read in the genre, and make a note of the word count. Look at the top sellers in that genre. That’s usually an efficient guide to readers’ expectations.
  2. Ask. Check with authors of that genre. You’ll find these authors in Facebook groups, as well as mailing lists. Ask what word counts they use.

How to fix it if your novel’s way under the word count for the genre

Another popular question: what if your novel’s too short? 🙂

Let’s say that you’re writing a historical romance with paranormal elements. You’re aiming for 100,000 words, but you’re at the mid-point with its major plot twist, and you realize… you’ve only written 30,000 words. At that rate, you’ll finish at 60,000 words.

You’ve got choices:

  • Accept it. This is the length for this novel. That’s perfectly fine. It’s completely up to you — no one’s making any rules, when you’re self-publishing, other than the ones you make for yourself;
  • Slip in a sub-plot or two. I’d insert at least one sub-plot, and I’d juice up a couple of minor characters. Who knows? You might decide to write a series.

There are no rules when you’re writing fiction today, especially if you’re self-publishing; there are only reader expectations. Your fiction’s length is what you decide it will be.

Have fun. 🙂

Yes, You’re Creative: How To Unlock Your Imagination And Build The Writing Career Of Your Dreams

Yes, You’re Creative: How To Unlock Your Imagination And Build The Writing Career Of Your Dreams

eBook: $5.99
In this book we'll aim to increase your creativity to unlock your imagination and build the writing career of your dreams. More info →
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Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

$4.99
Author:
Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 4
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction
You want to write a novel. Perhaps you can't get started. Or maybe you got started, and then you stopped.You need a plan, broken down into easy steps. This program began as a 30-day challenge which I organized for readers in 2010. Hundreds of writers joined the challenge and completed it. They wrote novels. More info →

Resources to build your writing career

Get daily writing news and tips on the blog’s Facebook page.

Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check out Angela’s books for writers.

Fiction Writing: The Most Popular Posts In 2017

Fiction Writing: The Most Popular Posts In 2017

I started this blog in 2007 — how time flies, to coin a cliche. Back in 2007, although fiction writing was popular, it took the birth of the Kindle to truly expand authors’ interest.

Authors realized that the gatekeepers were gone. For the first time in history, authors could sell their novels directly to readers.

Why is fiction writing so popular?

By 2012, self-publishing had truly arrived. On the Kindle store, fiction outsells nonfiction by a wide margin, so I expected that the blog’s most popular posts in 2017 would be about writing fiction.

A comforting thought: you don’t have to be a brilliant writer to sell fiction. If you tell a good story, readers will read.

Let’s look at the four most popular posts — check them out, if you haven’t read them.

1. Basic Short Story Template: Keep It Simple!

I wrote the most popular post, Basic Short Story Template: Keep It Simple! in 2014. It’s been updated frequently.

If you haven’t discovered writing short stories as a promotional tool, check out the post, and write some short stories. They’re a super-simple way to guide readers to your novels.

2. Fiction Writing Tips for Beginners: Super-Easy Outlines

Outlines tend to stymie fiction authors, so Fiction Writing Tips for Beginners: Super-Easy Outlines, published at the start of 2017, has been popular.

Words to live by when writing fiction:

Fiction is all about emotion. No emotion? You’ve got nothing. Your idea, no matter how wonderful, will fizzle out.

3. Writing Short Stories: How Many Scenes Do You Need?

Another post from 2014: Writing Short Stories: How Many Scenes Do You Need? has been hugely popular.

One of the first things you think about when you’re writing fiction is — how long is this? Then you (if you’re like me) track your word count obsessively, because you know that your milestones determine the success or otherwise of a piece of fiction.

4. New Novelist: Write A Selling Novel With One Simple Strategy

I’m thrilled that this post, New Novelist: Write A Selling Novel With One Simple Strategy, is so popular.

To write novels which sell, every novel:

… must have a point. All the screaming excitement of your novel can’t and won’t make up for it if there’s no point.

Please use the strategy I outline in that post. The strategy won’t guarantee a bestseller, but you have no hope of selling if your novel doesn’t have a point.

Enjoy the posts. 🙂

Heart To Heart: Romance Writing For Beginners

Heart To Heart: Romance Writing For Beginners

eBook: $5.99
Author:
Series: Romance Writing, Book 1
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction
Love makes the world go round, and of all the genres in fiction, romance, with its many sub-genres, is the most popular. More info →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Inktera
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Apple iBooks
Buy from Amazon Kindle
More Heart To Heart: Write Hot-Selling Romance Fiction

More Heart To Heart: Write Hot-Selling Romance Fiction

eBook: $5.99
Author:
Series: Romance Writing, Book 2
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction
I adore writing romance fiction, and now you can write romance too. More info →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Inktera
Buy from Apple iBooks
Buy from Amazon Kindle

Resources to build your writing career

Get daily writing news and tips on the blog’s Facebook page.

Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check out Angela’s books for writers.