Rules for Writing Romance

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I love writing steamy scenes. Maybe even better are the non-steamy but horribly romantic scenes – scenes that make me giggle like a teenage girl with a crush. It’s as if I get to live vicariously through my characters.

Well, it’s not “as if” I get to live vicariously through them, I actually do.

Writing romance scenes allows my romantic side to rule the roost for awhile without my practical side butting in and being cynical or reminding me of reason.

But can we write whatever we want when it comes to romance?

Sure. Just don’t expect it to be any good or sell.

Not like I know what sells or what’s appropriate to write when it comes to romance. I may have romantic scenes, but my writing (as of this point) can’t be catagorized as Romance. But there are others out there who I’m sure know what they’re talking about.

Here are 5 things I agree with Jody Hedlund about:

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This goes against a pin I saw on Pinterest recently…

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I agree with putting obstacles in lovers’ paths, but I hate it when a romance makes the heroine’s life miserable. My heart breaks for her, for both of them really, and when the “happy” ending comes it almost doesn’t seem worth it or good enough.

Granted, in a movie, you need misery and major conflict. Maybe even a sadish ending. But a romance book?

Romances are fluff. Pure and simple. Storyline-wise they can be entertaining fluff but they’re fluff all the same.

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Check out Nora Roberts for some of the best romances out there (in my opinion anyway). She’s written oodles of books. Remember, though, that there are only so many ways to tell a story. After that, nothing’s original…even if Nora Roberts wrote it.

51ahc8dEMpL__SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_Some of her books (one in particular – Born In Fire) seem to have sex scenes for the sake of having sex scenes. I commented about it to my mom while I raved about the book (it was really good despite the thrown-in sex – awesome descriptions of art and glass-blowing) and she said that romance publishers most likely have a prerequisite for how much sex is in any book they publish.

For example:

  • Put in too much sex or make it too erotic and you may have Erotica
  • Too little sex and perhaps you no longer have a romance at all in any kind of romance subgenre

That brings me to the question of: what are the subgenres of romance writing?

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Holy cow! If I ever needed a reason to write romance other than for the sake of letting out my inner romantic, all I need to do is look at the estimated revenue from romance fiction in 2011! $1.368 BILLION!!

Sign me up! Woo!

I love Leigh Michaels above quote about romance books assuring the reader that happy endings are possible.

…No matter how bleak things sometimes look, in the end everything will turn out right and true love will triumph…

That makes me sigh. I literally sighed with dreamy happiness after typing that quote.

And now to get on with my own writing. The scene I’m currently writing is the next best thing to romance – Horror!

And I sighed again out of pure happiness!

What’s your favorite genre to write? Or, if not genre, what’s your favorite kind of scene to write?

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About Katie St. John-Shin

I believe in living life and not letting it pass you by. I mean, come on, if you really want to do something but don't have the courage to do it so you let the opportunity disappear, you may regret it for the rest of your life. How can you know what you're capable of unless you go for it? Like every writer, I naturally plan on becoming a world-famous writer. I love reading, writing, fitness, coffee, watching my favorite movies/shows, listening to music, and trying new things even if they're sometimes terrifying. I'm a stay-at-home mom, a writer, and a POP Pilates instructor. I didn't think I'd succeed at that last one but I did it! I confronted my fears, dealt with things I didn't want to deal with, and completed the training! POP Pilates classes are coming soon to mid-Nebraska!
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