People looking to write their own romance novels shouldn’t be discouraged by the intense competition. There’s always room for more, especially if you’ve got an interesting story! However, there are a few things you want to keep in mind when you are ready to start writing.
First, make sure your characters meet each other in an interesting way. The old “pirate kidnaps the damsel in distress” scenario is a bit dull now. Try thinking up other ways of getting your protagonists together. Keep in mind that most characters meet in the first few pages and that people decide if they want to read a novel based on those first few pages, so make sure your opening scenario really grabs people. The scenarios should also be attractive and unique. You may think that nobody is interested in romance novels about a dating site or women placing personals but you may be surprised. When written correctly even books about something not necessarily unusual, when accompanied by enough creative details, can be a huge success. Ever heard of Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook? It did so well there was even a movie made based on it.
Your characters also have to be believable. Nobody in the world is perfect so nobody in your book can be perfect! Sure, a guy can be good-looking, but he has to have a few flaws, for example he may have a short temper. Otherwise he’ll appear flat. And when creating a female character, it’s even harder to avoid making her perfect. Make sure she has real flaws too. Otherwise, readers will not relate to your characters.
The next tip is mainly for people writing a novel in a separate time period. Make sure you research that era! Writing a story about cowboys in the old west is all well and good but if you put a flying saucer in there, your story may become rather distorted. One of the most important things you have to do is pace your book right. If the pace is too fast, a reader will end up finishing the book and being unsatisfied, and that’s never good news. If it drags on too long, people are likely to just put it down without finishing it, and that’s just as bad.
You’ll also need to know about the genres of romance novels. The most common type of romance novels are the Category Romances making up about 40% of the market. These are short stories of about 200 pages and are published each month. One of the most popular examples of this type of novel series are the Harlequin/Mills & Boon novels.
Contemporary romance novels are the second most common type and they make up about 16% of the market. These novels are based on the time they are written. Historical romances, which are novels set before World War II, make up 17% of the market. These novels feature everything from Vikings, to knights from the medieval times, to pirates or cowboys.
Romantic suspense novels, which hold 7% of the market, usually involve the characters having to solve a mystery of some sort. Typically, the female character will be investigating a crime or has had a crime committed against them, and they meet the male character while trying to find the suspect. The male is usually featured as a protector and is commonly a police officer or FBI agent.
Paranormal romance novels make up 9% of the market and feature vampires, werewolves, demons or other creatures. Books with time-travel also fall into this category.
Inspirational romances are romance novels that have a heavy dose of Christianity or religious beliefs in them and they hold 6% of the market. The other 5% of the market is divided up by other miscellaneous categories.
One of the most famous romance authors out there is Nora Roberts. Her books have spent a combined 660 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list, with 100 of those weeks being number-one spots. She’s sold over 280 million copies of her books, which have been published in over 35 different countries. Roberts was also the first author to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame.
Other famous authors include Jude Deveraux who is famous for her historical romance novels. A very private person, her first book was published in 1977. She’s had 27 New York Times Best Seller novels and there are over 30 million copies of her books currently in print.
Romance Author Web Pages
Romance Book Reviews
Young Adult Romance Novels
Romance novels are very popular and they are only going to get more popular as time goes by.
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