5 Tips for Writing Engaging Romance

Happy Valentine’s Day, readers! For those of you who are digging into the hotter-than-ever romance genre, we have a special guest post today from Harlequin author Rhenna Morgan. Below, she shares five important tips for writing romance that engages your readers—and sells. Make sure to head over to the There Are No Rules blog this afternoon for a companion post from Carina Press (Harlequin) Editorial Director Angela James.

Rhenna Morgan featuredRough and Tumbler CoverThis guest post is by Rhenna Morgan. Morgan’s book ROUGH & TUMBLE, the 1st book in The Haven Brotherhood Series, releases with Carina Press on February 20, 2017. For advance release news and exclusive content, sign up for her newsletter at RhennaMorgan.com.

For social antics and an abundance of smoking hot man candy, follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Rhenna’s Romantics.

1. The beauty of writing romance is the promise of what will be.

Not just the happily-ever-after ending, but the beautiful tug that keeps a reader moving from page to page. So, while conflict is necessary in any book, it’s still critical for the romantic element to carry equal, if not more, weight.

2. Speaking of happily-ever-afters, in my opinion, a romance must have one.

(Or in the case of a series with the same couple, a happy-for-now.) I was reading romance long before I was a writer, and the fundamental reason I’m devoted to the genre is because I’m guaranteed of walking away from an ending with a smile on my face and love resonating in my heart. To break that trust with my readers is a route I personally cannot—and will not—take.

[Four Tips for Writing for the Romance Market]

3. Write the hero you daydream about sweeping you off your feet.

Chances are, every other reader out there has had a similar desire and/or daydream once or twice, and that story is one that will resonate. (A word to the wise though—let your significant other assume all those ideas originate from spending time with him.)

4. We hear a lot about writing strong heroines, but I’ve altered my recommendation: Write a heroine you can respect.

Deep down, I think that’s what people mean when they encourage strong heroines, but some romance writers—especially new ones—interpret that to mean hard-to-reach, outwardly opinionated, and/or strong-willed women. Yes, those heroines can make for a snappy read and crackling hot chemistry—especially when paired with the right hero—but there are loads of good heroines to be written with quiet inner-strength. Heroines with a soft heart, yet the courage of a lioness.170215_GLA_bl

5. Figure out your niche and own it.

I still can’t put words around mine, but I can feel it and, at the end of the day, romance is all about heart. It’s about the flutter in your belly and the dreamy sigh that comes at a particularly poignant moment. What better way to feed emotion into a story than to be who you are and put all your unique beauty into each word?

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  • The specific elements of a romance novel agents look for
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Click here to download your copy ASAP.

Freese-HeadshotIf you’re an agent looking to update your information or an author interested in contributing to the GLA blog or the next edition of the book, contact Writer’s Digest Books Managing Editor Cris Freese at cris.freese@fwmedia.com.



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8 thoughts on “5 Tips for Writing Engaging Romance

  1. jcr5118@yahoo.co

    Years passed and the world changed around them.
    “Yes,” she said, speaking to her grandchildren – “He earned the right to be there.”
    “I didn’t know who he was when I met him.”
    “I became poor, and he became wealthy. I cannot define the life I have had – but I tell you this … Love is Rare.”

      1. jcr5118@yahoo.co

        “And what was grandfather’s name?,” Steph asked.
        The rocking chair.
        “His name? Why do you ask? Your father has the same name.”
        She slept –
        And passed – that day.

  2. jcr5118@yahoo.co

    Old thumbtacks and 100’s staring him in the face. He paused – simply because one caught his eye. Kevin was already opening the second door to the deck and soon the stairs. Mike went through figuring he’d make it to class on time – and there she was – the girl in the picture sitting with her two friends, and he wondered whether after a quick glance her brunette hair flowing or her eyes that made her soo beautiful. His mouth opened awestruck and closed quickly as their eyes met. “The stairwell – I have to get to class.” He felt as though he’d been struck through the heart. The deck was full – the stairs which turned even fuller – bodies bumping against each other – each one having a place to go. “Let’s go – we’re almost there, Mike.”
    It took almost a minute to get to the stairs and wait for an opening before they went lower. He stood at the end of the first tier, and there she was standing with her two friends, him overhearing her.
    “He’s got a nice ass,” her friends not knowing what she had seen in him.
    He stopped – and not because of what she’d said – it was her eyes he’d seen.
    And so he waited, and when able walked back up the stairs – paused – and when he could with soo many people stood a step below her – on the corner of the steps – not knowing what he would say, yet when he reached her it was she who held out her hand – “Steph.”.
    Mike took her hand and replied – “My name is Mike – is it okay if I call you Stephanie – their hands never departing – some do – is it okay if I call you Michael?”
    Her girlfriends stood their ground and one said – “Oh jeesh – here we go.” Time for phone numbers. They walked to their real room, Mike and Steph behind, and it was she who reached out for his hand before they interlocked – fingers to fingers. And they knew.

  3. jcr5118@yahoo.co

    “And what writer hasn’t written a symphony in a dream?” Forgotten before awoken and wishing for sleep to remember? Last night I had two dreams – both remembered – one a short short story – and the other a book. But I shall write it. However, I shall write the first dream – a romance story written – with much said in soo very few words.

    “Let’s go bud – time to go – we got another class dude.” It happened many years in the future – many years from now. He was young, strong, shy. So many damn people in that college – 50,000 minimum and he was in the poor section.
    “I know a cut through, Mike”, his friend said as they walked down the hallway.
    “So many damn people,” he thought. “Where we goin?”
    “We’re taking a shortcut.”
    So many turns – “Kevin, we’re not allowed to be here.”
    “No worries dude – these chicks are cool.” He opened door – “it’s a cut through to the stairs – these chicks are cool – they even got this little deck outside and then we’re on the stairs.”
    He followed his friend through the first door and saw soo many pictures hung from the ceiling –


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