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.
This 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.
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.
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.
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?
Agents are hungry to sell romance to publishing houses. The How To Make Your Romance Hot Enough For An Agent onDemand webinar will teach you:
- The specific elements of a romance novel agents look for
- Common red flags to avoid in your romance novel
- Places to go to get your work reviewed and critiqued
- How to make an accurate list of legitimate agents who rep romance novels and how to approach them successfully
- And more!
If 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.