A Love Story: Tips on Writing Romance

The titular panel was the second of the Imaginarium 2021 panels I was able to attend. The panelists were Chastity Bowlin, Missy Goodman, David Simms, Jessica Cardwell, Cathy Jackson, and Celina J with De De Cox as the moderator. The panel description was short and to the point.

Join in on a discussion with several Romance writers and discuss how to write an enchanting love story, that is fresh and will leave your readers wanting more.

While the conversation wandered quite a bit, I managed to collect a few takeaways to share.

3 Things That Inspire Romance Writers

Of course, this list is far from complete, but these three came up more than once.

  1. Soap operas
  2. Inclusion of characters that look like the writer
  3. The desire for the ‘happily ever after’ (HEA)

3 Main Components of the Romance Novel

  1. Introduction and establishment the characters
  2. A fight
  3. Happily ever after/happy for now

4 Writing Techniques

  1. Start from the end and plot backwards
  2. Use something true from your own life
  3. Remember, it’s fiction. Make shit up.
  4. Write like it’s do-or-die
  • The 12 Stages of Intimacy – while none of the writers used it explicitly, a few agreed it was not a bad starting point for research (Originally from Desmond Morris)

Of course, when writing romance or adding romance to your works, remember expectation management. Romance readers expect different pacing plot points and priorities than other genres. If you market your story to the wrong audience, all you’ll end up with are 1-star reviews.

And remember, it’s not romance unless you give your readers that “moment of gasp” (or maybe, that moment of coo.)


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