Most bestselling romantic novels have a few things in common - a beautiful romantic setting, memorable and relatable characters, a whirlwind romance marred by conflict and separation, and a happy ending. Romance is, perhaps, the most popular, go-to genre for people wanting to escape the mundanities of life, or for aspiring writers trying to break into the world of romantic fiction.
Here are 5 tips to help you write your first romantic novel and make sure that it hits the right chord with all the die-hard romantics -
Set the scene:
It’s essential to have a beautiful, romantic setting for your romantic novel. Explore different settings - whether you want the book to be based in a modern city like Los Angeles, or you want to go back in history and write a love story based in the 19th Century Paris. Make sure you are familiar with the time period and the location, so that you can get into the nuances of creating a vivid setting for the novel and capture the imagination of your readers.
While it is important to define the hero as a magnetic guy who would sweep the girl off her feet, it is also essential that you focus on the backstories of your main characters to bring out their deeper emotions and make the characters more relatable. If the “hero” comes from a broken family, it is surely going to influence his romantic life. If the “better half” believes in soulmates and is a die-hard romantic, the behavior of this character will differ greatly from the other character.
Capture the conflict:
No love story is complete without conflict. Only mushy romance, a level of certainty in their “happily ever after”, and the obvious signs of love would make your story predictable and boring. Make sure you don’t let your story fall flat. Introduce a conflict, either through a new character, or contradictory opinions, different cities, family affairs, monetary problems, trust issues, work-life balance - there are many ways to show how a couple grows apart in a relationship. But remember to find a way back to the love story and help the characters rediscover their love for each other.
Explore different emotions:
Just because it is a love story, does not mean that you only talk about love. Introduce smaller characters and explore the emotions of jealousy, anger, insecurity, and vulnerability. Or explore the possibilities of the existence of dependent family members, and how would the other person react to these characters. Play with settings that involve long distance, crimes involving one of the two people, health issues, a dark past, a celebration. While these may sound cliche, you can add your own twist to the plot to make your story more interesting.
All the best romantic novels end with a ‘happily ever after’. Without a happy ending, there is a slight chance that your novel may not turn out to be quite the bestseller as it may be when one part of the couple rushes to the other one and they declare their love for each other.