We’re not judging you if you enjoyed reading Fifty Shades of Grey, but if you want to write a bit more…ahem…tasteful romance novels, here are a few tips.
1.) Focus on the emotional rather the physical. If writing detailed love scenes makes you blush, skip the gritty details and focus on how excited your couple feels in the moment. Romance novels aren’t all about shock and awe. Stay away from X-rated details, and focus more on the flirty side of things, such as the rush one feels when a new love interest holds their hand.
2.) Create a buildup of chemistry. Convince your audience that these couples are meant and need to be together. Sometimes authors skip the anticipation of a budding relationship and have their couples hop into bed by chapter three. Create a natural evolution of their relationship using harmless bantering back and forth or romantic, yet mild, scenes between the couple.
3.) Create believable conflict. What great story doesn’t have this? Romance novels are no different. But, a lot of authors miss the mark on this one and don’t create believable conflict. No, we’re not talking about couples fighting over bills. You want your readers to relate to your characters; to empathize with them and feel elated when the couple finally does end up together in the end. You can skip this piece of advice if you’re writing about a 100-plus-year-old vampire falling in love with a high school student.
4.) Be tasteful when choosing your cover. So, you want to make it obvious this is a romance novel without showing too much skin? Make it suggestive without going over the top with a couple sharing a gentle kiss. Studies show that not many readers reacted too favorably to the recent trend of cartoon characters on romance novel covers. Flowers have always been popular along with Fabio-look-alikes, but don’t you want your cover to stand out a bit? And remember, these will be displayed online, so make sure your cover looks great when it’s shrunk down a bit. Plus, you have the advantage as a romance e-book author: 44% of romance books are now purchased through their e-book format!*
Romance is one of the most popular fiction genres – with $1.368 billion in sales in 2011.** It’s difficult to stand out in such a competitive field, so follow these tips if you want to have a bit of class. How do you add spice to your book without crossing the line?
*Bowker Market Research
**Business of Consumer Book Publishing 2012