Learning How to Write Romance Novels


When I first started my writing career, I wanted to write novels. In the fourth grade, I read my first novel and I also wrote my first story. I was hooked. I wanted to spend the rest of my life writing and reading novels. I’ve certainly taken a lot of detours.

First as an engineering major in school. Then when I started my writing career. I’ve spent much of the last decade writing things that I haven’t really cared about. Some of it has even been poorly written. It didn’t matter because I didn’t have my name on it. Still, that experience has both made my writing stronger and caused me to developed some bad habits.

In my decade as a freelance writer, I haven’t written a single novel. I’ve also nearly abandoned any creative writing. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t know what kind of writing I really want. I really enjoy writing here on my website. But I do want to do something else just to mix things up.

So, I’ve decided to write romance novels because I’ve always liked reading them. But first, I’ve simply started reading them again. I haven’t read fiction in a while and I think the lightness of romance fiction is just what I need right now. After I am done reading (and I plan on reading as much as I possibly can) I will start writing my first one.

Here’s my general process:

  • Read romance. Read as much romantic fiction as I can. Stay in this step for a while. Read several a week.
  • Keep track of ideas. Write down any ideas for plots as they come to me. Keep track of them in an organized way.
  • Start writing the novel. Start plotting and writing a few months from now, after I’ve read a considerable amount of titles.
  • Stay focused. Don’t get impatient. Stay focused and stick to the plan. I feel I need to do the reading first so that I can really get to know the genre.

Meanwhile, I will continue my routine of posting here, working at my job, and writing content other places online. I will also regularly complete writing exercises to hone my skills. But I won’t worry about doing the exercises until I am close to starting the novel itself.

Overall, I am happy I got that job. It gives me a chance to focus on what I really want to do without worrying if what I do is going to make me money. I find that not worrying if I am going to make money has made things so much clearer when I do sit down to work.

How about you? Are you learning any new skills that will be a challenge, but you’re excited about?

Comments (2)

  1. Jessica B Woods

    At least you have a plan, and that’s half the battle! I tried to do NaNoWriMo this past November…I did good for a day, but fell behind sooo fast. It’s hard to work on a novel when you’re working full time on other things. You sound like me…I used to write all the time, then when I became a “professional” writer, I stopped writing the stuff I liked in order to write the stuff that pays the bills. Reading is a good start, and the notebook for planning. Actually, the planning and outlining is the hard part for me, since I’m such a “pantser”, and I write as I think of it instead of planning it out.

    Good luck with the novel…keep us posted on your progress!

  2. Katherine (Post author)

    I’ve tried NaNo on several occasions and have given up each time. It’s SO stressful. I would rather write as I go along rather than plan it – planning is a little frustrating. I went to the library and got out a bunch of books … I’m enjoying reading for now! I know this will help in the future. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂


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