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Tips for Writing Romance

writing romance

So you want to write romance but you don’t know where to start?

To Moist or not to Moist? That is the question.

I will start this blog post by letting you all know there is a good possibility that this could get uncomfortable. Romance and Erotica are not genres to be messed with. They pack a punch and have the ability to make you swoon and cringe respectively. We have writing tips, tricks, and must-know terminology below.

#1 The Words.

From the list of terminology at the end of this post, read them each aloud and see how they make you feel. I have certain words that make me cringe and completely ruin an otherwise well-written book. Don’t write for the person that your book is aimed at just yet. The early stages should be all about you finding your voice. Every romance author has a selection of words that runs throughout all of their books. This also means that your readers will know what to expect when selecting more of your projects.

#2 Outside influences.

Do you know what the number one reason is as to why authors don’t write romance/erotica? The fact that they don’t want to of course is an obvious one but I am referring to those that do. The opinions of their family and friends is the answer. Any author will tell you that when you have an idea in your head that just will not cease to berate you, you have no other option than to write it down. Whether you choose to take it further is your decision. Many authors use a pseudonym, this is a fictitious name that will enable you to write under a different guise. Always remember that not everyone will like everything you write, you can’t please them all. If you have a story, tell it.

#3 Subgenres.

It wasn’t until I started writing romance that I realised there were so many to choose from. Your book can also be a mix of two or more of the subgenres noted below. My series is currently a mixture of 3, 6 & 7.

  1. Contemporary Romance.
  2. Historical Romance.
  3. Romantic Suspense.
  4. Erotic Romance.
  5. Religious/Spiritual Romance.
  6. Paranormal, Sci-Fi, or Fantasy Romance.
  7. Young Adult Romance.

#4 Descriptions – how much is too much?

This is a highly debated point when it comes to sex scenes in books in particular.

Sex is like perfume; everyone has their own personal tastes. If you think about that analogy and an entire shop filled from floor to ceiling with every perfume and aftershave in the world that will help you to realise you will sometimes be able to hit the nail on the head for some that read your book that are hoping for their perfect scenario, but on a whole for most there will be bits and pieces they really enjoy.

Write what you know plays a big part in it, it is a quote that is widely used but I think that is because it works in every aspect of writing. Any romantic scenes that you write try and add a touch of whimsy, noting that he has tied you to the bed with the dirty socks from off his sweaty feet will do nothing to help build a sense of passion. Although as noted before, you may get one or two that love it.

What’s your most romantic moment? Maybe start there.

#5 Oversharing.

You want to use every sense possible when describing the world in your book. What does his lips taste like? Can you smell his freshly laundered bedding? Are your eyes running down his body watching the rippling muscles taught beneath your apprehensive touch? If this is something you find difficult approach each chapter with a little questionnaire. Who is around you? What can you see? How do you feel? You have your story in your head as clear as day but others need to know what your vision is.

In a first draft describe it all, don’t limit yourself with worries of chapter length or over describing. Draft two is where you tighten it all up, you keep the information that furthers your story and sets the scene. Reading about a lit lavender candle for five minutes between removing her bra and accessing her knickers means you have failed to keep the flow going. Unless the wax from that candle is being used in some serious torture play it has no place taking up so much of your work.

#6 Adding some reality.

Contrary to popular belief not every sexual encounter ends with both parties finding their release at the same time. It’s okay to veer away from this misconception. I find it refreshing when an author attempts to bring a sense of reality into scenes that can sometimes be glossed over Hollywood style, it draws the reader in, they can invest in what you are writing. We as humans have flaws and although we want to read a book to get lost into a new world being able to connect with it on a real level will always be the biggest tool at your disposal.

In addition, sometimes sex is unplanned, it can be humorous, it can be messy, have a play around until you find the scene that speaks to you most and don’t be afraid to write down any idea that comes to mind. You don’t have to use everything you write down in your final edit.

#7 Celebrating flaws.

The majority of readers that will buy romance novels are female. Therefore, if you can empower a woman and it doesn’t detract from your work then why the hell not do it. I love finding a story that celebrates that a protagonist may be a size fourteen rather than a size six (although a smaller frame is never a bad thing).

Every woman no matter their shape, size or age has something they dislike about themselves. It can be that your protagonist has a trait that she dislikes but that drives him wild. Sometimes the most romantic description can be the dip at the base of her wide hips, or the slant of her shy smile or maybe her full chest a perfect background for his large palms. Sometimes it’s nice to think outside the box when creating your characters.

#8 Adding humour.

I don’t think I will ever be able to completely remove the addition of humour in any of my work, no matter what genre I choose. For me humour in any relationship is one of the most important aspects and my books reflect that, whether it is smart and well planned out humour or slapstick slipping on a condom humour, there is a place for it in any love story. It’s all about how you use it.

#9 The most controversial words in any romance novel.

C**T –

The use of an asterix or two is the only way to dampen the offense that this word can stir in people, however if you commit to using it you will have to write it out and if your work is ever in audiobook form that word is going to be said loud and proud to your reader. This word evokes different feelings in different people.

I myself being from London England would use this word more as a term of endearment whereas across the water it seems to be a term used for the female genitalia mostly. This is a marmite word for sure. It doesn’t matter how much the word seems to be used in the romance novels I have read I still can’t get on board with it used in that context. When used it can physically make me wince for some unknown reason.

MOIST –

I have seen grown women shudder at the mere mention of the word moist. Whether you dislike it because it feels cliche or because when spoken it has the ability to make your skin crawl it is definitely one to use carefully. Fun fact – In 2012 readers actually joined forces to try and get the word removed from the English language. As a matter of fact, people have said that the word moist itself isn’t inherently bad, but rather it is how it is used. Take these statements for example. ‘that was a moist cake’ or ‘it felt moist at the apex of her thighs’. Both have the word used correctly yet each one conjures up a very different visual.

WARNING – R-RATED WORDS BELOW

Furthermore, Some of these words below are not for everyone, so if that’s you, feel free to click onto one of our other posts.

Physical appearance

  • Breath-taking
  • chiselled
  • delectable
  • muscular
  • rounded
  • shapely
  • solid

How they moved

  • bolting
  • pulsating
  • quivering
  • erupting
  • jerking
  • splaying
  • surging
  • thrashing

Mannerisms & Sounds

  • begging
  • fiery
  • heated
  • callous
  • charged
  • feverish
  • possessive
  • lustful
  • brazen
  • blistering
  • purring
  • savage
  • buttery

How they touched it

  • butterfly-soft
  • firmly
  • furiously
  • gossamer
  • urgent
  • needy
  • savouring
  • greedily
  • gently

What they felt in reaction

  • weightless
  • stunned
  • flaming
  • intoxicating
  • peaking
  • knotting
  • euphoric
  • basking
  • building
  • anticipation
  • aching
  • alight

Penetration

  • Thrust
  • dip
  • dive
  • bury
  • impale
  • dart
  • insert
  • ravage
  • settle
  • fill
  • plunge
  • spear
  • breach

Genitalia Male

  • groin
  • manhood
  • his sex
  • package
  • his length
  • erection
  • staff
  • member
  • rod
  • shaft
  • dick
  • cock

Genitalia Female

  • her centre
  • her core
  • between her legs
  • junction of her thighs
  • groin
  • flower
  • her entrance
  • womb
  • box
  • slit
  • folds
  • orifice
  • pink pearl
  • pussy
  • c**t
  • clit

If you’ve made it this far thanks for reading and pop over in the comments section for a chat & sign up to our newsletter for more fun content. Happy Writing!

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I am an author, a mum & on some days I'm pretty funny. Lockdown however is not an actual representation of my sanity level. I look forward to sharing what knowledge I have with others that may need it, no matter what level you are at or whatever medium it may be that holds your creative heart.

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