So You Want to Write a Romance Novel? Start Here!

Updated: Aug 16, 2020

My first Black romance novel, “Craving A King” launches on August 17th. I wrote the book during the pandemic, and I’m amazed at the product I have. Reviewers love it too. As I reflect on the process, I want to share the four big lessons I learned to write my first romance novel. This list is a good start for any writer dreaming up an alpha male and independent woman for the pages.

1.     Write the story you already have: If you are sitting down to write a novel, you have a story idea. No matter how thin or undeveloped that idea is; it is a story. Develop it. Ask the idea questions. Focus until you get some answers. Write everything down. Don’t waste time trying to come up with the perfect story-you will write nothing that way. 

2.     Set Boundaries: Writing is a discipline. Set aside time to write and publish. Do not think for one second that a book will magically appear after writing a couple thousand pages here and there, month after month. If you want to produce a marketable book; write something every day. Your pen is a muscle; use it!

3.     Write to the market you know: Listen! Reverse Harem romances are all the rage right now. So are paranormal romances. But I would be on a fool’s errand to write either. I have never fantasized about having multiple men at once, and the most fantasy I’ve ever read is Harry Potter. Nope, I know Africans, African Americans, international travel, bossy men and sassy females, happily ever after and ridiculously good and hot sex. Therefore, that's what I write. 

4.     Know thy heat levels: This can really be its own blog post. Listen, the industry has at least 100 names to quantify the amount of sex in romance novels. These names also do the double duty of preparing the reader for the sex they will encounter in the text. The only problem is-sex and heat levels are subjective! So, what’s a girl to do? This is what I’ve learned. All that really matters is knowing the difference between four levels/descriptors: Clean/Wholesome, Sweet, Steamy/Sexy/Contemporary, Dark, and Erotica. Once you’ve got those down, you can find your way. Everything else is a sub-category of one of those five. Once you master the rules of your chosen genre you are good as gold. That leads me to my final tip.

5. Read Your Sub-genre: Read what sells and what does not in your sub-genre. Get to know how the masters weave their tales. read reader reviews and find out what the people want-and what they don't. In my eyes, this is truly writing to market. Judge your writing accordingly!

At the end of the day, you have to believe in your story and know you can do it! faith will allow you to conquer anything!

Grab Your Copy of Craving A King on Amazon today. Click here to purchase or borrow on Kindle Unlimited.

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