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So I'm currently working on a story that kinda is a romantic novel. But I need some starters, like

  • what exactly to keep in mind while writing a romantic novel? (From the reader's point of view)

  • the basic psychology of a reader when reading a romantic novel. I've read somewhere that people expect a happy ending, both characters meet each other and live happily ever after stuff.

  • what key points should be kept in mind while writing such novel?

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    Define "kinda". Is the romance the main focus of the novel, or is it a subplot to a larger main storyline? – F1Krazy Jan 12 '18 at 14:06
  • Well, I'll say it's a subplot of the story. The main character feels what love is for the first time. Somewhat around 60% of the story would be romantic - how boy meets girl, falls for her, etc. – HardikT Jan 13 '18 at 5:02
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Here are some points:

  • Give the characters good reasons for falling for each other. "He was kind to me" is not as good an answer as much lazy fiction has made us think. It's all too easy to forget to give everyone a rich three-dimensional personality.
  • One of the good things about love stories is that relationships can give a character a better understanding of who they are as a person. Make sure each lover undergoes appropriate character development.
  • Be very careful with any sex scenes you write. They should be less about the mechanics and more about feelings.
  • Research the conventions of the genre, and think carefully about which to honour in your work and how to do so (or how not to). Will he be an architect? Will she be a florist? Will the other guy be a richer jerk?
  • The plot should be true to the characters, not necessarily to a cliché ending. Romances have experimented with alternatives since at least Romeo and Juliet. Give the plot, in its ending or otherwise, something that makes it stand out from other "Jennifer Aniston falls in love" plots.
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    Regarding the third point: if you don't feel confident enough writing a sex scene (or want to keep it PG), you can write the before-and-after, but skip the actual act and let the reader fill in the gap for themselves, so to speak. – F1Krazy Jan 14 '18 at 13:01
  • Or, if courageous, you can try to take inspiration from this comment or others in the same thread: reddit.com/r/writing/comments/57p013/… – J.G. Jan 14 '18 at 13:29
  • Great points! Much appreciated. :) – HardikT Jan 16 '18 at 1:40
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If you want to write a popular romantic novel do what other romantic novels do.

Some pointers:

  • love and death: these are central themes in a large share of books. You may want to include some sickness or death in your kinda romantic novel.
  • audience: who are you targeting? Women, men, stay-at-home (wo)men? I think women in general tend to read more romantic novels that include some erotica. I think men tend to like fatalism such as sickness and death. A combination of the two would give the best of both worlds.
  • point of view: women's romantic novels are generally told from a female point of view, men's romantic novels are from a male point of view.
  • transience (in Japanese also called mono-no-aware): the concept of life is short. Love and have love while you can. Include elements (motives) that represent transience.

It's alright to not have a happy ending (e.g. Romeo and Juliet). A sad but beautiful loving-till-the-end ending will work too.

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A romance novel has romance at the heart of it. Typically this means two people falling in love, and the journey as they fall.

Sure, it might be set in a space opera, like Star Wars. But if you take away the love story portion, and you are left with practically nothing? It's a romance.

It is arguably true that you should try to uphold ideals of some sort. Sex after marriage, if you are writing a Christian Romance. Courting the right way, if it's set in a more austere environment--Elizabethan London, for example.

The core, however, should be romance. That's the story your selling. Now. Consider the following.

  • Depending on where you plan on publishing (thousands or routes, so I won't get into that now), there could be criterion already in place. At what point the two Main Characters meet, when the first date is, the first kiss. Some publishers get almost micromanagingly specific about this. Consider that before writing.

  • Many readers enjoy the falling in love part. And they want the real deal. No insta-romance, no love at first sight (common complaints I've heard, but maybe your target audience wants that, do your research). They want a strong female character falling for a strong male character. Two decent human beings that find comfort in each other's arms.

  • There is also quite the market for LGBT romance novels. If you can pull it off, there's money to be made. Do your research if you aren't LGBT, or you could just get people upset, though. My gayday isn't picking up much from the OP.

  • Consider what makes a compelling couple. Two people that positively affect each other. They compliment each other, they are good for each other. This makes for some timeless romance classics, if done right.

  • Consider that you can ignore all the above, if you write it the right way. Take as a plausible premise:

A deranged serial killer finds the love of his life in his psychiatrist. She understands him, how he ticks, how he is put together. And he likes that.

(above could be a Joker and Harlequin love story, and while it's IP infringement, and DC Comics won't take well to that, it could be a compelling story if you get it right.)

  • Thank you! Great points :) and loved the last point btw ;) – HardikT Jan 16 '18 at 1:43

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