“Romance novels are written to a specific formula.” The number of times I’ve heard this insulting and patronizing phrase throughout my career as a romance writer would fill its own book! Yet, regardless of urban legends and popular culture tales, the simple fact is this: There is no romance novel formula.
Let me repeat that with emphasis: There is no romance novel formula.
Now, it might seem like I have contradicted the title of this book by saying that. However, there is more than one way to write a romance novel. This book is intended as a guide to assist you while giving you the freedom to find your own version of a formula.
While there is no set formula per se, there is a structure you can follow that will aid you in writing your breakout romance novel. This structure isn’t used solely by romance writers. Different forms are used by all novelists (see, for instance, books such as Story, Save The Cat! Writes a Novel, The Plot Whisperer, and Story Engineering, which have a variety of formulas, guides and suggestions). In that regard, writing a romance novel is almost the same as writing any other novel. I say almost because the romance genre has necessary inclusions that are applicable to it alone. This applies to every genre. These are called genre conventions.
Whether you are a novice or a seasoned writer, this book can lead you through the quagmire of structure and help you find the unique path for your characters to follow on what I call the lovers’ journey.