Happy February 1st! AKA the first day in my two weeks of romance blog posts. In honor of Valentine’s Day (February 14th for those who might have forgotten), I am posting fourteen romance-related articles. To kick off this romance extravaganza, I thought I would define what a romance novel is.
What Makes a Romance a Romance
Romance novels need two main things to be categorized as a romance genre book…
One: A Happily Ever After
Romance novels can find their origins in fairytales; depending on which scholar or writer you read, some claim romance novels are, in fact, modernized fairytales. (Although those Grimm Brothers throw a wrench into this theory if you ask me.) The closing line of “And they lived happily ever after,” doesn’t need to be stated verbatim, but the love interests (hero/hero, heroine/heroine, hero/heroine, etc.) need to end up together. With the growth of the contemporary subgenre of romance, couples no longer need to be married at the end of the story, but they need to be in love (and in a committed relationship). If your couple doesn’t say “I love you,” or walk off into the sunset at the end, it is not a romance.
Two: A Relationship
This should be obvious, but if you are writing a romance novel, you need to write a relationship. If your heroine doesn’t meet the hero until the two hundred page mark and your book is three hundred pages, there is something wrong here…or maybe not, but that story isn’t a romance novel. Simply put, romance readers want to read a romance. There are all types of loves, the slow-burn, insta-love, friends-to-lovers, and much more. There is lots of room to play. But you need to write about feelings and how they develop (as well as eventually culminate).
Every Romance Novel Needs
Your main characters need to be the main focus of the narrative. If they aren’t, double check which genre you want to seek publication under.
There are subgenres, standalones, series, and so much more under the romance genre umbrella. This very brief introduction hopefully inspires you to want to learn more.
Thank you for reading! If you are a romance writer, let me know in the comment section.
Stay kind + creative & make today a great reading + writing day!