“Romance takes its own time and has its own style with every couple.”
-“How to Write a Love Letter: Putting What’s in Your Heart on Paper” by Barrie Dolnick and Donald Baack
There is no standard romance. There is a “formula” of sorts and there are certainly expectations in the reader, but the genres allow freedom and creativity. There is a reason there are so many subgenres.
Here is a list of them:
Write the romance story you want to write, then figure out which subgenre it belongs in. (You could also look at the individual subgenre requirements before you put pen to paper to ensure that your story fits into the category of your choosing.) Don’t limit your story based on what you think readers want or what is popular. Your story will find its place. Your story can be a contemporary, shifter romance with a second chance love story focusing on a CEO werewolf. There is a genre for that. You may want to write a first love alien romance, there is a genre for that.
Let your mind wonder. Be as creative as you want. As long as you are writing about a relationship that culminates in a happily ever after, you should be able to find a subgenre for your story. When you do write your story, make sure you know where it belongs so that readers find it and you. If you don’t categorize your story properly, that will hurt your sales and chances of being found (via chance or algorithms). Romance readers choose subgenres based on their preferences and interests. Realize and respect this and your story will find a place on someone’s bookshelf, either virtual or physical.
Stay kind + creative & make today a great reading + writing day!