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How to Write Romance!

Romantic fiction is one of the most popular forms of fiction worldwide, for everyone likes a feel good story once in a while! There are many people who specialise in writing romance - Dame Barbara Cartland made a cottage industry out of it - just as those that specialise in other genre, but the fact remains that romance sells - and in big numbers! You may have already written your romantic novel or short story, but either the way the advice that follows will be of interest to you and all those who wish to follow this entertaining and often lucrative genre of writing.

The first important factor is to know your audience; as with all styles and genre of writing there is a particular audience that is attracted to the typical romance novel, and it is quite a simple demographic - the majority, indeed the vast majority, of buyers and readers of romantic fiction are women.

This is not to say that you have to be a woman to write romantic fiction - far from it, for many men are very successful in the field - but that you have to have a good understanding of what women want to read about. If you are female you will have a good angle on this, but if not then it is worth talking to female friends or, and this applies anyhow, joining an online writers group dedicated to those who wish to write romance.

A very useful pointer comes from reading others work - either by offering to critique someone's work through a writers group or by reading well known (or not so well known) romantic fiction; it is interesting to note that romantic fiction these days is often split between two distinct groups - one is that which is focused on history, the other the very modern and semi-erotic romantic fiction - but both are equally popular. To write historically based romantic fiction well you must have some idea of the period you are writing about - research is all in this instance.

In writing romantic fiction a lot of the success of the story is in the characters; you need to make sure your readers like your characters - or in the case of the traditional cad that they don't like him - and that they can, to some extent, relate to he or she. The younger woman reading romantic fiction may see herself in the heroine, about to be rescued by the knight in shining armour, and this is all very important in the structure and success of your writing.

The best advice is to read a selection of romance novels and short stories, and to get an idea of what is popular on the market, and also to use the advice and criticism that comes from those at writing groups, but most of all give it a go!

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