This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Earlier this month, we wrote about Mills & Boon’s brand new January writing competition #TemptedToWrite. As the first phrase of the competition, which saw lots of character and story development tools discussed on Twitter and Facebook, draws to a close, we’re joined by Mills & Boon editor Flo Nicoll, who shares her ten top tips for writing romance.
1. Start with a bang, not a whimper! Throw us straight into the action so we’re hooked right from the start!
2. Get your hero and heroine on the page together asap – how can we be captivated by their sizzle if we don’t get a chance to see it?
3. Keep those heroines strong – these women don’t need a man to rescue them, but having one will certainly make the journey more fun!
4. The hero must sweep the reader (as well as the heroine!) off her feet!
5. Make sure to give your characters flaws – there’s nobody harder to identify with than a ‘perfect’ character. (Being too nice/ too generous doesn’t count – we’re talking actual proper flaws here!)
6. Know your characters inside out and back to front – their deepest hopes, dreams and fears, everything that has shaped them into the people we meet on the page. This is how you will make them real, and avoid the trap of cliché.
7. Ensure there are emotionally motivated, believable barriers to a relationship between your hero and heroine to begin with – if there’s no conflict, there’s no story!
8. Keep secondary characters to a minimum – they’re useful to show different dimensions to your hero and heroine, and further the central relationship, but don’t let them take over.
9. Keep that dialogue flowing – it’s hands down the best way to establish spark and unique character
10. It’s fine to explore familiar themes in your romance writing, but always think about how you can put a fresh new twist on them – give your readers something they’ve never read before!
Short story submissions for #TemptedToWrite open today. You can find more information about the competition here.