Thursday, February 28, 2019

5 Tips For Writing Romance Novels By Linda Goodnight

Linda Goodnight offers some practical advice on how to write a better romance.

Tip #1 - A romance novel starts with great characters.

Make them strong, realistic, flawed, sympathetic characters that we can like. Even if he’s a damaged bad boy in need of redemption, the hero should be a man with deep worth, a true hero whose actions
show he respects and admires the heroine even as he’s struggling not to fall in love with her. Create a heroine worthy of that respect and admiration. Whiney, wimpy, helpless heroines without their own goals and dreams turn today’s readers off.

Tip #2 - Create realistic conflicts.
One of the major complaints against romance novels in the past has been silly, contrived conflicts. To avoid this, think of your characters as people. Real people have problems, fears, inner wounds, etc. Notice how these are all internal. While a romance may include an external issue between the main characters to move the story along, their main
conflict is internal.

Tip #3 - Focus on the emotional journey
Go deep inside your characters, figure out their emotional baggage, what hurts them, what are they afraid of, etc., and then show those emotions on the page. The heart of your book is inside your characters. Letting the reader see this internal angst adds to the conflict discussed in #2 and creates motivation for the character’s behavior.

Tip #4 - Keep the romantic relationship front and center.
While it’s great to include interesting subplots, always bring your reader back to the reason for the novel--the developing relationship between the man and woman.

Tip #5 - The Happy Ever After is a must in romance novels.
Consider it the emotional pay–off your reader has been longing for. This union of two hearts, this transformation from alone to committed love, is why she/he has followed the characters through all their trials. Don’t skimp on it. Tie up the plot’s loose ends and finish the story with an “ahhh” moment. If your reader tears up or swoons or smiles as she
closes the book, chances are she’ll be back for another of your stories.

"I could give you dozens of tips for writing a good romance novel..."    Linda Goodnight

NY Times and USA Bestseller, Linda Goodnight writes novels to touch the heart as well as to entertain. Her emotional stories of hope have won the RITA, the Carol, the Reviewer's Choice, and numerous other industry awards. A small town girl, Linda remains close to her roots, making her home in rural Oklahoma. She and husband have a blended family of eight, including two teenagers recently adopted from Ukraine. Many of her books are about family and children and rightly so, as she draws her deeply emotional stories from her surroundings, her great love of family, and from personal experiences as a nurse and teacher. Connect with Linda on Facebook, Twitter, or at

This post originally appeared on the Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writer's Blog in January 2018.