Good writing needs passion.

So it would make sense to write about things that bring out your strongest feelings, yes?

And come on, let’s be honest …

a beautiful poem is nice.

We can get pretty excited about lovely places.



Baby pandas. Also good.



But if we’re going to be comple-e-tely honest …

(and, otherwise, what’s the point?)

… when it comes to grand, heart-stopping passion



Well then we’re talking about



So do that. Write a romance.

Here are some tips.

Harlequin, the world’s biggest romance publisher, suggests that you read some of the best sellers first to get an idea of what’s popular.

(And no, it’s NOT because they want to sell you some books. Honestly, they’re doing fine without you.)

Pick a few stories that you related to  best — books that suit your particular way of thinking and your style. Then just absorb them, don’t completely imitate them. Use them as inspiration. Make your own story.

Harlequin are looking for unique, fresh voices so, in the words of Jim Carrey on Goalcast FB page,


“Risk being yourself in all your glory”.


Now, just to get practical for a minnie …

The elements of a great romantic novel are the elements of all good novels. Let’s concentrate on two of them. You are going to need great characters and great conflict.

Appealing, believable, three-dimensional characters

You need to create characters that a reader cares about and wants to spend time with.



 When it comes to the heroine of  your story she needs to be ‘sympathetic’. The reader has to want her to achieve her goals and become happy.

All characters in the book need to be recognisable as complete human beings, with likeable traits and also flaws and inconsistencies.

You, the writer, have to know your characters extremely well. You need to be familiar with their backstories, even if most of that won’t appear on the page.

The main characters should develop over the course of the novel. They should be affected by what happens to them.

And when it comes to the object of her desire, well, you know exactly what you want him (or her) to be. Draw deep. Indulge your imagination. This is probably why you want to write romance in the first place.

According to Joanna Penn, intelligence and a sense of humour are important traits for the romantic hero.

(I also think he has to have other qualitites, don’t you?)



Every story needs conflict. In practice this often means the plot contains forces, circumstances, events or situations that get in the way of the key romantic relationship.

Maybe two or three conflicts which arise and are resolved.

Conflict should be character driven. It should come from conflicting needs and personalities. Also, in all good stories a lot of the conflict is internal. A character has conflicting desires, or personality traits that conflict with their aspirations.

One last tip, from “The Hairpin” webpage,

Describe characters’ sensory experiences, because this, effectively, reminds the reader of their bodies.


Thanks to these people for the images

“Tuscan Courtyard”

“Panda” from Pixabay

“The Nightmare” 1781 by Henry Fuseli

“Love” on Pixabay

“Lady Gaga performing Venus”.png

“Renee Zellweger”

 “Drew Barrymore and Juliette Lewis” by Josh Jensen on Flickr

“Zooey Deschanel @ Virgin Music Festival 03”

“Isla Fisher”

“Young Romance No 54 1954a”  Public Domain,

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