iUniverse presents tips on writing Romance novels, Part 2

In Part One, iUniverse looked at dialogue and setting as important aspects of your Romance novel. Today, iUniverse focuses on characterization and word count.


Colin Firth, as Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice

Characterization: Characters: must have depth, and this is especially relevant in a story where readers want to see two people love each other. To provide depth to characters, we need to see what they like and what they don’t like – regarding people, clothes, food, work, and personal interests. Unlike thrillers, where action supersedes character description, Romance requires a detailed attention to a character’s appearance and personality. Keep in mind that most readers of Romance are women, and women are more detail-oriented than men. Some further tips on characterization are:

Male character: the male lead, who ends up with the girl, should be overall a decent and likeable person. At the same time, he has to have flaws. These may include: detachment, selfishness, too dominant, or even their opposites.

Female character: this is really the main character of your book, as you want your female readers to empathize with her. Hence, you will want to draw her as deep as possible. While she should indeed have some strong characteristics, please bear in mind that if you make her too masculine it may confuse readers. A good female character has usually been hurt before and is cautious about the men she meets; she doesn’t fall head-over-heels. She is also not too young, and has life experience. Lastly, although she is most probably looking for stability, she is not afraid of a little adventure.

Word count, i.e. length, of a Romance novel is relatively straightforward. The length should be under 200 pages, or around 60,000 to 80,000 words. If you find yourself pulsating with too many great ideas, don’t be afraid to save them for your next book!

iUniverse hopes you have enjoyed our Romance tips thus far. We’ll be back with the third and final part shortly. In the meantime, who is your favorite romantic character in fiction?

Make sure to check out the iUniverse site for more advice and blogs, as well as iUniverse Facebook and iUniverse Twitter.


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