In trying to write my first romance, I’ve picked up a new book. Well, new to me, since it was published in 2007. It’s Leigh Michael’s ON WRITING ROMANCE. Right off the bat, I found really useful information in the form of the basic rules of writing a romance. They are as follows (or at least my interpretation of the rules):
1. A romance is first and foremost, the story of love developing between a man and woman (or what have you), who must solve some problem that is trying to force them apart, but which causes them to realize that they are meant for one another, come hell or high water, thus leading to commitment to one another and the happy ending.
2. A romance must have the happy ending in which the heroine and hero (usually) plan for a forever relationship.
3. A heroine often has a confidante with whom she shares her background, weaknesses, and thoughts, so that the author doesn’t have to do it.
4. Past relationships or marriages are usually well and truly over and divorce final before the hero and heroine begin their new one.
5. Romance readers generally expect their characters to be likeable.
6. Romance readers also like an exciting story with the happily ever after ending.
7. By all means, plan out your novel, but planning can also be a never-ending story. Finish planning, and start writing.