Tips for Preparing for and Writing a Romance Novel

Part of the Writing a Romance Novel For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Writing a romance novel is a process. You need to prepare, manage the writing, and pay attention to the details. Before you sit down to start writing, make sure you have the following list covered. Accomplishing these tasks will make the writing process easier and more productive.

  • Choose a space that can become your home office: Although an entire room would be great, you can turn any unoccupied corner into dedicated writing space.

  • Reconcile your family to the project: Finding time to write can be difficult. Involving your family and getting them on your side from the start makes life easier for everyone.

  • Collect your supplies: Gather everything you need from computer to coffee mug ahead of time.

  • Surround yourself with relevant research: Collect research materials before you start writing so that the information is at your fingertips — instead of at the end of a 20-minute drive to the library or bookstore.

  • Make a schedule: Block out regular writing time and stick to your schedule, unless you have a real emergency.

Keep these tips in mind throughout the writing process:

  • An outline is just a guide, so write one. Yes, really.

  • Let your characters — your hero and heroine — drive the plot.

  • Leave your readers wanting more. Start and stop every chapter (and every scene) so that your reader simply must keep reading.

  • Master the techniques of effective pacing.

  • Build both the emotions and the action to a climax, and follow it with a satisfying resolution.

If you want agents, editors, and everyone else to take you and your work seriously, you have to pay attention to the details, such as those in the following list:

  • Accuracy counts: Check and double-check your research.

  • Know the rules: Grammar and punctuation are important. You can break them, but do so with a purpose and only for effect.

  • Simple is usually better: Don't go thesaurus crazy.

  • Proofread: Don't use just your computer's spellcheck.

  • Formatting matters: Get your margins right and make your font and spacing readable.

  • Count accurately: Come up with an accurate word count.

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Writing a Romance Novel For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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