Thursday, May 13, 2010

Genre: Romance

I'll admit it.  I've been putting this genre off for a while now.  See, I blush quite easily.  And I really don't want to stumble upon something that is going to make me uncomfortable.  So I tend to avoid this genre.  (Despite the fact that the first short story I wrote and the first novel I wrote are both romances.)

This is a short post today though.  Romance can be done in so many different genres that I'm pretty sure I've touched on some already and will address more in the future.

n. a book or movie dealing with love in a sentimental or idealized way

Now, I'm not saying I agree with this definition.  This is just the one pulled from my dictionary application on my computer.


  • Primary, central focus start to finish is on the development of the romantic relationship
  • HEA is usually a must, at least an optimistic ending (but the type of HEA can vary and isn't even essential sometimes)
  • Types
    • Category
      • Shorter, roughly 200 pages or less
      • According to some sources, has a very short shelf life in bookstores
    • Single title
      • Longer, 350-400 pages (rough guideline)
      • Aren't necessarily stand-alone titles, they can be part of series
There are many categories, like historical, contemporary, science fiction, etc.

Further reading

RWA definition of romance
Reader's Guide to Romance

Tips for writing it (and if you're not following Roni's blog, I suggest you do.  I'll wait while you go over there.)

Don't be corny or porn-y
Amping up sexual tension

What is your favorite type of romance?  Any squeaky clean recs for me?  Who's your favorite author?

Side note, are you still enjoying these posts?


  1. Thanks for the links! I like inspirational romance and paranormal. I find they are strong in character and usually have an interesting plot.

  2. Ah, my favorite genre. :) And thanks for directing people over to my blog!

    And just for clarification, the shorter romances are called category romances. The short shelf life part is because Harlequin is the biggest producer of those and their titles are only available for a month on the shelves (although you can get them online whenever).

    And don't give up on romance yet! If you blush easily, inspirational romance might be a good place to go. Those follow very strict standards of what can and can't be written about. You won't stumble across any steamy stuff or open bedroom doors. (Here are the writing guidelines for Harlequin's inspirational line so you can get an idea of what these involve: And I don't know if you follow Jody Hedlund, but her debut novel is an inspirational romance as well (

  3. I like historical romance, a la Diana Gabaldon. ;)

    Great post!

  4. I don't write romance, but I still find this interesting, and I LOVE Roni!!! :-)

  5. I write sexy medieval romance =)

    And if it's a romance, a HEA is a MUST!

    I can't recommend anything for ya, sorry! I read hot romances, so I can't tell you of any squeaky clean ones ;)

  6. I don't necessarily read straight romance, but I like there to be a romantic element in any story.

  7. LOVE all romance! But I write the squeaky clean kind. :)

  8. My favorite romance is paranormal romance. My historical fantasy, RITES OF PASSAGE, set in 1853 aboard a transatlantic steamer bound for Paris from New Orleans, is basically a fantasy Titanic. It is of a love affair between a 50 year old man and an immortal woman with a haunted past.

    I wish you success in your publishing dreams, Roland


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