10 Things Every Romance Writer Needs

10 Things Every Romance Writer Needs


Romance writer need to stay ensconced in that iridescent, happy bubble of handsome heroes and happily-ever-after. Writing is hard work, but we should keep it fun.

10 Things Every Romance Writer Needs

  1. Quickies. Look for the romance around you, keep a notebook or index cards on you, at the office, in your car. Jot down the ideas that come to you at unexpected times. Even if you can only find ten minutes a day, write.
  2. Stock phrases. Keep a list of stock phrases pinned up at your writing desk. ‘There was a maddening arrogance about the man’, ‘His tongue sent shivers of desire racing through her.’ Not great writing, but they’ll help you when you’re stuck.
  3. Cheese and Wine. Don’t try to write without some soothing, inspiring romantic music. In other words, cheesy, mushy music. It really gets you in the mood. Try Ronan Keating, Celine Dion, Air Supply. Of course, with cheese comes wine – why not indulge in a glass?
  4. Secret crush. Nothing keeps us in the romantic mood like a little celebrity crush. It could be the weather guy on etv, George Clooney or even Johnny Bravo – as long as we can have a guilty little pleasure whenever we see them.
  5. Break ups. Just as in real relationships, we need a break from our dashing heroes and spunky heroines. Sometimes time apart can make us solve a plot problem or renew our creative juices. Go to a movie. See Mamma Mia again. You know you want to.
  6. Something sensuous. You need to feel like you’re something special when you’re writing. Spray your favourite perfume on your wrists, write your sex scene in a candle-lit bath, or wrap a cashmere wrap around your shoulders.
  7. Good books. Surround yourselves with romance novels by the best romance writers out there. Keep them next to your bed. Learn from them. Take encouragement from them. See what they’ve done to build the best romantic stories. (Or take a writing course like This Kiss)
  8. Shoulder to cry on. Find a fellow romance writer or a good friend you can bounce ideas off or lament to when your writing stalls. We all need someone to believe in us, encourage us – and re-supply our wine stock when we’re desperate.
  9. Thick skin. You need to get a thick skin if you’re going to handle criticism, rejection. Of course, you should moisturise it again and again, but let some of that Teflon-coated attitude stay with you.
  10. Sense of humour. Writing romance novels requires as much work as any other novel, but never forget that you’re dealing with fantasy and fairy tales and Ferraris into the sunset. Keep your tongue in cheek. Keep some levity.

TOP TIP: If you want to learn how to write a romance, sign up for our online course, This Kiss.

by Anthony Ehlers

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