Two “nevers” in romance writing.



It’s just as important in this wacky writing biz, to learn what NOT to do in your writing along with all those must dos. Here are two simple items one must NEVER do in a romance novel, at least in my opinion.

1. NEVER kill off a dog! Or any other lovable creature. Yes, I’ve read novels where such things have occurred, but they immediately go into the “donate to the library” pile. It’s too much for this sensitive soul. Perhaps such mayhem might happen in a thriller novel, or a straight suspense novel, but believe me, it upsets the reader and romance readers have expectations to be happy in the end (see #2). If this writing sin is committed, you will get MAIL. Ironically, killing off a character doesn’t incite as much angst as murdering the sweet family dog. In my first mystery novels, there was the “incident of the injured bird”. The bird lived, mind you, but I still got an earful about that! So if you’re penning that romance, or romantic suspense, leave the fuzzy (and feathered) friends alone!

2. Don’t forget the HEA. That’s the “happily ever after” in case you didn’t know. That is an absolute necessity in the romance genre. Readers demand that their characters are going to be in a happy relationship at the end of the novel, or at least there should be an expectation that their future might be happy together. You cannot end the story with the two protags agreeing to part ways and never see each other again. That’s not a romance, and you will get MAIL.

So are there certain things you do or do not want to see in your romance novels? I would really love to hear your thoughts. Giving away a VISA gift card, signed book and February surprise next week!


10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Valri Western on February 24, 2015 at 12:09 am

    I agree with the other comments here. I’ve been a judge in a couple of contests in the last couple years and some entries have had so much profanity, I couldn’t believe it! how did the author think I was supposed to focus on the story?? I had to start skimming immediately! It was sad because I really had no idea what the actually storyline was about….same with too much sex in a book. Like someone else said, the HEA is paramount! My personal favorite is an epilogue but I know all authors don’t do it! I just love to see how my characters “are” after a couple months!



  2. I do not want my characters to go much beyond kissing in the romance novels I read.
    Don’t invite me into the bedroom!



  3. I don’t enjoy romance where people meet at like say a baror where ever and go home together. I like my romances clean with a developing story to them. Build the character of each character. I don’t want the details of what happens if it does. I like the leave it to your imagination much better.I want sweet and respectful romanceand if they help animals all the better !



  4. Posted by Kim on February 23, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    There MUST be HEA! I also agree, don’t kill off the animals. Nicholas Sparks’ “The Guardian” was almost more than my poor heart could take. I cried for days! I also don’t like a lot of cursing. I can handle a little bit, but when it’s every page it will make me stop reading.



  5. I like to see how a romance unfolds and blossoms. I don’t like it when it appears as though two people just up and fall in love without seeing the progression, unless they knew each other from childhood. I also don’t like explicit details of love in my romance novels. I like them sweet and with the HEA.



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