I’m Writing a Romance Novel and You Should Too!
The Creative Writing Project
In my never ending quest to generate income from the comfort of my home, I have recently stumbled upon the idea of writing The Great American Novel.
I’m actually going to try self publishing a romance novel.
In this era of Everything Can Be Freelanced, self published Kindle ebooks on Amazon are making a killing, and I want in on the action.
Why Romance Novels?
The answer may surprise you, but nearly 60% of all self published novels these days are in the romance category, and I blame 50 Shades of Grey. While Romance books have always been around, I think 50 Shades was the first example of a really bad self published novel that made it big.
50 Shades of Grey gave horny housewives hope that their own personal fetishes could be turned into cash.
Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, I think it’s great. Anything that gets human beings to read is amazing in my book, but I also wonder if the self publishing aspect is going to make well written books a thing of the past.
To be fair, romance novels have never been something I’ve been drawn to. Personally, I don’t really care for them. I like reading books that I have to think about, and not ones that I can predict the ending for. I like to be surprised, and if the good guy doesn’t always win, that’s cool in my book.
That’s not to say I think Romance novels are bad, they’re just not my cup of tea.
Outside of the Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews, I have always stuck to my favorites, Horror and Scifi.
Give me Stephen King over Danielle Steel any day of the week!
However, I’ve started reading Romance as research, and it has given me hope for my own novel. I thought to myself, if 50 Shades can make millions, I can too.
My dream, was to write something salacious that would get the reads, but that had a surprising plot and was well written. After doing my research though, I discovered that surprising plots weren’t necessarily what readers are looking for.
What I’ve Learned About Romance Novels
The #1 piece of information I keep stumbling on is:
Stick To The Formula
In all the blogs and forums I’ve visited, this point keeps coming up.
While I personally don’t want a cookie cutter book, that is exactly what the romance community is looking for. They have their specific plot tropes and beats that they enjoy reading. If you write outside of those bounds, your book is no longer considered Romance. It might be Erotica, or Romantic Fiction, but it’s no longer in that coveted Romance category.
Since this if my first attempt at writing a novel in more than twenty years, I’m down to give it a shot.
It’s Not ALL About the Sex
Let’s get real here, everyone knows about porn. Porn exists for a reason. For horny housewives, however, just seeing the act isn’t enough. When it comes to good romance novels, the big payoff is in all of the other little things that go along with the sex act.
Anyone can picture a boob, but if you can expertly describe the boob, as well as how to boob feels people are going to love your book.
That scene in The 40 Year Old Virgin comes to mind when Steve Carell is trying to describe what a breast feels like:
“You know when you, like, grab a woman’s breast and it’s like… and you feel it and … it feels like a bag of sand when you’re touching it.”
Things like touch, smells, and emotion are difficult to portray in a porno which is what draws people into books. So, talk it out. Describe the scene, help your reader be there with the characters you’re writing about.
I Want to Be a Self Publishing Success Story!
All that being said, this is so much harder than I imagined it would be. I’m sure, if you’re a writer, you read the intro to this page and thought, “good luck, idiot.”
I’m not saying that I’m the best, or even good at writing. I know I still have a long ways to go before I become proficient in the craft, it’s just that it all seems so easy.
My plan is to write 1,500 words a day on this project, and hopefully get to a 50k word book before the end of June. It’s a difficult process, but if I can manage to pull it off, it will be another great example of a way to make extra money.