The romance genre is all about love and relationships. We know that somewhere in the book our protagonists will fall in love and something will hold them back from each other until they overcome it all. But each romantic subgenre has its own rules.
- Historical Romance: Based in the past, everyone loves a good mystery and intrigue plot. There may be sex but some have just a tad and some have none at all.
- Contemporary Romance: The present, here and now. Humour or suspense works.
- Series Romance: So back in the day serial romances were something of the norm. This was how Austin first released her books. They are often in monthly instalments. Usually shorter than contemporary romances. It's a great place to start if you are a new author.
- Regency Romances: Based in the regency period, they usually emphasise on society and dialogue.
- Time Travel Romance: There's a few amazing ones in this subgenre.
- Gothic Romance: everyone loves a brooding hero...
- Romantic Suspense: Similar to Gothic Romance. Perhaps with killers or drug dealers...
The Perfect Man
He does no wrong. He's polite. He's handsome. Hot. He's the guy every girl wants. He may have weaknesses but those weaknesses make him even more perfect. He really is just perfect. As much as we might love him, he's too much of a cliche. He's just not real and who wants an imaginary perfect guy when they can have a perfectly imperfect man who seems real except for the fact that he's a character in a book.
Forgetting Your Story
It's important not to lose track of what your story is trying to say and where your story is supposed to be going. Everything is about the love between your two protagonists and making sure you write their love story. Don't lose sight of that story. It's the central theme of everything you're writing.
Love At First Sight
BLLAAAAAAHHHH! They might be attracted to each other, sure, but love definitely aught to wait. It's supposed to be a process. This isn't really an option. People don't fall in love at first sight. Guys might think, "nice tits," and girls might think "cor he's alright." But they don't fall in love with one look. It's just not realistic.
Forgetting To Sub Plot
Your book isn't just about your protagonists. Let your other characters have a story too. Life never happens in a bubble so don't let your characters' live in isolation. You won't get real character development if you don't allow your lesser characters to have a story. It's how your protagonist looks after is little sister or how she supports her friend going through a break up.
Put something unexpected in every scene. Keep your characters worrying and thinking and caring. Don't make it easy to guess. Don't let your writing be dull. Your reader should never know where you're going to end.
Bad Sex Scenes
Not always the easiest thing to write, it can feel uncomfortable or too personal but if you are going to write it you need to write it well!