Whether you're a new or experienced writer, this course will teach you the skills you need to write a romance novel that will make readers swoon.
Romance is the #1 selling genre in mass-market fiction with readers clamoring for more! To pen a novel romance readers' love, you'll need to understand how to meet and exceed their expectations. Whether you're a new or experienced writer, this course will help you broaden your skills and understand exactly what makes a romance reader finish a book with that "Ahh" of satisfaction. You will start by learning about the genre of romance and exploring why you fell in love with your favorite romance novels. You will explore how to craft three-dimensional characters your readers will love and how to weave a plot so your story grabs the reader's interest from page one. You will gain valuable techniques—your "romance writer's toolbox"—to apply to your own manuscript.
You will also spend a couple lessons looking at and practicing elements important for any writer to master: setting, pacing, point of view, dialogue, research, mood, and tone. You will take on fun assignments that will help you hone your craft. By the time you finish, you'll be able to pick up a book and figure out what makes it a best seller, or why it's been called a classic, or why it appealed to you as a reader. Even better, you'll have mastered tools and techniques so you can add those same elements to your own writing.
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.
- PC: Windows 8 or newer.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
Instructional Material Requirements:
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.Master the tools and techniques needed to hone your craft as a successful romance novelist. This course will broaden your skills and allow you to pen a romance novel that meets and exceeds your readers' expectations.
What Is a Romance Novel?
In the first lesson, you'll learn a simple definition for a romance and discover the hallmark element of all romance novels. (Think it's just a love story? Think again!) You'll learn about why fulfilling reader expectations is so important and get an overview of the subgenres found in romance to see where your idea might fit. Finally, you'll take a look at the romances that have really resonated with you—the ones you read over and over again—to discover what makes a "great" book "great."
The Elements of Romance
In this lesson, you'll explore what's needed to create a romance that readers will come to again and again. The lesson will begin by outlining a short list of romance classics that are as popular today as when they were first written. Then, you'll look at a classic book and use it to demonstrate the eight essential and three optional elements all romance novels should have in order to meet reader expectations.
Characters: The Heartbeat of Romance
The third lesson introduces you to the heart of the romance novel—the characters. This lesson will talk about what readers expect from your heroine and hero, as well as your options for making your hero and heroine uniquely your own. You'll also explore how to use secondary characters to support your central story, and examine examples drawn from some popular romances and romantic-comedy movies.
Getting to Know Your Characters
Here, you'll go deeper into characterization. You'll learn to use tools that will help you get to know your characters on a deeper level. Knowing your characters inside and out will help you make them come alive on the page and better reach the high level of reader satisfaction you want your romance to deliver.
Goal, Motivation, and Conflict
This lesson covers three concepts that serve as the bridge between character and plot development: goal, motivation, and conflict. Throughout the lesson, you'll create a character's GMC chart, noting story goals, the character's motivation, and the internal and external conflicts that they face. You'll see how developing the GMC chart provides information that will help you create plots that challenge your characters and satisfy your readers.
The Basics of Plot
Now you're going to get to the meat of your romance: the plot. The lesson will discuss the difference between story plot and romantic plot, and then you'll take a look at the different kinds of romance plots that are common in the genre. Ultimately, you'll see how identifying your basic plot pattern can help as you're writing your romance.
This lesson will continue the discussion on plotting. Here, you'll explore the main components of a plotline and examine how to weave in subplots to enhance your main plot. You'll also see how you can organize your plot according to the Three Act Structure to ensure readers are eager to stick with it all the way to your HEA ending. Finally, you'll learn about some typical beginner's mistakes that you'll want to avoid as you're developing your plot.
Scene and Sequel
There's still more to be said about plotting! Here, you'll explore how the elements you use to build your plot form the basic structure you looked at last time. You'll start by examining how you'll use cause and effect to create believable events that draw the reader in. Then, you'll look at the building blocks of plot, scene, and sequel, and see how you can use them to structure the ebb and flow of your story.
Evoking emotion in readers is a key element in romance. This lesson will discuss two tenets of romance writing along with various tools that will help you write emotionally packed scenes. Finally, the lesson will discuss the all-important topic of writing a sex scene—whether or not your story even needs one, and how you can ensure the scene moves your reader along with your characters.
Fiction Writing Craft I
Good writing is good writing, whether you're drafting a romance, a sci-fi adventure, or a thriller. In this lesson, you'll begin to look at the elements of a writer's craft that you'll need to master on your way to penning your romance. The lesson will cover three crucial elements that are central to all fiction: dialogue, pacing, and point of view. You'll examine examples of each in depth so that by the end of the lesson, you'll be ready to start applying what you learn to your own romance.
Fiction Writing Craft II
In this lesson, you'll continue your exploration of important elements of writing fiction: research, setting, mood, and tone. You'll learn why research is so important, how setting can reflect and even impact your characters, and how mood and tone contribute to the overall impact of your romance.
After "The End"
After all your hard work, you'll finally be able to write "The End." But you're still not done! This lesson will discuss the steps writers need to take after they've finished the first draft of their manuscript. You'll learn about the need for revisions and editing and the importance of critique groups and partners, and then receive some tips on submitting your manuscript for publication.
Priscilla Oliveras has a Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. Her debut novel, His Perfect Partner, is an October 2017 release with Kensington Zebra Shout. A long-time active member of Romance Writers of America, she currently serves as the PRO Liaison on the national board. She's a four-time Golden Heart finalist who has won multiple contests and writes contemporary romance novels with a Latino flavor. Priscilla has lectured on college campuses, presented for local writers groups, penned multiple articles on her craft, and completed five romance novels. Sharing her love of the written word and the information she's gleaned over the course of her writing career is one of her greatest passions.