How To Write Romance

How To Write Romance

If you’ve read my tagline, you will know I’m probably the last person to be writing this. If there’s one place my writing talents don’t extend to, it’s the world of romance. Not that I don’t read romance, I do. I read Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz, Elizabeth Lowell, Sandra Brown, Susan Wiggs etc. But I always roll my eyes at the end (it’s a purely reflex action, I assure you) Happily-ever-afters are just not my thing. That doesn’t mean I have not attempted writing romance, I have.

My first attempt was at the age of thirteen and I started with the description of my heroine, specifically her eyes. I wrote that she had ruby colored eyes rimmed with emerald, they had amber flecks and shone like agate. She was also a princess (hey, all those fairy tales I read had to surface one way or the other). I wrote that looking into her eyes was like seeing heaven (thinking of that now makes me cringe – I actually wrote that???!!!) And of course all the men were in love with her and wanted to marry her, even her dad, if not that she was already his daughter. Okay, before you crucify me for that, remember I was thirteen a long time ago in an era when thirteen year olds had never heard the word Pedophile or the name Yerima.

I cannot remember how the story ended but I remember forcing my whole family to read it. Thank God for the family I have, my dad diplomatically said “She has pretty eyes” and my mom hugged me and declared I will soon give Carole Mortimer a run for her money. Looking back now, I can say with all certainty that my mom sucks at soothsaying as much as I suck at romance writing. I will never ever be a threat to Carole Mortimer, or any romance writer for that matter.

My second romance writing attempt was in my second year in University when my boyfriend (now ex) urged me to write a story about the two of us and the happily-ever-after we were destined to have. With love as my motivation, I launched myself into the project with zeal. It started well enough but by this time I had discovered Stephen King and he had snuck into my head without me knowing. The story ended with my darling discovering I was a reincarnated Egyptian slave who had been buried alive with her Pharaoh and who returned to earth every century to exact her revenge on the men folk. I wound up draining the life essence out of my brand new hubby on our honey moon few minutes after he realized I had no shadow.

Now, I’m not a hundred percent certain about this but I suspect the story had something to do with why he broke up with me. I mean look at the timing, I presented him the story as a birthday gift and twenty-four hours later, he announces we are not compatible. You do the maths.

The third and latest attempt was early this year. I had been working on a collection of short stories and as usual, they were the spooky, evil at its best, nothing-ends-well kinda stories. I was midway through the fourth story in the pack when my boyfriend (still current boyfriend) suggested, “Why don’t you give this a good ending? Something romantic will be a nice difference” Well, he caught me at a lovey-dovey moment, you know those sweet, everything is well with the world moments immediately after . . . . . . . . . . . .

Anyway, I agreed. A few days later, I proudly gave him the completed story and watched while he read. Finally he raised his head and went, “Ah, this is really nice but maybe you should write it the way you originally intended before I suggested otherwise”. I cannot begin to tell you how close he came to becoming my latest ex at that moment. As it is, he is still on probation.

I have not given up on romance writing, not yet, maybe not ever. One day, I will post a romance story right here on this site. I have to warn you all though, anything less than a “WOW” comment and I will make good on my threat to join the Romance Writers Group. Believe me, you don’t want that.

So, for my ‘how to write romance’ advice, well, you can start by not giving her ruby colored, emerald rimmed, amber speckled, agate shinning eyes. It will also help if her father doesn’t want to marry her!

23 thoughts on “How To Write Romance” by Lade (@Lade-A)

  1. This is awesome….. Realli sorry abt d ex nd d current bf 2….
    I can just imagine how stephen king got 2 U…. He is amazing…
    Not a fan of romances maself, bt i do try 2 undastand d context of romance bks…..

  2. I love tis piece Lade,it gave me a little insight on the kinda person u are and it made me laugh till my ribs ached cos of the humorous way u wrote the piece.
    Now i cant wait for tat romance piece of yours.
    U CAN DO IT.

  3. (applause) Trust me, its too early in the day to damn ur Mom’s soothsaying abilities.
    Methinks, u might want to give romance writing a go when there’s no boyfriend around, just so there’s no risk of him becoming the latest “ex”.
    I really like; might want to try ur hand at comedy. Just saying. lol

  4. LOL…Its rare these days coming across a female writer that’s into the spooky genre. I belong to the spooky genre and I don’t believe stories should always be a happily ever after affair otherwise you’d lose some realism.

    But then I believe writing romance has its perks and good sides. There are romances that one would smile at and those one would hiss at. I think the most important thing is that whatever your romance story turns out to be, don’t let it be predictable

  5. @Aeeshah – tnx a lot. Lol, no sweat abt ex & current bf. And u r so rite, Stephen King is awesome. I have a mega crush on him (his mind, actually)
    @ Paul – lol, glad i made u laff. Hmmmn, care to tell me wat insight u got abt me? Im real curious. Tnx 4 d faith, YES, I CAN DO IT. But, rmbr u urged me on wen u r groanin thru my romance story o.
    @Abby – (curtsy) tnx 4 d encouragement. Yes, i will continue tryin to prove my mother rite. (as soon as current bf becomes ex, lol, kidding). Comedy? Hmmmn, worth thinking abt.

  6. ha! I see. hmmm, you try o. you practically scared your ex off hmmm.
    i feel him on that one.

    anyways, everybody can’t go the romance route or else we’ll all have our heads stuck in the clouds. i believe happily ever after happens sha, it’s just relative.

    well done here!

  7. I love the fact that your romance stories are not the regular happily ever after, that’s the way forward.

  8. Aww mehn, really had me cracking up – i mean, some eyes your heroine has!
    Lovely post, and non-fiction, too.

    I dunno if i could write anything this cool and this real at the same time. In fact, back then, i used to believe those two were mutually exclusive…

  9. @Afronuts – my partner in spook, lol. Romance is great, i enjoy it. Just that i prefer horror and supernatural. As for the hissing, it applies to all genres; if the book sucks . . . . . .
    @Remiroy – thanks. Me being a reincarnated vengeful egyptian woman was supposed to charm my ex, not scare him o, lol. I no blame the poor guy jare. By the way, even without romance, my head is in the cloud most of the time. Busy concoting evil characters!
    @Adeyinka – thanks. But isn’t romance supposed to be happily ever after?
    @Kay9 – awwww, you just made me blush under my black skin. Thanks a lot. Yeah, my heroine’s eyes belong more in a nightmare than in the pages of a romantic book. I’ve read your writings, you definitely can write real and cool.

    1. i have a lot of faith in you o.
      was once in your shoes but found my own love in DEAN KOONTZ.
      what i learnt are little things you probably wont be bothered

      1. Really?
        Let me give you a short list of my fave writers – STEPHEN KING, DEAN KOONTZ (Yes!), ROBERT LUDLUM, DAN BROWN and a few others.

        1. okay,that is cool and i will advise you add JACK ROLLINS to that collection too.
          you will thank me later.

  10. Flourishing-Florida (@Flourishing-Florida)


    this was a very nice read, very nice indeed.

    i don’t think romance novels should have happy endings. i mean, i think i write romance (recently doing chick-lit!! d horror!!! i can’t believe it, cos i have a special distaste for d genre). i believe d way romance is being written these days r changing. most writers r playing it as close to reality as they can, with all the highs & lows. for me, daz d sort of romance i love.

    lol @ ur bf. & ur parents.

  11. LMAO! this sis so funny, i remember my first attempt as well, i really suck at writing romance

  12. @Florida – thanks for the comments. I guess i’m outdated in romance. I thought romance must always end with those ‘happily ever after’ endings. I really ought to catch up on new romances
    @Olajumoke – Aha! So im not the only one. Thank God, lol.

  13. Girl you have one snese of humour.I think I admire your ability to make the most traumatic things funny.That’s a trait of a romance writer,yes? hehehe…i enjoyed reading this piece…I do believe you can write romance tho..give it a shot…hopefully,you’ll get the heroine’s eyes right this time!lol

  14. @Estrella – thanks dear. I’ve learnt a sense of humor is probably the most important thing in life. The ability to laugh at situations has been my saving grace.
    Change my heroine’s eyes? I dunno, seems that is what sets me apart from other romance writers, dont you think? Lol. Fortunately, i know better now.

  15. Nice piece! Well, well…we need to see more stephen king-ish stories in Nigerian setting, so its kinda cool that you write what you write. Will look out for your next piece

  16. Thank you Zino. I’ll try my best.

  17. Ah Lade! You have more than enough quirk to write romance oh! I just don’t see you making it as mushy as you’d make it cynical is all. Which would only result in a better read. I’m like your opposite: I read a tonne of romance and enjoy the genre but can’t stop writin about kick-ass John Okro!

    1. I actually read any and every genre as long as it is words. I love reading!
      Now im encouraged to write my own special brand of romance, hehehehe.
      By the way, your kick-ass John Okro kicks ass! Lol.

  18. lol..Enjoyed reading this..there’s yet hope for you Lade..

  19. thanks, Mercy.
    With these many people urging me on, i cannot but say ‘romance world, here i come’ lol.

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