THE BASICS OF ROMANCE WRITING>>
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Lesson 1>>
Definition of Basic Types of Romance Novels
Developing Characters
Character Charts
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Defining Category Romance>>
Basic Types of Romance Novels
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Genre Divisions:
* denotes sub-genre>>
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Contemporary Romance: Story occurs in the present day and deals with realistic problems. Current events/real people aren’t mentioned because it will quickly date your book. It could take eighteen months to two years for your book to reach the shelves.
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Long Contemporary: 70-80,000 words. These usually have more secondary characters.

Short Contemporary: 50-60,000 words.
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Traditional: Short cotemporaries without a man and woman making love. Some people also call these Sweet Romances.
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* Inspirational: Either contemporary or historical, usually with a Christian element. Length varies, check the publishers guidelines.
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* Romantic Suspense: Romantic situation with a mystery woven in.
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Historical: 85-100,000 words (depending on publisher guidelines this could be over 100,000 words) located in Europe and lace w:st="on">North Americalace> between 1066 and 1900; although the 1900’s may now be considered historical.
Regency time period 1811-1820 and run about 50,000 words (check publisher guidelines) and involve the upper class. Regencies that are longer and spicier and have a touch of comedy.
Scottish historicals are still popular, as well as the Mediaeval time period.
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Western romance is coming back.
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* Paranormal: Elements of fantasy, science fiction, time travel, witches, vampires and other unearthly species, also futuristic elements. Length varies.
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* Ethnic/ Multicultural/Interracial romance: Romance novels that involve heroes and heroines of color. These are mostly contemporaries, but there are some historical.
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Young Adult: Involve innocent first love and contains no sexual scenes. Intended for pre-teens and teens. Another line now carries realistic situations that may focus on premarital sex. **Check publisher guidelines. This is a hot category right now.
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Category Romance: Category, also called series romance will be “categorized” by a specific brand name such as Harlequin Presents, Superromance, Intrique etc., the covers are similar and they are sold together in a package line on a monthly basis. Each line has certain common elements, such as the level sensuality or the level of mystery balanced with the romance. Word count differs greatly from line-to-line, usually anywhere from 50-90,000 words. Harlequin/Silhouette recently changed word lengths on some of their lines, so check their guidelines.
As always, a happy ending is mandatory. Category romance encompasses all genres and sub-genres found in basic types of romance novels.
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Single Title: Single titles are stand alone books on the shelf without being part of a particular line. This type may stay on the shelf longer and have a longer print life. To name a few publishers Harlequin Mira, Avon, Berkely and lace w:st="on">St. Martinlace>’s Press publish single titles. Word count ranges from 90-100,000 words, but check the guidelines first. Single titles encompass all genres and sub-genres.
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Mainstream: In the mainstream genre the romance is not of the utmost importance—how to tell: if the romance was removed from the storyline and there would still be a story, it is mainstream book. The main focus of the storyline is not the relationship between the couple. Word count ranges from 90-100,000 all genres and sub-genres. Mainstream also has a broader focus. Example: Family sagas, such as The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough.