Writing Tips

Romance: How To Break The Cliche?

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Romance is the biggest selling genre of novels that are being sold across the world. Out doing every other genre out there. In the US it is a business of over $1.5 billion. It is the most marketable, profitable and has the most genre based publishers, than other genres.


So it stands to reason that the Romance genre of novel writing is the easiest to write, produce, publish and make profit from. Well, I hate to tell you but you would be wrong.


Over the past decade the Romance fiction world has seen a huge shift in the way Romance fiction is written. Market and reader research has proved there is two types of very popular Romance stories.


Your first category is the most argued by book critics, readers and writers alike and it started back in 2011 with the very famous Fifty shades of grey. This has caused a wave of similar books hitting the market, from Barred To You to Beautiful Bastard.


The second category is on the other end of the spectrum, it is heartbreakers. Recently there has been a flood on the market of heartbreaking stories such as: P.s I Love You, Me Before You and the Notebook. These stories focus on loss, heartbreak and a whole heap of crying.


So in such a difficult market how do you make your story shine. Simple, write something new and fresh.


I’m a Romance writer, and I love reading Romance. Unfortunately, like most I am a sucker for a good cliche. However, every amazing cliche inspired story has something that makes it unique. Below are some tips to help you think about your next Romance novel.


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  • Who is telling the story? Try changing the narrative. Most written from the female POV. Try switching it up with a male or try third person.




  • Lovers or Enemies? Most bad cliche is always how much the girl hates the boy. Why? Because they think it makes a better plot. Try making the future lovebirds old school friends, former army colleagues or even the mechanic that fixed the car.




  • The hero is who now? Not all heroes wear capes and not all heros of Romance are a man. Cliche stories are turning women into weaker characters. Try making yours smart, brave and fierce.




  • Money isn’t everything! Yep, you heard me. Most Romance stories focus on the character being a billionaire businessman. Shake up your characters occupations. Remember a simple shop clerk can find love too!




  • Love At First Sight? When writing try to make the meeting of your lovebirds unique. Clubs, pubs and the office isn’t very original. Their meeting is going to set the mood.




  • Plot, Plot PLOT! Never forget even Romance stories need a struggle a plot to it. It’s not all about falling in love. To really stand out make yours unique.




  • Know your audience! Who are you aiming your Romance story at? Study the market, find out what they like to see in their favourites read and then think of how you can stand out from the crowd.



In short Romance writing is hard and there is no easy way to win fans, reads or that coveted book publishing contract. And Cliche writing is good if it is done effectively. Remember it’s your story tell it your way, then don’t stop, work hard, edit it and improve.  A good writer is never done after the first time they write ‘The End’


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written by Belle Dawson

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