Love, Romance, and All That Gooey Stuff - Happy Valentine's Day



Happy Valentine’s Day! Ain’t love grand? I’ve been married for almost 36 years. In today’s world where 50% of marriages end in divorce that’s saying something. The icing on the heart-shaped cake is that my hubby supports my writing in every which way and twice on Sunday. May Cupid shoot a loving, romantic, supportive arrow in your direction today too and may you give or receive lots of chocolate and candy hearts. Oh, and maybe some flowers and jewelry.



So, let’s get on with it my loves. There’s no better day than today to discuss the fiction romance genre. The primary focus of a romance novel is centered on the development of a romantic relationship between two people, most commonly a hero and heroine. It must also have a happily ever after, ending.


The romance genre has two types of formats:


Category Romance is part of a series. Think Harlequin or Avon. Think similar setting, theme, and characters that may be shared from book to book. Think release dates with regular intervals of books that are short, no more than 200 pages or approximately 55,000 words.

Single-Title Romance is a book that is not necessarily part of a specific line of books but can be connected to other books from a series by the same author. Sometimes single-titled romance novels are stand-alones of about 350-400 pages, or approximately 100,000-110,000 words.


There are several important elements that all romance novels include:



  • Usually told from the woman’s point of view

  • Conflict leading up to the relationship or heartbreak within the relationship is present and must be overcome

  • The story is all about the romance, so external matters have less involvement

  • It speaks of an optimism of love that the reader feels maybe they can attain too

  • A happily ever after ending



Paranormal – combines a love story with supernatural elements

Contemporary – set in the time when they are written

Historical – the plot takes place in a setting located in the past

Fantasy – a combo of reality and fantasy

Young Adult – young people are the focus

Erotic – contain strong sexual content

Time-Travel – the heroine is usually from the present and travels into the past to meet the hero

Science Fiction – a blend of romance and science fiction, usually in an alternate world

Inspirational – Christian themes with the development of a romantic relationship

Multi-Cultural – typically features a hero and/or heroine who are in an interracial relationship





Hi. I'm Liz Ambrico, freelance proofreader and aspiring author. I too am querying agents, editors, and publishers in hopes of becoming a published author.

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I co-founded and managed a successful author and writer group on Long Island for five years. During events with publishers and authors I learned what matters, what agents are looking for, and the benefits and pitfalls of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing.

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