Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Formula of Romance

Romance is BIG right now.  The majority of the publishers I look at are very interested in this genre.  Not so much the hot and steamy stuff (although some want that), but clean-want to read over and over-romance.  Like all genre fiction, romance too has a formula.  It’s not very hard to figure out.  Watch any romantic comedy and you’ll nail it.  But if you don’t have time for that, here it is:

1. Boy meets girl. Or called the “Meeting”.
2. Stuff happens. The scenes or events after the “meeting” that lead up to the “courtship”.
3. Boy gets girl. Or called the “Courtship”.
4. Happily Ever After*. Or the “Conclusion”. *however clichéd this might be it is the most important element in writing a romance, there are no sad or unhappy endings in romance, it is not what the audience expects or wants.  52% of all book sales are romance genre so you have to keep within the formula given to appease your readers. 

Remember that no formula is concrete, but this should serve as the skeleton you build a story around.  The presents of conflict should be very present and never forget the laws of attraction.  Oh yeah, let’s not forget: never ever mistake a tragedy for a romance.  Shakespeare did not write a good romance with Romeo and Juliet it was a tragedy.

And that’s my key on Romance.


  1. I got worried when I saw that you did a post on romance. After reading the post, I stopped worrying. It had "guy" written all over it. I'm not saying it wasn't true, just--basic. What you didn't say is that for the story to be a true romance, it needs to stay or revolve 70% of the time around the main couple or you'll have sincere romance readers clogging up your webpage with not-so-nice emails.

    It's nice to see the 52% figure of books sales are romances. I'm writing in the right genre.

    1. I totally agree Debra! I could have given a very complicated formula, however, I believe in keeping everything simple. Most genre formulas should be kept simple so that it gives the author the create means to expand it. Yes, 70% seems to be the magic number in everything dealing with writing. I believe that like most everything in writing that the characters need to be the main focus of every story--especially with romance.


I love comments. Please share: