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PASSION PROJECT: How to write a romance

If I had a page of text for every time I’ve heard something along the lines of, “I would totally write a romance novel, if only I had a spare weekend,” I’d have a workable draft by now. It’s not that easy, of course. But like the genre itself, the life of a romance novelist has an aspirational appeal – making a living (hopefully) from sending love and optimism out into a world that sorely needs it. So, if you harbour an ambition to write a romance, here’s a 10-step plan to get you started.

1 UNDERSTAND YOUR GENRE

In the book industry, “romance novel” has a specific meaning. For all the dismissive talk that it’s a formulaic genre, there’s only one strict rule: your romance must have a happy ending. It can be a happy-ever-after or merely a happy-for-now, but it must be optimistic.

If you have a romance subplot but your heroine ultimately chooses to find herself rather than

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