Finding Your Romance

Which Genre is Right for Me?

©Dawn Carrington - All Rights Reserved



As a published author, I have been asked many times to provide advice to aspiring authors, to help them learn the art, the craft, or the secret to writing a romance novel that will sell. Unfortunately, there is no magical key to success in this business, and while learning everything you can learn about writing is certainly beneficial, it’s only factual information, not necessarily practical.

For instance, many people in today’s society are learning a career field through college, and while that education is important, it doesn’t provide all the experience and training one can learn from actually working in that field.

It’s the same with writing a romance book. I’ve known several writers who spent so much time learning or trying to perfect the craft that they didn’t take time for some hands-on training…which is actually writing the book. You can read as many books on writing as you want to, but until you actually sit down and write your own book, you’re not going to know what you should be writing.

Every author is different. Your voice is unique and that is something you must find on your own. That is the key to building your career. It sounds so simplistic, but the more you write, the more you learn how to write…and the more you learn about your own talent. But how do you utilize what you have learned? How do you put that knowledge to work for you and let it help you to find your own voice?

A book should tell more than just a story; it should give the reader a vivid look at your talent and make them want to buy your next novel. You can do that by discovering your voice. That will lead you to the right genre for you. These guidelines should help.

When you write your first romance book, it may not be the “one” that will get published, but it is a blueprint for your future. Once you’ve completed it, read it and not just to yourself. Read it aloud. Does it sound realistic, strong, and powerful? More importantly, does it sound like you?

Now that you’ve completed your first novel, write something different, even if it’s just a short story. If your first book is a romantic suspense, try writing a contemporary romance or a romantic comedy. Whatever you choose to write, challenge yourself. If you think you can’t write it, try it anyway.

Don’t judge yourself as you write. By this I mean, don’t look at your own writing and decide it isn’t good enough. As authors, we tend to get too close to our work. We can polish and edit our manuscript and still find fault with it. This is where a good critique group or partner can come in.

Take both of those manuscripts or short stories and send them off to your critique group/partner or even a trusted friend. Ask them for an honest opinion. Which one sounds better? Which one held their attention more?

While they’re reading, ask yourself these questions:

Which romance genre did I enjoy writing more?

Which one did I struggle to write?

Which one made me want to continue to write?

Which one made me dread going to my computer each day?

We don’t always know where our heart lies when we first start writing. For example, when I first started writing, I wrote contemporary romance. That didn’t work out so well for me, so I moved into paranormal/fantasy romance. I enjoyed that a lot more, but …I grew tired of it after four years. Now I write romantic suspense. So while I’ve stayed in one genre, I’ve written in different sub-categories.

Finding where you want to focus your writing doesn’t have to be a be-all or end-all commitment. There are plenty of writers who write in more than one category of romance. However, when you’re starting out, you don’t want to dance all over the place with eight different categories of romance. That could confuse your readers, and confused readers are non-buying readers.

So rely upon your own likes and dislikes to guide you. Write what you like not what you think is making big money at present. Forcing yourself to write something you don’t like is akin to plastic surgery. It’s always painful, and you don’t always like what you end up with.



About the Author:  Dawn Carrington is the editor-in-chief of Vinspire Publishing ( well as a published author.



Easy Way to Write Romance - by Rob Parnell