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How to Write a Romantic Comedy Novel, Pt. 1

First Published in Writing on Gabriela Pereira's

AUG 04, 2020 by Tammy Lough

The time is upon you to put pen to paper and write the next great romantic comedy, an ingenious prose worthy of the Pulitzer-Prize in Comedic Literature. (Well, if there was such an award.) You marked your calendar and thought this day would never arrive. It is a long weekend devoid of plans, perhaps a summer vacation, or better yet, the first day after the celebratory retirement party. Woot Woot! 

Ready? Get set… GO!!!

Prepare Your Work Materials:

  1. Binder

  2. Chubby eraser

  3. Electronic device of choice

  4. Notebooks galore

  5. Pen and paper

  6. Reference material

  7. Sharpened pencils

 Prepare Your Creature Comforts:

  1. Cold beverage

  2. Hot beverage

  3. Creativity-inducing music

  4. Salty snack

  5. Sweet snack

  6. Swirling ceiling fan

You have wanted to write a romantic comedy for weeks, months, perhaps years. Taking a deep breath, you position trembling fingers upon the keyboard, imagining the humorous prose will flow like liquid magic as you weave your super-slick, five-star-review-worthy rom-com novel.

You are ready to type the first word and… it feels like you’re going to throw-up on your shoes. This, fellow rom-com writer, is the cold, dead reality of “Funny-Block.” You ask yourself, what sentence should begin this humorous tale? It was a dark and stormy… no, Bulwer-Lytton penned that classic first line. Once Upon a Time? Can you spell unoriginal? Hmm, you wonder how to find the perfect words to convey the rib-tickling story playing in your mind.

I am writing this article to reveal the ugly truth behind the writing of a romantic comedy novel. And, hopefully, I will shed some light on the goings-on behind the scenes. Just as a magician swears to keep the secrets of the craft, I probably shouldn’t be doing this. But I am going out on a revealing limb because this is must-know information. Deep breath and let’s begin:

Stand. Up, up, up and out of your chair. Walk to your medicine cabinet. (Yes, I am nodding my head. The medicine cabinet.) If you do not find a styptic pencil amidst the bottles of expired pills, liquids, and loose bandages, slide into your over-sized bunny slippers and drive to the local drugstore to buy it. Why in tarnation do you need this?

Because writing a bestselling romantic comedy requires bodily sacrifice.That’s right—you will bleed, drip-by-drip onto the page in the hopes someone besides you will find it funny. This is how a publish-worthy romantic comedy is created. Period. 

Do you think it is easy to write scenes that cause a stranger to peel off a genuine belly laugh? To write shenanigans that make sense and do not feel forced? To craft scenes that move the story forward and entice your reader to turn the pages in stark anticipation of funny-bone-tickling giggles and slap-your-pappy prose?

Come to think of it, you may need to purchase a six-pack or family-size container of styptic powder. That way, you can sprinkle the white talc generously over your keyboard to catch the last trickling drops of liquid magic and hope there is a hidden giggle tucked into the last dribble. 

Abracadabra! See how simple writing the next great romantic comedy will be for you? Hurry now, the drug store closes in fifteen minutes. 

Writing Romantic Comedy: Part II delves into the nitty-gritty of writing a successful romantic comedy and will follow in about six weeks-ish. I know what I’ll be doing in the meantime. Can you guess?

Writer's Write!!!

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