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So, You Want to Write a Romance Novel?

Updated: Jun 29

Tammy Lough

The time is upon you to put pen to paper and write your million-dollar bestseller, the next great American romantic comedy, ingenious prose worthy of the Pulitzer Prize in literature. You marked your calendar and thought today would never arrive. It is a long weekend devoid of plans, perhaps a summer vacation, or the first day after the big retirement party.


You prepared your workspace for the long haul with pen and paper, sharpened pencils, a chubby eraser, notebooks galore, a laptop, and multiple texts of reference materials stacked to the side. You take a mental inventory of nearby creature comforts: a cold beverage, salty snack, sweet snack, swirling ceiling fan, creativity-inducing music playing oh-so-softly in the background. Check, check, and double-check. You dreamed of this day for weeks, months, perhaps years. A lifetime?

Taking a deep breath, you position trembling fingers upon the QWERTY keyboard, imagining the prose to flow like liquid magic as you weave your enthralling, five-star-review-worthy tale.

You are ready to type the first word and ... !!!

You experience the cold, dead reality of writer’s block. Wha?

What word should begin your best-seller? It was a dark and stormy ... no, that has been taken. Once upon a ... cannot use that, either. Hmmm, you wonder how to find the perfect words to convey the story taking place in your mind. The action you so vividly see swirling in your head and ricocheting off brain cells, screaming to be told for all this time. How do you make it come alive through the mere written word? You see your story in motion ... it is vivid and flows in brilliant panoramic technicolor. How do you convey the personalities of your characters? Those living, breathing, talking, moving, action-filled, passion-bursting characters who are real people in your mind, with mere words in a dictionary?

That is why I am here today. I am going to tell you the ugly truth and help you resolve these issues. Now get up. 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 pills, liquids, and loose bandages that abound, put your shoes on and drive to the drugstore. You will buy a styptic in either pencil or powder form. Why do you need this, you ask? The secret to great writing is this; you will bleed, yes BLEED, one by one the perfect, impossible-to-convey words onto the page. This is how writing is done. Period. Do you think it is easy to get the perfect sentences on paper? Sentences that make sense with proper spelling and punctuation. Sentences that move the story forward and entice a reader to turn the pages in anticipation of feeling more excitement, laughter, conflict, terror, and prose that flows?

You may need a six-pack or family-sized package of styptic powder. This way, you can sprinkle the white talc all over your QWERTY keyboard to catch the next few drops of liquid magic.

See how simple writing the next great American romantic comedy is going to be for you? Hurry now, the drugstore closes in fifteen minutes.

Writers Write!

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