I’ve been a reader of contemporary romance novels since I was in my early teens. I’ve literally read hundreds of them. Even though I’ve been writing and selling ebooks online since 2002, it wasn’t until this year (2013), that I attempted to write a romance novel. I was nervous, unsure of myself and had no idea how to go about it when I first started. But, I did it. Following are three things I learned throughout the process.
- Just Write: All of my ebooks to date, except two, have been in the “non-fiction, how-to” genre. So writing fiction – a contemporary romance novel no less – was a whole different ball of wax for me. And it scared me to death.
I was talking to a friend of mine one day, who happens to be a fiction writer, about my fears and she gave me the best piece of advice ever. She said, “Just write. Trust the process. You’ll be amazed at what will happen once you start.”
Well, she was so right. The characters took on a mind of their own and half the time I didn’t even know what they were going to do. So if you have an idea for a contemporary romance novel, just start writing and see where the characters take you.
You might be surprised! I know I was.
- Take Action on Your Weak Spots: I realized early on in the process that plot development was a real weak point for me. As I know I want to create a whole line of contemporary romance novels, I did extensive research on plot development.
I found questionnaires and other exercises which helped me get through this block. I also plan to take a class also on how to write a romance novel.
You see, writing is a skill — and much like acting or dancing or any other creative endeavor, study and practice makes you better.
- To Use a Pen Name, or Not: I decided to publish my African American contemporary romance novel under my own name. The main reason is, I already have a following online and although I’m known for my how-to, non-fiction ebooks (a different genre altogether), I still think this works in my favor.
When you publish under a pen name, it’s like setting up a whole new online identity, eg, social media accounts, article marketing accounts, email accounts, etc. I just don’t have time to manage a new persona online.
Writing Contemporary Romance Novels: 4 Reasons I Plan to Make a Career Out of It
Overall, I’m very pleased with my first completed work as a romance author and plan to self-publish many more because:
(i) I’m a fan of the genre: I have been since I was in my early teens; hence, I can write what I like to read.
(ii) Romance sells. Proof?
Ebook sales increased by 45 percent in 2012 to make up 20 percent of the trade book market… Not surprisingly in the era of erotic mega-series like Fifty Shades [of Grey] and Crossfire, adult fiction, particularly romance novels, showed the strongest growth in ebook sales (emphasis added). [Source: Authors Guild article, Ebooks Sales Booming, New Report Says, May 2013]
(iii) I’m the target demographic: Many romance readers are women between the ages of 31 and 49; and finally
(iv) I think there’s a shortage of good black romance novels: Of course, I hope to improve this.
About the Author: Yuwanda Black heads New Media Words, an SEO writing company. She’s also the author of over 50 ebooks, which she wrote and self-published. They cover topics such as freelance writing, SEO writing, self-publishing and online / affiliate marketing. They can all be found on her freelance writing website, Inkwell Editorial. Read the first two chapters of her first contemporary romance novel, 3 Weeks ’til Forever — free.