Are you wondering how to write a romance novel in 30 days?
It’s a very daunting task, especially considering that writing a novel takes a lot of time. If you’re writing for the very first time and want to have it finished within 30 days, you know that you have a huge challenge ahead of you.
For starters, novels have a large word count, easily averaging 60,000+ words. Now, before you start panicking, just remember that completing 60,000 words is not a hard task to accomplish in 30 days. Plus, if you look at it in a positive light, you’ll see that it is completely doable.
To write 60,000 words in 30 days will mean that you have to write at least 2,000 words per day. Seems pretty simple and easy, right? Most writers are able to write 2,000 words in an hour or two. Even if you take 3 hours to write 2,000 words, you’re still staying on track with your timeline.
Now that you’ve overcome your fear about the word count, you can focus on how to write a romance novel in 30 days.
Understanding the Romance Genre
Before you start writing we’d like to take some time to take a closer look at the genre of romance in fiction writing. As one of the biggest sub-genres in fiction, romance has a magical appeal to it which earns it a large number of readers.
Additionally, most people who enjoy this genre are avid readers and move from one book to the next very readily. So, you know that this is a very lucrative writing field. Traditional books and other mediums such as audiobooks and eBooks all sell like hot cakes.
Better Self-Publishing Options
Self-publishing has become a possibility with the introduction of online libraries on Amazon, Kindle, and even Apple. When you take a closer look at Amazon, you will see that almost half of all the sales connected to romance books are self-published by the authors.
Now, if you do the math here, you can see that the results are very positive. We’re going to use this formula for you:
The Low Cost Of Self-Publishing Online + The High Demand For Romance Novels + A Writer Who Knows How To Write A Romance Novel In 30 Days = Success!
As you can see, your hard work will definitely pay off. The best part here is that once you figure out how to write a romance novel in 30 days, you can tweak the process to increase your output too!
There is a Lot of Competition
Before you head to your writing table, remember that while romance writing is a lucrative field, it is also highly competitive. The romance book section on Amazon holds around 420,000 titles. On the other hand, most other genres like thriller, suspense, and mystery have less than 275,000 titles.
This shows that there’s a lot of competition in the romance genre. Additionally, Amazon also gives prominent placement to the Top 100 Bestsellers so there is definitely a lot of pressure to write good romance stories that stand out in the marketplace.
So, the main focus here should be on how to write a romance novel in 30 days which will perform well in the Amazon marketplace. When looked at from this point of view, you might feel like you have your work cut out for you. However, sometimes, it can be tough to connect to your readers properly.
Luckily, we’re here to help you out. This article will focus on writing a romance novel in 30 days and also ensuring that you write it in a manner to connect with your target audience.
The Idea for the Story
Before you start writing, you need to have a solid idea to write your romance story. The idea has to be a good one, even if it isn’t unique. Keep in mind that this can be pretty hard to accomplish in a saturated genre like romance.
You will find that most ideas have already been covered. Luckily, you can reuse these ideas or just try to combine pre-existing ideas to make a new one. It’s not very hard to do and you’ll see that many famous works have been developed in this manner.
Take a look at these:
- Dr. Who – Sherlock Holmes and Time Travel
- Peaky Blinders – The Godfather in the UK after World War I
- Star Wars – The Hidden Fortress and Space
Each of these series took an already existing idea and moved it into a different setting. What this does is bring something new to life. While these are examples of TV series and movies, you can also try this when writing a compelling story.
Remember that the idea doesn’t have to be something definite. It’s got to be general, creative and something which sparks your interest. Otherwise, it is going to be very difficult to be focused on writing about it. Plus, this means that your work will not get finished on time.
Developing the Plot and Characters
These are the general basics which apply to novel writing, regardless of the genre it is in. You have to make sure that you have:
- Relatable characters
- A solid idea
- A plot outline
Without these, your idea is going to fall flat on its face, regardless of how creative or out of the box it is. As a rule of thumb, make sure that you have these sorted out before you get to the task of writing. Even if you don’t have the whole story outlined, make sure that you at least have the outline for the chapter and compelling characters.
This will make it easier for you to write a romance novel in 30 days without facing any issues, especially if you are feeling pressed for time. Once you have all these things ready, you have to start focusing on writing the actual story.
The 15 Stages of a Romance Novel – Creating the Outline for the Story
Once you have your idea in place, developed your characters and figured out the idea, you have to work on the plot outline. This is easier said than done because it is complicated. Unlike the major idea, the plotline focuses on the minute detail of the idea which flows through the entire story.
This means that it is literally going to be the backbone of the book. Luckily, by breaking it down into stages, you can get a very intriguing plotline which resonates with the readers.
For the sake of clarity, we’re going to be using the following classic, popular romance books as examples:
- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes,
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte,
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen,
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
This will help you understand what we mean. So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the stages of a story in a romance novel.
Act One – The Start to the Romance
This initially relates to all the stages which come under the beginning of the romance. You have to focus on this crucially because this is when you’re making the biggest impression on your readers. If they don’t like the characters, they’re not going to be very motivated to read.
1. Meet the Protagonists
This is when your characters are being introduced, not only to the readers but to themselves as well. Readers will find out the personality, quirks and more of a certain character. Usually, this is when the story is focused either on the girl or the boy. They haven’t met as yet and don’t even know either of them exists.
It’s a great time to emphasize the qualities of the main characters. A good example of this is seen in Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. The story starts by giving us a look into the life and routine of Louisa Clark, a 26-year-old girl, supporting her family, living in a small town and always in the shadow of her little sister. The same technique is used in Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre as well.
2. The Right Perspective
Using the first person point of view on a dual purpose basis makes it easier to help readers connect with the characters. How you use the point of view will also matter. It can draw the readers into the story even more.
In Me Before You, the story is rarely told from the point of view of William Turner also known as Will. It’s largely through the perspective of Louisa, her little sister, Treena and even Mrs. Turner, Will’s mother. While Gone Girl is not a romance story, it also makes excellent dual use of the first person point of view.
In another romance book, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, the story is told entirely from the first person point of view of Jane. Other characters also play an important role in the book but the story’s point of view is so singular that it almost has an autobiographical approach to it.
3. The Initial Meeting
At the initial meeting, your characters get to see each other. This is your chance to really play with the first person point of view and highlight the first impressions made on either character. While the common impression here is either of general indifference or undeniable attraction, you should consider other emotions as well.
People experience 100 different emotions throughout the day. Plus, what’s the feeling you get when you meet someone attractive and new? Try to bring this emotion to life.
Again, we’re going to use Me Before You and Pride and Prejudice as an example.
Louisa Clarke makes a bright impression on everyone because she has an unusual dressing sense and a fun disposition. Will, on the other hand, is a handsome man who became a quadriplegic after an accident. He’s grumpy, surly, and determined not to like anyone including Clark.
Mr. Bingley makes such a positive impression that he’s talked about in the entire Bennet household. However, Mr. Darcy rudely snubs Elizabeth, calling her not handsome enough to tempt him, which showed that he was rude, proud, and very prejudiced against others.
4. The Very First Conflict
This is the conflict which forces the characters to deal with each other, regardless of their first impression. This is also what allows you to have a bigger action, later on in the story. This means that the conflict doesn’t have to be over the top or too unpleasant in the story here.
Keep things minimal and make suggestions of conflict. In Me Before You, Clarke loses her job at the cafe which forces her to look for another one. Her monetary issues will cause bigger conflicts later in the story.
In Jane Eyre, Jane is also faced with the decision of having to leave the Lowood School and find a job as a governess. She then finds employment in the Rochester household which caused a bigger conflict later in the story.
5. Circumstantial Friendships
Despite their misgivings, annoyances or an unfavorable first impression, the main characters are forced into close proximity due to circumstances which they cannot avoid. This can be for a number of different reasons, such as:
- Being stranded on an island
- The car breaks down on an isolated road
- Being hired by the other character for a job
You can pick any reason you like but the main gist of it is that the two main protagonists are forced to spend time together due to reasons outside of their control.
For example, Jane is a governess in the Rochester household in Jane Eyre and ends up having to spend time with Mr. Rochester as she has to give him updates on the child’s progress.
Similarly, in Me Before You, Louisa Clark is appointed as Will Turner’s caretaker and has to spend time with him. In fact, she’s been specifically told not to leave him alone for more than 15 minutes.
Act Two – The Relationship Blossoms
Now that the characters have been introduced to each other and the readers, we move on to the second stage of the story. This stage will apply to the bulk of the story. You are going to be building up the relationship and then tearing it down, as needed.
If done masterfully, this will make the readers root for their favorite character and have their heart broken too. You want them to feel the sorrow of the heartbreak here.
6. Resistance and Reasoning
Now, after being forced together, the protagonist will slowly start to realize that the person they are forced to be with isn’t so bad after all. This is where they get insight into the back story, gain a sudden understanding of why they act a certain way.
On the other hand, they also reason their feelings away. It’s not right, it’s not possible or they’re able to curb their feelings in some other manner. They’re aware that they like them but their practical side is growing as well.
Louisa Clark doesn’t understand that she has feelings for Will in Me Before You until she attends a live orchestra/music performance with him. The experience is a new one for her and makes her feel extremely lucky to share it with Will.
Similarly, Jane also begins to like the evenings where Mr. Rochester wishes her to join his guests or engage herself in his library. She understands that even though he’s her employer, he’s roguishly good looking, intellectual, and definitely handsome.
7. Undeniable Feelings
This happens when resistance and reasoning can no longer be listened to and there are strong feelings of attraction. There can be situations where undeniable feelings can come to the front. These don’t always have to be good scenarios either. Someone does something extremely unexpected which makes them understand their true feelings.
For Louisa Clark, going with Will to his friend’s wedding is the turning point when she realizes that it is possible for her to love Will. She realizes what he was like before the accident and how happy she makes him now. This makes her realize that living with him is not so bad after all.
For Jane though, it’s only when Ms. Ingram Blanche is introduced into the picture that she realizes with horror that she’ll have to leave. She loves Mr. Rochester too much to see him with another woman. So, even if that means having to leave his employment, she’s fine with this decision.
In Pride and Prejudice, it is poor Mr. Darcy who cannot help feeling attracted to Elizabeth despite all his misgivings. However, her family connections, social status, and manners are not considered refined enough for him.
8. Someone is in Love
This is when the truth comes to light. Love reigns over every heart and our characters have found bliss together. All conflicts are either set aside or overcome as the two characters fall in love and all is right with the world again. This moves the story forward in the right direction and starts to make the readers more interested in the main characters.
This is best illustrated in Jane Eyre. When Mr. Rochester hears of Jane’s plan to leave or look for alternate employment, he asks her not to do that. When Jane says that it would be impossible for her to live in the household, Mr. Rochester tells her that he could not live without his elf.
It turns out; he loves Jane just as deeply as Jane loves him. It’s a match made in heaven!
9. Misgivings and Doubts
Despite the bliss and joy that the characters have with each other, the misgivings and doubts start to surface. It can be anything such as an ex coming back into the story to a person finding out that they have been lied to and more. At this moment, there are suspicions and doubts but not enough to cause a breakup.
It creates just enough drama to keep the readers hooked. It draws them deeper into the story and they start to feel more in touch with the characters.
This is also shown in Me Before You. Clark always wonders why she was hired to look after Will because she’s not a qualified nurse or a trained physician.
In Jane Eyre, this is defined in a sense of premonition. As Jane makes wedding preparations, there are moments when she’s scared because she is too happy. She strongly believes that something bad is going to happen as no one, especially someone like Jane, has a right to be this happy.
10. A Sudden Reveal
The sudden reveal is when the fears of the protagonist come true. They’re either going to find out that the other person was hiding a secret, some other issues come to light or it causes a conflict with the character’s moral compass.
Me Before You has a reveal where it turns out that Clark has basically been hired to ensure that Will does not try to kill himself. She finds out that he has done that in the past. It makes Clark angry to be lied to like this because she didn’t understand the severity of the situation.
Again, this happens best in Jane Eyre. As Jane prepares to wed Mr. Rochester, she’s suddenly concerned because of the horrible dreams she’s been having about a corpse bride. Considering it to be an ill omen, she goes to church to pray. In doing so, a man approaches her and gives her the most devastating news in the world: Mr. Rochester already has a wife and he keeps her locked up in his attic.
11. Breaking Up
This is the natural result of the reveal and the conflict it causes. In this case, the character cannot reconcile with the hidden secret and considers leaving the person. Parting ways can also be done, either publicly or in a more private manner.
Clark has to make a choice in Me Before You and chooses to resign from her job as a caregiver when she finds out that Will still plans to kill himself despite everything she’s done to show him that life as a quadriplegic person can be fulfilling too.
Jane has to make a bolder decision in Jane Eyre because while Mr. Rochester is married, his wife is clinically insane. Nonetheless, she cannot reconcile herself to this because marriage vows apply to the person in sickness and in health. She feels it is impossible to stay and quietly leaves in the middle of the night because she is sure that Mr. Rochester will not let her go.
Act 3 – Love Wins the Day!
This relates to how the characters deal with being apart from the person they were meant to spend the rest of their lives with. It also shows how the characters grow and improve their flaws which were the main reason for the breakup.
12. Spending Time Apart
This is a time where the characters have to live without each other and they struggle to move on with their lives. It’s a time for a lot of self-reflection for these people and they’re not sure about their decision to leave or let go of the love of their lives.
While this area is not very pronounced in Me Before You, it’s shown a lot in Jane Eyre and in Pride and Prejudice. Jane ends up walking out, penniless and poor. She makes her way to another town where she is fortunate enough to find employment with people who as it turns out later, are her cousins. She learns more about herself in the process.
In the romance novel Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy wounds Elizabeth’s pride by saying he loves her but is still ashamed of her family. Elizabeth, in turn, argues that he’s too proud of himself to say such a thing and defends her family. The circumstances that follow make her reconsider her pride and arrogance.
13. The Romantic Return
This relates to the great act of love which shows that things can not only go back to normal but be better than they were before. In this case, the characters reunite in a very climatic manner. Grand gestures are great but sometimes, it is the small things which matter the most.
In Jane Eyre, once Jane leaves, Mr. Rochester is humbled and hurt in a house fire. He’s suddenly left poor and blind and no longer takes things for granted. He cries out for Jane and so strong are Jane’s feelings for him that she feels that he needs her by his side. She immediately packs up and returns to find him a changed and different man.
In the story Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy works on earning Elizabeth’s love because he has hurt her so much by judging her family and ruining the relationship of her sister and Mr. Bingley. In making amends with the wrongs, he shows that he’s changed and not as prideful as he once was. When he finally meets Elizabeth again, both of them are humbler and have a new found respect for each other.
14. The Beautiful Ending
This is the happy ending that all your readers want and deserve. Keep in mind that while classic romances usually end in happy endings, where everyone gets married off, there can be some romances where the endings are bittersweet.
In Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff and Catherine have a love that drives them both to anguish when they cannot be together. When Catherine dies, Heathcliff is so bitter and angry that he hopes she will not find peace without him, even in death.
Similarly, in Me Before You, Will, commits assisted suicide despite knowing that Louisa loves him. However, he leaves behind a sizeable inheritance for her that she can use to further her education and travel to all the places he wishes her to go.
This isn’t included in all the stories but it is a good idea to include it in some. It helps bring closure to the reader and they’re able to enjoy the ending you have chosen for the characters. It’s also a great way to increase interest if you’re planning to make the book into a sequel.
With these 15 stages, you will be able to figure out how to write the best romance book in 30 days without any issues.
How to Divide the Writing Process into 30 Days
Now, you understand the different stages of the story outline but you also need to make sure that you pay attention to the timeline. If you wish to be able to write the story in 30 days time, you have to make sure that you’re not miscalculating the word count and are able to continue making good progress.
In order to do that, you have to pay attention to the following:
15 Divided By 30 = Number of Words You Need to Write!
As we have previously stated, before you start working on the story, it is best to have the storyline ready. This gives you a definite guideline to rely on as you write your story. Using the 15 stages, you will also be able to bring more alignment to your writing process.
Now, if you plan on sticking to the 15-stages technique, all you have to do is appropriately divide the 30 days you have for 15 stages. The answer is 2. This means that you should be spending only 2 days on each stage of your story outline.
It might make you think that you won’t be able to do this but think back to what we discussed in the start regarding the word count of a novel. A novel can be 60,000 words and if you divide it by 30 days, it means that you will only have to work on 2,000 words per day.
Keep in mind that if you’re planning on writing a novel for 70,000 or 80,000 words, you will have to adjust the maths accordingly. So, to finish 70,000 words in 30 days, you will have to work on 2,333 words per day. Similarly, if you want to do 80,000 words in 30 days, you will have to work on 2,666 words per day.
We all know that it is possible to write 2,000 words in a few hours. Based on your typing speed, you can easily have this work finished with ease!
Pick Up the Pace with Some Timed Writing
If you’re unable to focus and spend a lot of time just procrastinating or getting distracted, it is a good idea to try timed writing. Timed writing means that you shift away from all distractions and direct your attention only towards the task at hand.
To accomplish this, you should try the Pomodoro Technique. It makes use of 25-minute time periods where all you do is focus on your work. Once the 25 minutes are up, you can reward yourself by taking a break of 3 to 5 minutes to refocus your thoughts.
The Pomodoro Technique has actually been very useful in helping people finish their goals as quickly as possible. When you’re hoping to write a novel in 30 days, applying the Pomodoro Technique will go a long way to ensuring that you’re able to finish your work.
It makes sure that you’re disciplined and doesn’t require the use of additional software. It also ensures that you don’t have to worry about wasting time. Remember, the more you learn to work without giving in to distractions, the better your progress will be.
I Finished The Book Before the 30 Days! What Do I Do Now?
So, you applied the tips mentioned here and you’re done with the book before 30 days! Wow. Congratulations but don’t be too fast to finalize the book draft. Now, you have to focus on editing the book and re-reading the content to make sure that there are no issues anywhere.
As a rule of thumb, if you feel like the story is poignant enough to make you cry, then it will connect with the readers as well. When you’re editing, try and catch any continuity errors, weak storytelling or any missing details.
Remember that the more attention you pay to these fine points, the better the end result is going to be for you!