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Writing a romance novel

Jump to navigation Writing a romance novel to search This article is about the type of genre fiction involving love and lust.

Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. This article possibly contains original research. This article may be written from a fan’s point of view, rather than a neutral point of view. Although the genre is very old, the romance novel or romantic novel discussed in this article is the mass-market version. A thriving genre of works conventionally referred to as «romance novels» existed in ancient Greece.

The British company Mills and Boon began releasing escapist fiction for women in the 1930s. Women will pick up a romance novel knowing what to expect, and this foreknowledge of the reader is very important. When the hero and heroine meet and fall in love, maybe they don’t know they’re in love but the reader does. Then a conflict will draw them apart, but you know in the end they’ll be back together, and preferably married or planning to be by page 192. According to the Romance Writers of America, the main plot of a mass-market romance novel must revolve about the two people as they develop romantic love for each other and work to build a relationship.

As long as novel romance novel meets those romance criteria, it can be set in any time period and a any location. There are no specific restrictions on what can or cannot be included in a romance novel. Even writing subjects are addressed in romance novels, including topics such as date rape, domestic violence, addiction, and disability. Mass-market romance novels are sometimes referred to as «smut» or female pornography, and are the most popular form of modern erotica for women.

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While this article is about the mass-market form of love romance novels, the genre of works of extended prose fiction dealing with romantic love existed in classical Greece. Precursors of the modern popular love-romance can also be found in the sentimental novel Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, by Samuel Richardson, published in 1740. Jane Austen is an important influence on romance genre fiction, and Pride and Prejudice, published in 1813, has been called «the best romance novel ever written. While the literary fiction romance continued to develop in the 20th century, the new subgenre of genre fiction, which first developed in the 19th century, started to become more popular after the First World War. The popular, mass market version of the historical romance, which Walter Scott developed in the early 19th century, is seen as beginning in 1921, when Georgette Heyer published The Black Moth.

In the 1930s, the British publishers Mills and Boon began releasing hardback romance novels. The books were sold through weekly two-penny libraries and were known as «the books in brown» for their brown binding. In the 1950s, the company began offering the books for sale through newsagents across the United Kingdom. A Canadian company, Harlequin Enterprises, began distributing in North America in 1957 the category romances published by Mills and Boon. On October 1, 1971, Harlequin purchased Mills and Boon. By this point, the romance novel genre «had been popularized and distributed widely to an enthusiastic audience» in Great Britain.

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