How To Write a Romance Novel

How To Write a Romance Novel

A beginner's guide to getting it written and getting it published

Find out how to create a unique story with memorable characters.


Do you have an idea for a romance story but don't know where to start? How To Write a Romance Novel will show you how to get ideas, shape them into a story that's unique and how to create memorable characters. It also covers two crucial aspects of the genre, emotion and sexual tension. Whether you want to write for Mills and Boon/Harlequin or pen more erotic stories like Fifty Shades of Grey, How to Write a Romance will get you started and help you get published.

Susan Palmquist was born in London, England but now resides in the US. She’s been writing since the late 80s and is now a freelance writer, short story writer, blogger, and author. Her first romance novel, A Sterling Affair was published by The Wild Rose Press. Her work has also appeared in magazines and anthologies in both the US and UK. Under her pen name, she’s bestselling author Vanessa Devereaux. As well as her writing career, she’s also a tutor for Writers’ News Home Study Courses, and frequently teaches workshops through various chapters of the Romance Writers of America.


Spring 2013 issue: The Writer's Bookshelf page. This is a beginner's guide to writing and publishing a romantic novel and at only 85 pages is very accessible. It's written in n informal, chatty style and the twelve chapters are all broken down into very short segments, with 'Things To Try' lists and summaries of the main points. It covers the expected topics such as characterisation, dialogue, point of view and sexual tension but without going into a great deal of detail. I was disappointed there was hardly anything about plotting or structure and while the author stresses how important it is to have internal conflict she doesn't really advise on how to achieve it. The book is good on providing a breakdown of the main romantic sub-genres, markets and how to submit a manuscript. Unfortunately the overall impression I got was that the book had been written and published in a hurry to capture the Fifty Shades of Grey wannabe market. There are lots of typos and lengthy excerpts from the author's own novels, which felt like padding. This might be a useful starting point for someone considering putting pen to paper for the first time but for me I want more substance and advice on the actual writing and editing procesess than are offered here. ~ Rebecca Kershaw, The New Writer

This new title shot straight onto an Amazon top ten list and should be of interest to every would be romance author. Whether you want to write for Harlequin Mills & Boon, or pen more erotic stories like Fifty Shades of Grey, this how-to book will get you started and help you get published. ~ The New Writer

I have been a student in Susan's synopsis class and she is a wonderful teacher. Her lessons are easy to follow and get results. She has taught me so much and I received a contract after working with her. If you follow her advice, you too will get amazing results. ~ Susan Jaymes, Author of Guilty Hearts (Desert Breeze Publishing)

I would highly recommend and strongly encourage that all writers who are seriously considering to pursue their writing careers, take advantage of Susan's enthusiam and professional skills that she so willingly shares with her students. I honestly believe her teaching techniques and methods will prove helpful for writers at all skill levels. Susan is not only a great teacher, but helped to influence me to continue with my own writing goals. I myself look forward to more of Susan's upcoming classes in the near future. ~ Patty Koontz, Writer Who Took One of My Workshops

I’m pleased to endorse Susan Palmquist’s forthcoming book. I recently had the pleasure of editing two of her fiction books written under the pen name Vanessa Devereaux. Ms. Palmquist is a talented and knowledgeable writer with an innate sense of story. I’ve worked with many romance authors over the years, and Ms. Palmquist impressed me with her flair for language, her ability to get inside her characters’ heads and hearts, and her consummate professionalism. I have the utmost confidence in her knowledge and experience as a romance author. ~ Lynne Anderson, Editor and former editor at Cobblestone Press

Susan Palmquist
Susan Palmquist Susan Palmquist is a freelance writer and author of novels, novellas and short stories. Her work has appeared in magazines and anthologies f...
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