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Course Description

Writing a romance novel is the dream of many people all over the world. It's no wonder: as the most popular fiction genre in the United States for the past three decades, there are more opportunities in romantic fiction than ever before.
What's unique about the romance genre is that it is a very specialized industry. There are standards for plot, characterization, novel length, and even formatting that are required before most literary agents or publishers will even consider turning your manuscript into a published novel. Most readers know exactly what they expect from a romance novel, and you have to meet these expectations in order to succeed.
"font-family: ">This course will take you through everything you need to know to write the kind of romance novel that gets noticed. From creating a hero and heroine that sizzle to understanding point-of-view and knowing where to go for more resources, you'll get access to insider information on making the most out of your manuscript.

Course Requirements

This course will not require you to have previous experience in any particular area but you should have a high school reading level. No books will be required.

Course Topics


Lesson One: Welcome to Romance Writing



History of Romance Novels

Today's Romance Novels

The Romance Novel Industry

From Reading Romance Novels to Writing Romance Novels           

Romance Writing “Rules”


Lesson Two: Genres in Romance



Single Titles vs. Series Titles

Writing Series Titles

Single Title Genres

Breaking Down Barriers


Lesson Three: Getting Started



Write, Write, Write

Writing is a Habit

Writing is a Learned Skill

Set a Schedule

The Best Romance Writing Advice


Lesson Four: Romance Writing: Style




Common Writing Mistakes

Don't Fear Mistakes


Lesson Five: Romance Writing: Setting



Research: Every Writer's Responsibility

When to Research

What to Research

Honoring vs. Plagiarizing


Lesson Six: Romance Writing: The Hero



Hero Archetypes

Character Motivations

Character Development

Creating the Hero


Lesson Seven: Romance Writing: The Heroine



Heroine Archetypes

Character Motivations

Heroines and Sex


Lesson Eight: Romance Writing: Additional Characters



The Supporting Cast

Secondary Love Plots


Lesson Nine: Romance Writing: Plot



The Traditional Plot

Getting Started Plotting

Romance Plot Devices

The Most Important Plot Requirement


Lesson Ten: Romance Writing: Conflict



Conflict in Traditional Fiction

Conflict vs. Tension 


Lesson Eleven: Romance Writing: Sex and Love Scenes



Know Your Genre

Writing Sex Scenes Effectively

Technical Elements of Writing Sex Scenes

Making Sex Satisfactory


Lesson Twelve: Preparing for Submission



The Revision Process

Formatting a Manuscript

Writing a Query Letter and Synopsis

Submitting Series Titles


Lesson Thirteen: Additional Resources



Romance Writers of America

Publishing Resources

Other Resources

Course Materials

All course material will be provided in the lessons and netlinks. There are no required materials to purchase before taking the class.

Grading Policy

Each lesson will include a lesson review quiz along with one or two assignments. Students will successfully complete this course by mastering all learning outcomes with 70% or higher overall grade.

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe the romance industry.
  • Define the genres in romance writing.
  • Know the processes for transforming ideas in your head into words on paper.
  • Define style and quality expected in the romance genre.
  • Define a realistic setting for the romance genre.
  • Define the hero in the romance story.
  • Define the heroine in the romance story.
  • Describe the secondary characters in the story.
  • Define specific techniques for developing plot in the romance genre.
  • Define the conflict of the romance story.
  • Define ways to create convincing love and sex scenes.
  • Prepare your work for submission, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
An Introduction1
Lesson 1 Assignment: Self-Evaluation20
Lesson 1 Exam8
Lesson 2 Assignment: Evaluating Genres20
Lesson 2 Exam9
Lesson 3 Assignment: Setting Your Writing Schedule20
Lesson 3 Exam10
Lesson 4 Assignment: Point of View Writing20
Lesson 4 Exam10
Lesson 5 Assignment: Focusing on Setting20
Lesson 5 Exam10
Lesson 6 Assignment: Narrowing Down the Hero20
Lesson 6 Exam8
Lesson 7 Assignment: Creating the Heroine20
Lesson 7 Exam8
Lesson 8 Assignment: Adding Additional Characters20
Lesson 8 Exam9
Lesson 9 Assignment: Developing the Plot20
Lesson 9 Exam10
Lesson 10 Assignment: Creating Conflict20
Lesson 10 Exam10
Lesson 11 Assignment: Writing Sex and Love Scenes20
Lesson 11 Exam9
Lesson 12 Assignment: Putting it All Together25
Lesson 12 Exam8
Lesson 13 Assignment: Charting Your Course20
Lesson 13 Exam10
The Final Exam60
Total Points:445

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