Trying a New Genre: Romance

It’s IWSG time again! The Insecure Writers’ Support Group is a place where writers encourage each other, express their doubts, and offer help. According to their website, it’s “a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.” They also offer oodles of resources for writers. Visit them here:

This month’s question: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn’t think you’d be comfortable in?

Why yes, I did!

On social media, I happened on an article on how lucrative and fun it can be to write erotica. This got me thinking: most of my favorite stories have a strong romantic element and some spicy love scenes. My three completed novel manuscripts, two cozy mysteries and a women’s fiction story, all have a strong romantic thread. Why not try writing a schmexy story in which the romance was the main plot thread, for once?

At first, I thought I was writing a story that was mainly about a young widow’s sexual re-awakening. But you know how it goes: the characters had other plans. Sixty thousand words later, I had the first draft of a romance novel with more emphasis on hearts and minds than on loins—though the sexy scenes were great fun to write.

My goodness, there are so many flavors of romance fiction and erotica! I’ve been gobbling up romance novels like popcorn, learning about this new genre. Honestly, I’ve discarded about half of them after a few chapters. There’s a lot of trite, poorly written romance fiction out there, with silly twits for heroines. But—and this is a bit but—the ones that grab me really grab me.

And so, after feedback from three generous beta readers, I’m hard at work revising my first contemporary romance novel. I’m sure it won’t be my last.

What about you? Have you tried writing a new genre just for fun? Was it a positive experience?


15 thoughts on “Trying a New Genre: Romance

  1. C.D. Gallant-King

    I keep meaning to write a romance but just haven’t found the time. I did start writing a western once and quite enjoyed it, but stopped when I realized I’m not familiar enough with the material and I hated to stop writing every couple of paragraphs to look up horse breeds and late 19th-century culture, so I figured I needed to do some more research first.

    1. admin Post author

      I’ve been enjoying the research for this story, especially because it centers around a bookshop that specializes in historical erotica. There’s some weird and wonderful artwork out there.

  2. Lee

    I’m mostly mystery/horror but I really like sci-fy, too. I may venture into that genre eventually.. And your point about poorly written romances, with silly twits for heroines – way too much of that in a lot of mysteries, too.

  3. Beth Camp

    Congratulations on jumping right into a new genre. Well, from what you write, actually this was a stretch from what you do like to write. So I’m hoping that 60K word draft will soon be available to the avid romance reader. My primary genre is historical fiction, and, darn it, my writing process (19th C. research+++) takes me about 3 years for each story. I would like to write something (scifi, romance) that’s a little more fun. Thank YOU for the inspiring post.

  4. Lidy

    I’ve always thought I’d write mainly young adult fantasy. Than one dream later, I’m inspired to write a romance. Now I’m writing the first book in a series & plan to draft the sequel during NaNoWriMo. Then, I’m surprised again and have plotted out romance/erotica novellas.


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