How To: Write a Romance Novel

By: Cheryl Keen
Greetings, squares! Welcome back to another year of the medieval torture otherwise known as college. I’ve decided to begin a “How To” column to educate the masses on such important subjects as How To Avoid Being Hit On at 3am in Downtown Carlisle and How To Actually Make it to the Food Through the Stupid Setup in the Cafeteria. This month’s column, as I’m sure you know because you read the title, is How To Write a Romantic Novel.
First things first: all good romance novels have a catchy title, usually featuring some sort of raunchy pun. The Knight Before Christmas, by Jackie Ivie, is a perfect example. Consider including the words “desire”, “secret”, “lust(y)”, or “temptation”.
My book is titled The Secret Desires and Temptations of the Lusty Captain Hardwood. Beat that, Danielle Steel.
Of course, no great romance novel was ever written by someone with as foolish a name as “Cheryl Keen”. The next step in the process is to figure out your very own pen name. Jackie Ivie and her Knight before Christmas had the right idea: “Ivie” is a sensual, winding, and completely annoying plant. Perfect for the theme of love. After pondering several names, including Scarlett Candlelyght, Veronica Beachseks, and Candy Weiners, I finally settled on Lily Roseweather. A good system to follow is to pick your favorite flower for your first name, then pick your second favorite flower and a word that ends in –eather to complete your last. Carnation Irisleather, Azalea Cloverfeather, and BirdOfParadise Dandelionheather are all fabulous names to get you started.
Now for the hard part… actually writing your novel. Don’t forget that the more sick and twisted the descriptions of sex, the more unfortunate housewives will buy your book, and the more dollars you’ll earn. While not exactly a romance novel, consider this scene from Mario Puzo’s The Godfather:
“Her hand closed around an enormous, blood-gorged pole of muscle. It pulsated in her hand like an animal and almost weeping with grateful ecstasy she pointed it into her own wet, turgid flesh… she reached a shattering climax, felt his hardness break and then the crawly flood of semen over her thighs.”
Did you just vomit? Perfect! That, my friends, is a great sex scene. Puzo should have given up the mob and instead focused on more scandalous works, as clearly that was his calling. Now, to help you aspiring writers out, I have created a Mad Libs-type formula for writing your first sex scene. Try it out below!
“I must (verb) you now,” whispered the (adjective) Knight Masculanis into Lady Dumenow’s (singular body part).
“(exclamation)!” the (adjective) lady cried, wrapping her (adjective) (plural body part) around her knight’s (singular body part). He lifted her onto the (adjective) (piece of furniture) and slowly removed her (article of clothing). (-ing verb) her (singular body part), the two spent (length of time) (-ing verb).
Did that get you all hot and bothered? If so… congratulations! Just keep up that pace and you’ll be a best-selling author in no time!

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