Writing Romance

Romance novels generate $1.37 billion in sales annually. Luckily for you, we’ve developed the perfect guide to writing your own best-selling Romance novel, replete with steamy excerpts. Learn well, gentle Reader.

You must be from Tennessee...'cause you're the only ten I see

Just The Facts

  1. There are dozens of websites that tell you how to write Romance.
  2. They're all wrong.
  3. We're going to learn you the real way to write pant droppingly steamy Romance.
  4. Get more tissues and get ready to read one-handed; this Romance shit just got real.

1. A Sexy Hook

Over 90% of people who read Romance novels are women. If there's anything we here at Cracked know, it's what women want; trust us when we tell you that they don't want some flowery introduction to the characters.

Instead of shitting around with boring character development right off the bat, start by grabbing your reader's attention with a Sexy Hook that will immediately guide her hand toward the nether regions of her pants:

"You magnificent beast!" Katerina proclaimed, ripping the Armani tuxedo spacesuit from MacFabio's rippling Scottish muscles with all the fervor of a wombat Russian leopard in heat! He bellowed forth a manly howl, sending sensual reverberations to her lady parts, and shot his laser pistol at the Russian Space Station:
Byu! Byu! Byu! Hit! Hit! Hit!
Mir (not being lasered)
Mir (not being lasered)
"Oh, MacFabio!" she gasped into his ubiquitously hairy chest.
Katerina's lady parts were trembling. MacFabio lifted her chin up toward his with his man-paw, looked into her eyes, and asked in a gruff, throaty whisper, "Are your naughty parts tingly with the lust this sort of passionate embrace demands? Or are you a sloppy mess of crazy hotness for my loins?"
The astute observer will notice that we crossed out "wombat." "Wombat" contains the word "womb," which is categorically unsexy and makes me want to snip my penis - or however you do a vasectomy. Any woman would start to think of babies, which is a big no-no. Don't make the mistake of using unsexy words to describe sexy parts. Your female readers won't like that. Shy away from phrases like: Penisaurus Sex, Dr. Sodoppotomus, baby cannon, vaginator, The Washington Redskins, and Scro-fro (as in, "my scro-fro bristled in the wind, the morning dew glistening upon it for all Sweden to behold").
Using our sexy words instead, we further engage women's interest on many levels, mentioning MacFabio's Armani tuxedo, rippling Scottish muscles, and his gruff, throaty whisper. By the time she reads these descriptions in our introductory paragraphs, she's seconds away from a transcendental orgasm.
Sean Connery being Sean Connery
"That's not a pouch, it's my dick's battering ram"
Billowing epiphany-inducing orgasms aside, at this point in the story, our readers have no idea what the plot is, no real understanding of the characters, and no idea what's actually going on. They're just kind of picturing a bit of semi-beastial lovemaking in outer space. Perfect. The stage is set and the audience is hooked!
Oh yeah. Also, there's some hint that we might be referring to MacFabio's penis as a laser and Katerina's vagina as the Russian Space Station, Mir. We totally are.
That leads us to...

2. Exotic Characters

Now it's time for the characters - but be careful! No one wants to read a story about someone coming home from a shitty day of work, getting drunk off of Keystone Lite, and begrudgingly having sub-par sex with an overweight Greyhound bus driver they met on craigslist. So give your readers what they really want: hot foreign bodies.

Oh the stains we could make...

But oh the stains we could make together...

For example, we haven't really developed our female character, Katerina, yet, but we've hinted that she's Russian and retardedly sexy (otherwise, MacFabio wouldn't be letting her touch his rippling Scottish muscles). Thus, we've given her intrigue and depth to which any reader can relate. Maybe she's seen Irina Shayk or she's had a Russian foreign exchange student who was hotter than her. Either way, our reader is thinking, "Wow, that totally reminds me of someone I know - it's like I'm right there in future-space!"
Sweet Jesus, she's hot
In Russia, hot woman fantasizes about you! Not really.
We've made the main character, MacFabio, a little more complicated to cater to a wide variety of women: not only is he a Scottish spy, but he's also quite possibly a werewolf. Our female readers are thus drawn into the mystique of MacFabio. Soon they'll be fantasizing about moonlit space humping as bagpipe music drives home each gravitationally impaired thrust, MacFabio's kilt flapping rhythmically against their landing strip.
But first we need...

3. A Romantic Setting

Although the reader is dutifully hooked, intrigued, and turned on, she can't masturbate properly without a detailed setting to picture. This part has to be treated with the utmost delicacy. It has to be somewhere romantic, somewhere she can picture herself enjoying being naked:

"Yar, MacFabio!" Katerina grumbled, her eight breasts heaving and her four pairs of nipples sparkling like Christmas lights. "Give me that good space-love, matey!"
He looked her dead in the eyes and grabbed her around the waist with one werewolf paw. "I love the way your Russian accent combined with zero gravity in my private space shuttle's standard-issue pumpkin patch makes you sound like a pirate," MacFabio growled, squeezing her butt tentacle for emphasis. "It's why, even though we work for two different governments, I love you, Katerina!"
So orange, so lumpy, so sexy...
This is where the magic happens
She leaned in toward his toothy snout, whispering, "Avast ye, me quad bra and panties! It's time to swab the belowdecks!"
Katerina pulled his hindquarters tighter to her hips, gasping in lust, a wild look coming over her eyes as MacFabio's tail wagged back and forth in erotic glee. He lasered the lights off as they fell into a hairy, tentacular heap upon the pumpkins.
Did you catch it? We added some subtle hints about where the action was taking place and even snuck in some more character development. Go back and read the above section again to see if you can find them!
But with a Scottish flag and less killing.
Like this, but with more sex. And maybe less killing. But mostly more sex.
Did you notice how all of a sudden you're picturing MacFabio, the future-spy-space-werewolf, about to make love to Katerina, the hot, eight-breasted, sparkly-nippled, tentacle-butted Russian, in MacFabio's standard-issue space shuttle pumpkin patch? No? Exactly! An experienced author can ease the reader into the scene by delicately adding elements like these to color it. Having your characters say normal things to elucidate the setting is an excellent way to weave it into the story.
That was such a seamless transition, you may even want to go back and read it again!
You've almost got your bestseller! There's just one more piece we need to add to the puzzle...

4. Passionate Action

You're almost there! You've got a hook, exotic characters, and a romantic setting. But sexily describing the scene isn't enough to get your readers to pile aboard the 6:09 O-train to Masturbation Station. You need the Erotic Action your readers crave: hot foreign bodies putting foreign objects into hot foreign bodies.

coke bottle in rectum: a study

This is why I wouldn't let you go as a coke dispenser last Halloween.

Staring deeply into Katerina's eyes, MacFabio lifted her up and set her on the washing machine as it swirled his Captain Kirk g-string and leather vest inside. The sex-like motion gyration of the machine awakened a primal urge within her. She wanted to make Scottish-Russian werewolf-pirate space-nasty right here, right now!
He brushed the thistle-colored hair from her eyes and pulled himself close to her. "O Katerina!" he bellowed, much louder than was necessary, "Your body is a temple. And I want to sacrifice a great trouser snake unto it!"
"MacFabio!" she whispered back into his fur, "I shall share me booty with thee - Yarrr!" Her butt tentacle erotically flopped about.
MacFabio kissed her neck, his snout whiskers gently caressing her face. He thrust his body against hers moving all sex-like. She could feel his woolly pubes pressing against her thighs. It was weird.
He unhooked her bra and Katerina's eight breasts spilled out, pummeling his face like so many Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots. Her majestic nipples blinked in Morse code "S-E-X-A-H-O-Y".
Christmas Lights
Wow. I mean wow. I think my penis's penis just got a boner. Take a pause to catch your breath.
We used words like "gyrate" and "thrust" to describe the action because describing everything as "moving all sex-like", though accurate, is repetitive. Descriptive and creative action words are the key to compelling writing. When writing your best-selling Romance novel, it's a good idea to have a thesaurus at one hand and a box of tissues by the other. Use these to help you fix your bad and enjoy your good writing.
Combine our four key elements for a Romance novel and you'll get a work that immediately hooks the reader, draws her to your characters, lets her picture herself in the story, and keeps her turning page after saucy page. In no time you'll have a career supported by lonely housewives and teenage girls, just like you've always dreamed.