Genre Guides
Genre Guides

Romance Guide

Must Haves: Happily Ever After (HEA) – While almost all traditional romance stories include an HEA, it has recently become common in some genres to have a Happy For Now (HFN), where your characters get what they want, but it might not be forever. Good for series characters like in Outlander, one of the most successful romances around. The Charming Hero – Your #1 hero, which in a typical “vanilla” romance would be the woman, must be relatable and charming. Your reader must identify with them and like them, because rooting for them to find love is the most important thing...

This content is for members only.
Login Join Now

Romance Story Builder

For this exercise, you should have a document open where you can write. Now copy the text in the box and paste it into that document. This will be the blueprint  for your story. You'll fill it in as you go through the exercise and end up with a basic outline for a romance novel.* You may also want to post your story outline in the forums to get some ideas from other forum members. 

This content is for members only.
Login Join Now

Romance Blueprint

This blueprint reads more like a beat sheet than some of our other genres. That is because it's much easier to write the same romance book (but different) over and over than it is with most other genres. You don't have to follow this exactly, but you can if you like. 

This content is for members only.
Login Join Now

Should I Write Romance?

Do you love romance? Do you wish everything in life was a meet cute? If you love romance novels, and think you can crank them out over and over with new and compelling characters, then romance is right for you. If you just heard that romance was big money, but don't really enjoy the genre, then you should probably skip it.  

Romance novels are shorter than most other genre fiction. 100,000 words is

This content is for members only.
Login Join Now

Alternate History Study Materials

Back to science fiction Books to Read If you want to write in a genre, you have to read that genre. Experts in the industry are consistent with their advice that you must be an avid reader of a genre to write well in it. The books below should give you a feel for the genre, both current and historically, but be sure to read the alternate history books that are selling now, especially the indie ones. A read through of a few of the books in the Amazon Top 100 should let you know what readers are buying. Instructional...

This content is for members only.
Login Join Now

Should I Write Alternate History?

Do you find yourself wondering what America would look like if the early Viking settlements had thrived? If China had landed on the west coast even as Columbus landed on the east? Do you wonder what the map of Europe would look like if Ghengis Khan hadn't died before finishing his invasion or Napoleon had choked on a chicken bone before starting his?

Then alternate history might be just the genre for you.

This content is for members only.
Login Join Now

Alien Invasion Study Materials

If you want to write in a genre, you have to read that genre. Experts in the industry are consistent with their advice that you must be an avid reader of a genre to write well in it. The books below should give you a feel for the genre, both current and historically, but be sure to read the alien invasion books that are selling now, especially the indie ones. A read through of a few of the books in the Amazon Top 100 should let you know what readers are buying.

This content is for members only.
Login Join Now

Should I Write Alien Invasion?

You should consider writing hard science fiction if…

You love reading them
You have enough scientific knowledge to make it believable. Writing hard science fiction opens you up to attacks of failed realism like few other genres do. Having the chops to back up your writing is of vital importance.
You have a provable connection to the sciences i.e. a degree or occupation in the sciences. As in nonfiction, having provable expertise helps in marketing this genre.

You should probably try a different genre if…

You have no connection or interest in science. You may have an idea for a hard science fiction book or series, but if your science isn’t up to it, choose something else. There are “softer” SF genres you could maybe fit it into.
You prefer character-driven books over concept-driven ones.

The formula for success in self-publishing for a hard science fiction writer is pretty straight forward.

Have a good book. In this genre, that means a book with compelling tech or scientific concepts as well as characters.
Build an ARC or Beta reader team. Get feedback from the beta readers to improve your book and use the ARC readers to get lots of reviews for your book when it launches.
Make sure your title, cover, and description are true to the genre. Hard SF is often defined by its subgenre. Make sure your promotional and marketing materials fit with all your genres.
Advertise to the people who read books just like yours. This means product targeting with Amazon ads and keywords for books with covers that look like yours and similar subject matter. Pick your favorite hard science fiction author and target them directly from the day you start writing all the way through your book launch and advertising campaign.
Keep writing. Don’t rest on your laurels with a good book. Write another one. And another one. And so on. In science fiction, you have the whole universe (or at least our solar system in hard SF; okay maybe just a lunar base?) to explore, so a series should be no problem. The next book helps sales on the earlier ones and it adds up to some serious sales numbers by the time you get to book number six or seven.
Build your mailing list. Readers are always hungry for more books. If they like your stuff, they will snap it up the day it comes out. The same is true with building a social media following.

The hard part of all this is writing a good book. Check out the science fiction tag in articles for more information.

This content is for members only.
Login Join Now

Should I Write Hard Science Fiction?

You should consider writing hard science fiction if…

You love reading them

You have enough scientific knowledge to make it believable. Writing hard science fiction opens you up to attacks of failed realism like few other genres do. Having the chops to back up your writing is of vital importance.

You have a provable connection to the sciences i.e. a degree or occupation in the sciences. As in nonfiction, having provable expertise helps in marketing this genre.

This content is for members only.
Login Join Now