Whether you’re just starting out with your romance writing adventures, or have been doing so for quite some time now, exercises in writing romance can always be a handy tool to help you grow. They can help provide you with ideas for future works, or get you out of that ever-popular slump of writer’s block in the middle of your story.
There are many places you can find a variety of wonderful exercises to help you obtain a different perspective, provide ideas for future projects, or simply grow as a writer by improving your skills. These types of exercises can be found in various books at your local bookstore or library. You can find them online in a multitude of places. By simply searching on Google, you can come up with hundreds of links, all wanting to provide you with one type of exercise or another to help you get those ideas flowing again.
I decided to make things a bit easier than that. I’ve added here some of the best ideas I have found to get that literary part of your brain jumping again, ready to get the ideas flowing from your mind to paper in no time flat. The great thing about some of these quick little exercises is the fact that you don’t have to worry about perfectionism. Some, if not most of these practice works aren’t meant for publication, therefore you don’t have to worry about letting a secret out of ‘the vault’, or making each and every exercise your best work ever.
1) No matter what type of romance story you’re writing, whether it’s fantasy, suspense, paranormal or something altogether different, don’t let the cat out of the bag too soon. Keep some secrets from your readers. They don’t need to know all of the juicy, suspenseful and thrilling details in the very first chapter or two. Keep them sitting on the edge of their seats, just aching to read a little further to find out what’s next.
You can practice this with a short story. Keep the one, most important detail until the very end. Only one person in your story knows this detail, and it can be something as simple as where the car keys are. Or you can go completely in the other direction and make is something as complex as figuring out who stabbed the babysitter. Just practice keeping that final, crucial detail to the very end.
2) Write a short biography of your life, or the life of someone in your family. It doesn’t need to be very long; let’s say approximately 500 to 600 words.
3) Write a descriptive text about your home, as if you were about to put it on the market for sale. You want to forego any real estate agents, and want to make sure anyone reading your ad understands all of the nooks and crannies you adore.
4) Pick a piece you have already written and change the tense of it. You may decide not to do an entire novel this way, but choose a chapter or two to adapt in this manner.
5) Write about your earliest childhood memory with as much detail as possible. If you like, this can become two exercises; one for a good memory and one that wasn’t quite as pleasant, allowing you to get a better perspective for different tones.
Now of course these aren’t the only exercises you can do, but they will give you quite the head start. If you find yourself still coming up short or running into some road blocks, here’s a list of a few books and websites you can take a look at to help you out even more.
My favorite source for romance writing exercises and also the best romance writing guilde/course I’ve ever taken is AWAI’s How to Write for Love and Money. It’s a fantastic course full of all of the worksheets, blueprints and tools you need to write your first or your tenth romance novel. I know many people who purchased this course only to go on to publish their next novel. It’s THAT helpful.
And of course you can visit our Romance Writing Exercises here too!
Here are some other good books for romance writing exercises.
Writing Fiction For Dummiesby Randy Ingermanson, and Peter Economy
Writing a Romance Novel for Dummiesby Leslie J. Wainger
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing a Novelby Thomas F. Monteleone
The Art of War for Writers: Fiction Writing Strategies, Tactics, and Exercises by James Scott Bell
What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers (3rd Edition)by Anne Bernays, and Pamela Painter
Crossroads: Creative Writing in Four Genresby Diane Thiel