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Romance Writing

Romance is the #1 selling genre in mass-market fiction with readers clamoring for more! To pen a novel romance readers’ love, you'll need to understand how to meet and exceed their expectations. Whether you're a new or experienced writer, this course will help you broaden your skills and understand exactly what makes a romance reader finish a book with that "Ahh" of satisfaction. You will start by learning about the genre of romance and exploring why you fell in love with your favorite romance novels. You will explore how to craft three-dimensional characters your readers will love and how to weave a plot so your story grabs the reader's interest from page one. You will gain valuable techniques—your "romance writer's toolbox"—to apply to your own manuscript. 

You will also spend a couple lessons looking at and practicing elements important for any writer to master: setting, pacing, point of view, dialogue, research, mood, and tone. You will take on fun assignments that will help you hone your craft.  By the time you finish, you'll be able to pick up a book and figure out what makes it a best seller, or why it's been called a classic, or why it appealed to you as a reader. Even better, you'll have mastered tools and techniques so you can add those same elements to your own writing.

6 Weeks / 24 Course Hrs
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Starting March 13 | April 17

Romance Writing


Details + Objectives

Course Code: row

What You Will Learn
  • Examine the elements all romance novels should incorporate to meet readers’ expectations and begin to plan how to incorporate these elements into your novel
  • Learn what readers expect in your hero and heroine and to know how to use secondary characters to support your main story
  • Learn to use character-building tools to deepen your characters
  • Learn the role goal, motivation, and conflict play in tying together character and plot
  • Learn the elements of a basic romance plotline, how to plot using the Three Act Plot structure, and beginner’s mistakes to avoid
  • Learn about scenes and sequels and how they link together to carry your characters through the plotline
  • Understand how to use point of view, dialogue, and pacing
  • Discover how research, setting, mood and tone enhance the appeal of your romance
  • Learn about the importance of editing, revising, having a critique partner or critique groups, and manuscript submission
How the course is taught
  • Instructor-led course
  • 6 weeks in duration
  • Courses begin each month
  • 2 lessons released each week
  • 24 course hours
How you will benefit
  • Broaden your skills and help you understand what makes a romance reader finish the book with satisfaction
  • Master tools and techniques needed to add the same elements to your own writing that appeal to you as a reader


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Week 1

In your first lesson, you will learn a simple definition for a romance and discover the hallmark element of all romance novels. You will discover why fulfilling readers’ expectations is so important, and you will get an overview of the subgenres found on romance to see where your idea might fit. You will examine some of the romances that resonated with you to discover what makes a great book “great”. Then you will explore what’s needed to create a romance that readers will come to again and again. You will create a short list of romance classics that are as popular today as when they were first written. You will examine the eight essential and three optional elements all romance novels should have in order to meet reader expectations.

Week 2

This lesson introduces the heart of the romance novel---the characters. You will learn about what readers expect from your heroine and hero, as well as your options for making your hero and heroine uniquely your own. You will explore how to use secondary characters to support your central story, and examine examples drawn from some favorite romances. Then you will learn to use tools that will help you get to know your characters on a deeper level.

Week 3

This lesson will cover three concepts that will serve as the bridge between character and plot development:  goal, motivation, and conflict. You will create a character’s GMC chart, noting story goals, the character’s motivation, and the internal and external conflicts he or she faces. Then you will examine the difference between story plot and romantic plot, and take a look at the different kinds of romance plots that are common in the genre.

Week 4

Explore the main components of a plotline and examine how to weave in subplots to enhance your main plot. You will discover how you can organize your plot according to the Three Act Structure to ensure readers are eager to stick with it all the way to your ending. You will also learn about some typical beginner’s mistakes. Then you will explore how the elements you use to build your plot form the basic structure of your story. You will examine how to use cause and effect to create believable events that draw the reader in.  You will look at the building blocks of plot, scene, and sequel, and learn how you can use them to structure the ebb and flow of your story.

Week 5

Learn about two tenets of romance writing along with various tools that will help you write emotionally packed scenes. You will discover the all-important topic of writing a sex scene and how you can ensure the scene moves your reader along with your characters. Then you will begin to look at the elements of dialogue, pacing, and point of view.

Week 6

This final lesson will continue your exploration of important elements of writing fiction:  research, setting, mood, and tone.  You will discover how each of these contributes to the overall impact of your romance. Then you will discover the steps writers need to take after they have finished the first draft of their manuscript. You will learn about the need for revisions and editing, discuss the importance of critique groups and partners, and wrap up with tips on submitting your manuscript for publication.

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Instructors & Support

Priscilla Oliveras

Priscilla Oliveras has a Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. Her debut novel, His Perfect Partner, is an October 2017 release with Kensington Zebra Shout. A long-time active member of Romance Writers of America, she currently serves as the PRO Liaison on the national board. She's a four-time Golden Heart finalist who has won multiple contests and writes contemporary romance novels with a Latino flavor. Priscilla has lectured on college campuses, presented for local writers groups, penned multiple articles on her craft, and completed five romance novels. Sharing her love of the written word and the information she's gleaned over the course of her writing career is one of her greatest passions.


Prerequisites / Requirements


There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements: 

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.

Software Requirements: 

  • PC: Windows XP or later.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
Instructional Materials

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


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When can I get started?

A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits.

How does it work?

Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.

How long do I have to complete each lesson?

The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

What if I need an extension?

The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks plus 10 days (24 days total) to complete the final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.

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