Writing and publishing romance novels can be quite hard for a novice and here are some of the challenges that might be encountered:
- Failure to recognize the various sub-genres that are found under romance. There is fantasy romance that is more contemporary with focus on the romantic elements of the story, time travel romances involves a heroine who can time travel to a past period in life and meet a lost lover, there are inspirational romances that infuse Christian themes where sex is only discussed after the characters have been officially married. There are multicultural romances where love brews between people from the varied cultural background. In such cases, cultural differences form the bulk of the obstacles that affect the love between the two characters. Every writer must find a niche where he or she would focus the novel to achieve the required goal and develop a plot.
- Provision of information that has been passed by time and events. The expressions that are used in the novel must be contextualized to the current location and situation. The writer might rely on content that is regarded as stale and without relevance in the present society. This does not imply that past information is wholly wrong. However, the writer must carefully choose experiences that would still apply to a different generation of readers. Issues such as dressing change through the ages and a style that was common in a previous society might not be fashionable in this present society. The mistake most authors do is the lifting of content from previous periods and using it for current readers who lack any experience with such a period.
- When writing about romance, most authors struggle to conceptualize sex scenes and hence end up writing poor sex scenes. The problem starts from the point of variations in the various perceptions that individuals have about sex. The definition of what is sexy is relative as every society has its ideas on what is sexy. The author should focus on the expected impact of the sex scene regarding the relationship between the characters. The author should also evaluate the choice of words at this part and the perceived impact that the euphemisms have on the reader as well as the image of the characters.
The challenge is also on the timing of the scenes, how soon the sex scenes should occur and at what given point should the complications arise between the lovers. Most writers fail because they follow the scripts of previous writings by other authors, and hence they lose credibility.
In developing the characters, it is imperative that the characters are made as human as possible. In being human, the characters must be seen to have normal flaws as any ordinary human being, and the flaws should not border on extremities. Real or possible flaws on the characters increase the mimetic value of the novel, unlike characters who are too good to be true. This goes even for the obstacles as well; the obstacles should be real and not overrated ones such as amnesia among others.