Monday, October 25, 2010

Is Inspirational Romance your cup of tea?

At the Florida Writers Conference I attended (and at which I led two workshops) last weekend in Orlando, I was intrigued to learn the following 10 facts about "The Rules of Romance Writing" for the inspirational market:

1. There are 147 basic romance plots; these are used by all romance authors with minor variations.

2. 53% of all U.S. paperback books are romance fiction.

3. Christian fiction generally pays twice what secular fiction pays (in terms of author advances).

4. Christian romance book deals are usually trilogies rather than stand-alone novels. The second and third books are usually based on two minor characters from the first book.

5. A definite deal-breaker in Christian romance writing is to mention denominations, cursing, or sex acts, although sexual tension is perfectly acceptable.

6. In Christian romance, either the heroine or hero isn't a Christian; the believer tries to help the searcher work through his/her faith and by the end, the unbeliever comes around to seeing the light.

7. Romances are only considered romances if they have "happily ever after" endings. (I suppose that's why Romeo and Juliet was considered a tragedy.)

8. A true romance is always written from the perspective (POV) of the heroine.

9. Per a recent survey, the reason Americans buy so many Amish books is because their lives are so hectic, they want to slow down. Even slower heart rates are reported while reading Amish novels.

10. The three current biggest selling Inspirational romance genres: Romantic suspense, Historical set in 1800 America, and Amish (even mainstream publishers are now starting Amish lines).

References for this fascinating and useful information are author Stephanie Burkhart and literary agent Mary Sue Seymour.