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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Bourbon

Writing Rom-Com Tips To Get Started

So, you want to write a romantic comedy but have no idea how or where to start?

I will have a couple 8 part series of blogs coming out, but here are some first steps to help you get started.

When I start writing a new novel, I have a very specific way that I do it, and it begins with the premise, but here are three things you need to do if you want to break in or grow your rom-com writing career.

  1. Choose your main character. Know her, what she does for a living, her age, what she looks like, her birth sign, etc. The more you know her, the easier she becomes to write. Then, you have to know who else is in the story, so write out a list of who is in her life.

When you do this, it will help you with the next step.

Does she have a best friend? Is the BFF a man or a woman? Are her parents still alive? Do they live close? Does she rely on co-workers or have a bestie at work? What about siblings? Write all of these down. If you have names, even better.

2. Develop your story arc. Start with the premise. Let's use Never Been Kissed as an example. An insecure 25-year-old copy editor is assigned to report undercover at a high school.

That's the premise. The development of that is that she has never had a real relationship or even kissed a boy/guy and that she is a geek, and the assignment means she has to get in with the popular crowd. So who do we know is in this story?

Her co-workers from her copy edit job.

Her boss

A teacher

Teenagers at school (maybe some jocks and some popular girls)

A bestie

Now, you can go back to your list of characters and choose who needs to be in your story based on the premise.

AND NOW, it's time to write out your story beats which is a short paragraph with what happens in the story.


Josie gets the assignment

Josie enrolls in high school

Josie meets the teens

Josie meets a teacher (and he is the love interest-I'll blog about the meet-cute soon so you know why this is so important in a rom-com)

Josie struggles to get in with the popular kids

Things like that, I don't need to write it all out but you get the idea. There are 7-9 main story beats in a rom-com and 15 when flushed fully out.

PRO TIP~this is also how you write your synopsis for pitching.

3. WATCH A LOT and READ A LOT of rom-coms. I once met a writer who applied to work with me one-on-one and she said she was writing rom-coms, but she hated them. I asked her why she wanted to write on, and she said "because they are so trendy right now."

Please don't ever write to trend.

You should always LOVE the genre you are writing in.

If you are a screenwriter, watch movies, but also get your hands on the scripts, as close to the shooting script as you can.

If you are writing novels, read novels, listen to them on audio, etc. but immerse yourself into romantic comedies.

I hope this is helpful. Sign up and get notifications when new blogs are out. Mostly, I post on Wednesdays but since this specific blog is a bit newer, I'll post more frequently and for a series, I will probably do more than once a week, so get signed up!

XO Stephanie

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