Friday, February 1, 2019

Writing Category Romances by Margaret Daley

Writing Category Romances
By Margaret Daley

I have been writing for Love Inspired lines since 2000 and have enjoyed creating over sixty Love Inspired and Love Inspired Suspense books. Writing for a category inspirational romance publisher has challenged me and helped me to grow as a writer. I also have written much longer books throughout my career.

What have I learned writing category romances? I’ve learned first and foremost how to tell a story in a concise way. I had to learn to pick and choose what was important to show/tell the reader, which isn’t always that easy to see, especially when you are so close to the story. What we should do is introduce the hero and heroine and let the reader get a sense of who the protagonists are in the present before we flood them with their back story (actually a writer should never “flood” the reader with the back story but sprinkle it in throughout). 

But often as a writer we want to jump in and explain everything at the beginning so the reader will “understand.” That was the way it was done when I first started writing years ago. We often took a chapter or so to let the readers discover who the main characters were before we really introduced the conflicts between them. Not anymore—which leads me to another reason I write for category.

I have learned (still learning) to tell a fast paced story that will keep today’s reader turning the page. Nothing is better than receiving a note from a reader telling me that I kept them up all night reading my book. That is one of the highest honors I could receive from a reader. 

I taught at a high school for many years. I discovered that the teens I worked with thought most of the classic novels were boring. When I studied those novels, I could see their point. It took quite a while to get into the story. The books were wordy and the authors often padded the basic story. I wanted these students to learn to love reading as I do so I looked at books that told a compelling story that was fast paced. That is what they read and I saw some good results. Remember, these same teens are used to a story being told in an hour on a television show. If the show didn’t grab their attention, they used the remote and moved on to another show. A category story requires an author to tell a story quickly (or should) and to choose her words carefully. There is little room for unnecessary information in the stories. These stories are fast reads that can often be read in one sitting.

In a category romance there is always a happy ending (which is another reason I read and write category stories—I love a happy ending), but the story is in how the characters get there. Millions of people read category romances and keep coming back. They like the idea of a happy ending. That’s one of the reasons they keep reading them, but what intrigues them is how the author gets the hero and heroine together—the conflicts, the type of characters portrayed, and in my line, what part their faith plays in their lives. So when people pick up a category romance, they know how the book will end but not how they will get there.

I’ve been blessed to have the best of both worlds. I’ve been able to write a romance story and a romantic suspense by writing for Love Inspired and Love Inspired Suspense books. I love to write an emotional story but also a story with a mystery and suspense element (not to mention a faith element). After reading one of these, you walk away with hope for love and a relationship with the opposite sex.  Hope is so important in this world and that’s really why I write inspirational category romances and romantic suspense books.

New Pre-order:

Into the Darkness
Adventure. Betrayal. Murder.
Dead? Kate Collier refuses to believe her brother and last remaining family member died in the Brazilian rainforest. Determined to find the missing biochemist, she launches an expedition to find him.

A.C. Slader’s past is as dark and turbulent as the Amazon. Consumed with his own problems, when Kate tries hiring him to find her no-doubt deceased brother, he turns her down cold. The last thing he needs is to fight his way through an impassable jungle for a woman who wouldn’t know a stick from a snake. Only when he narrowly rescues her from an attack before she’s even left the relative safety of the town does he realize that without his help, she’ll get herself killed. 

Together, they begin a perilous journey that will test the limits of their faith and each other… 
Pre-order buy links: Amazon, B&N, Apple Books, Kobo, and Google Play


  1. Such a great post, Margaret. Congrats on your success! I have always loved your writing and your stories. This current release looks wonderful!

    Thanks for all your help and support over the years. You held my hand in the beginning when I was that new authors who needed to learn so much. I will be forever grateful!

    1. I've enjoyed the many years we've been friends.

  2. Thanks for the post, Margaret, and the reminder of how the writing/reading experience has changed over the years. And thanks for sharing your experience.

    1. Marie, when I look back, I'm surprised at how much has changed through my writing career.

  3. Sixty books. I am so in awe of you, Margaret.

  4. Hi Margaret! I am in awe of your 60 books for Love Inspired! That is incredible! I love your description of sprinkling the back story!

  5. That sounds so good, Margaret. I love all of your stories.


Popular Posts

Write for Love Inspired Romance?

Write for Love Inspired Romance?
If you do and would like to join this blog, please contact either Margaret Daley or Pamela Tracy

Total Pageviews

Blog Archive