Here is how to become a published romance writer

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If you want to write romance and be a professional writer then this book is a must for you.  Following on from the success of the first edition of this book, which won a major award, this guide explains what is meant by romance and takes you through the process of writing    emotion and conflict.  The author explains how dialogue should be natural between your heroine and her hero and she explains the difference between sensuality and passion.  With an expanded text and more true insider-secrets this is a must for all writers of romance, whether professional or amateur.

In this book you will learn:

  • How to write emotion and create PTQ (page turning quality).

  • Why dialogue is the lifeblood of your novel.

  • The importance of ‘after’.

  • Why the intense black moment is so important.


Book cover for Kate Walker's 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance

Kate Walker's 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance

Who is this book for?

All students taking courses to improve their creative writing skills

  • Post 16-Level students and first-year undergraduates on creative writing and creative studies degrees
  • Adult education centres including WEA
  • Teachers, tutors and lecturers
  • School libraries, reference and public libraries
  • University and college central libraries.

Author             Kate Walker
Price    £10.99 €12.99 Paperback, 215 x 135mm, 160pp
ISBN 978-184285-128-9



  • 5.0 out of 5 stars Romance from the Paradise in the Pacific,

    This review is from: Kate Walker's 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance (Aber Writers Guides) (Paperback)

    Kate Walker's 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance (Aber Writers Guides)

    Kate Walker has been a successful romance writer for the last twenty five years. So she is a fountain of information regarding category romance.

    Kate Walker's 12-POINT GUIDE to WRITING ROMANCE is perfect for writers who are targeting Harlequin Mills and Boon. However, its teachings are great for any romance writer, regardless of which publisher they are planning to submit their work to. The topics covered in it could be applied to any romance novel and sub-genre.

  • And the KATE WALKER'S 12 POINT GUIDE TO WRITING ROMANCE is a tremendous writer's tool to have. It's separate Chapters are so much help. There's a chapter on :
    Characterisation and Heroines
    The Intense Black Moment
    Dialogue and the
    A Beleivable Happy Ending among some others.

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely useful guide for wannabe romance writers.,


    Bookworm63 (East Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews

    This review is from: Kate Walker's 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance (Aber Writers Guides) (Paperback)

    This book was a real eye-opener and I feel I learned a lot from it. Although it seems mainly aimed at writing for Mills and Boon it had a lot of useful information for writers of other romance fiction too. I think the characterization checklist is brilliant and I will be using it myself. The twelve questions at the end of each chapter were also really helpful. All in all I think this is a must-read for anyone who wants to write romantic fiction.

This review is from: Kate Walker's 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance (Aber Writers Guides) (Paperback)

I was glued to this honest and generous guidebook - and now after reading it I feel all fired up to write that first publishable romance! What I liked is the total lack of ego dripping off the pages, there's no other agenda than the one it says on the cover. Kate pushes you to find your niche, hone your technical skills and be true to your writing self. Her tone assures you that eventual success is not necessarily a fairy tale... There are interviews with established authors at the end of the book which is an inspirational way to finish. It humanises the industry and makes me want to go out and read some of those authors too... I would have liked just a few more examples of writing to demonstrate this elusive concept of "voice". But overall, it gets my 5 because I haven't read a better guide to writing romance and somehow doubt I will.

Vince Mooney, Posted on the Community Boards

“Kate Walker’s 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance”

Is Probably:

  • The Best Single Book on Writing Romance

  • The Best Single Textbook For Teaching Romance Writing

  • The Most Useful Book for Published Romance Writers

I must say to start that I’ve taken a very long time to read “Kate Walker’s 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance”. That’s because I can only read large type. I’ve had to read this book very slowly using a magnifying glass. If the book wasn’t so consistently excellent, there is no way I would have finished it. Incidentally, I found it very educational to read a book so closely. It’s like inspecting a house brick by brick.

This is not a typical fan review. It is a professional review. I have been writing nonfiction for thirty years. I’ve written and edited manuals, created correspondence courses, and taught advertising copywriting in college. I run a real estate school so I know the crucial importance of having a good manual for each course you teach. I am also working on a book about the romance genre and have read at least 40 romance writing books during my research. (Some of the best are listed below.)

I found “Kate Walker’s 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance to be unique among the many romance writing books that I’ve read. It is exceptionally well suited for three different purposes.

First, if you were only going to read one romance writing book—to teach yourself how to write at home—this book offers the best coverage. It features many examples, checklists, questions, and, where appropriate, it offers other romance novels that provide additional examples on the romance writing concepts being discussed.

Even more important Kate Walker, like all good teachers, is always pointing out what something being taught does not mean. Knowing what something does not mean is very important to a successful learning experience.

My biggest problem teaching adults happens when the student thinks he or she already knows what you are trying to teach. These students close their minds and fail to learn. For example, almost every student “knows” that the mortgagor is the lender and they are wrong. The lender is the mortgagee. Almost every student “knows” that the broker representing the seller is the selling broker. But they are wrong, he’s the listing broker. The “selling broker” represents the buyer. As Will Rogers once said, "It's what we know that ain’t so that gets us in trouble.”) It is very hard to undue what people “know that isn’t so”.

Kate Walker not only states what a romance term or concept means, she also points out what it does not mean. This is invaluable if you are learning at home without a teacher. It is also invaluable for an inexperienced teacher as it provides excellent talking points to go over in class.

Let me give you an example from the book found in chapter 2 on “Emotion”. After stating what “emotional punch” is, the author goes on to demonstrate what the term does not mean.It does not mean, “just arguing or shouting,” “endless crying,” “wallowing in self-pity,” “it is not manipulative,” “it is not just sentiment” or “cliché”, and so on. This “house cleaning”, as I call it, goes on for pages. Teachers should love this book.

Chapters include: Emotion, Conflict, Dialogue, Focus, Sensuality, Passion, Heroes, Heroines, Characterization and Heroines, Plotting, The Question “Why”?, The Intense Black Moment, The Believable Happy Ending, Practicalities, and From the Author’s Desks (advice from other romance authors). In other words, you are getting the full package here. The book is 265 pages long.

Second: as good as “Kate Walker’s 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance”, is for self-teaching the material, I found it excels as a textbook. I know how important a good manual is to making a teacher’s job easier. An exceptional manual allows the teacher to teach “from the overflow” which greatly enriches the material and makes for a more enjoyable student experience. With a weak manual this valuable time has to be spent doing the job the manual should have done.

I would love to teach from “Kate Walker’s 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance”. The text is very reader friendly. Kate Walker knows how to communicate. The way she wrote this book is going to change the way I write my manuals and courses.

The chapters fully cover the writing concept being taught. Then there is a 12 point checklist covering how you should implement the concepts in your actual writing. Then there are suggested writing exercises and assignments.

Third: experienced writers will find the writing checklists on various topics very useful. There is a saying in advertising copywriting that “professionals do not have to be taught but they do have to be reminded”. I was a very experienced copywriter and taught copywriting in college but I still always used a 500+ item checklist for improving a direct marketing promotional package. Everything we learned from testing direct mail pieces was incorporated in that list. Even the people with the vast experience needed to create the list, used the list.

Kate Walker has many of these checklists. If I were writing a romance novel, I would type all these checklists into a Word document. When I finished writing a chapter (and it was still fresh in my mind), I would run through the applicable checklists as a critique of my work. If I was lacking in an area I could immediately act to improve it. This would be a little like having an experienced editor always available to provide assistance.

Here is a sample of the checklists. Each features 12 questions:

  • Emotional punch

    1. Have I allowed time for my characters to explore their feelings? (11 more follow.)

  • Conflict

    1. Have I a conflict over which is truly worth being at odds? Is it one that really matters? (11 more follow).

  • Dialogue – all the below topics also have 12 item checklists for good writing.

  • Focus

  • Sensuality

  • Passion

  • Heroes

  • Heroines

  • Plotting

  • The Question “Why”

  • The Intense “Black Moment"

  • The Happy Ending

I haven’t read any other romance writing book that I thought would be so useful to a professional writer on an ongoing daily basis.

Unlike some textbooks, “Kate Walker’s 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance”, is written by someone who actually knows how to write. I’ve been reading Kate Walker romances while I’ve been reading this book. This allowed me to observe how well she practices what she teaches. Her own books are the best testimony to her teaching methods and knowledge of the romance novel.


If you are going to teach a class on romance writing, you should get a copy of this book before you select a textbook. I have not read another text that does a better job from both the teacher’s POV and the student’s POV.

If you are a home study student who is learning to write romances on your own, this is the key book to read. However, if you are teaching yourself, you really should read many romance writing books. I also strongly recommend that you read "Dangerous Men & Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance", Krentz and "Writing Romances: A Handbook by the Romance Writers of America" by Romance Writers of America (Organization), Rita Gallagher, and Rita Clay Estrada. Plus as many more as you have time to read. It won’t hurt to read them all.

If you already are a romance author or a mainstream author thinking of writing a category romance, this book is worth the price just to get the writing checklists.

Vince Mooney runs his own real estate school in Oklahoma, he also teaches and writes training manuals.

  • More from amazon. com

  • A great guide,

    Kate Walker is a seasoned professional writer. Her first novel was published way back in 1984. She has written over fifty books and currently has two Harlequin Presents books out this year.

    This book explains: how to write emotion and create page turning quality. How to create conflict amidst your characters and why it is a major essential component of your novel. Why dialogue is the lifeblood of your knowledge. How to make dialogue sound realistic. How to make your characters real. How to create the required sharp focus on your hero and heroine. How to develop supporting characters that work. Why flashbacks are important in some stories and how to create them in your novel. Why sensuality is imporant and how to develop sensuality between your hero and heroine. How to pace the development of the romance that is occurring between your hero and heroine. How to write the love scene between your hero and heroine and the importance of 'after'. The importance of the hero and his essential 'vital' vulnerability'. The filter role of the heroine for the reader. The heroine's 21st century response to conflict. How to answer the question 'why?'. How to write the intense black moment and why it is so important. She also has a chapter devoted to the practicalities - agents, market study, rejection, revisions, synopsis', queries etc.

    In short the book covers everything that romance writer needs to develop their craft. I found this book to be pretty comprehensive and clearly laid out. If you are serious about writing then this book should be on your shelf.


By Gemma Jackson "Irish Nomad"(Northern Ireland) -

I have bought this book from the point of view of a frustrated writer. Ms. Walker takes so much time explaining matters that have defeated me in the past. Its been a wonderful experience, I learned so much that I can use in my day to day writing. Ms. Walker has given me hope for the future.

One of the best how to books I have ever read. I am going to polish up my manuscript using the knowledge gained from this book.

A must read for anyone who wants to write fiction!,

This is a wonderfully written book. I've been writing for some time, but it wasn't until I read this book, that I realized why my writing wasn't working. This is a MUST read for anyone who wants to write fiction. Easy to read, to understand, and right to the point.

Read won't be fact you'll wish you'd read it sooner.

of romantic fiction, from a master of the craft. A must have for your writing resource library, 12-Point Guide breaks the information into easily digested bits.

I can't recommend Kate's plan highly enough,

By Kitty - S

Kate Walker's 12 Point Plan for writing romance is truly fantastic. Not only is Kate a strong storyteller and very successful romance author, but she is a natural teacher and puts the elements of good writing in terms that will click with anyone reading her book. If you are serious about pursuing a career in romantic fiction, I can't recommend Kate's plan highly enough.

What a wonderful resource,

What a wonderful resource for not only novice writers, but for those of us who have a few books under our belts. Reading about the craft, about why we do what we do, about what makes a story helped invigorate my current book. Kate Walker has such an easy way, a gift of explaining what's what. From finding your voice, to plot, to's all there!

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