How to Write Romantic Fiction (Beginner)

Monday 12 February
£ 475.00

This course is an all-encompassing introduction to romantic fiction and is designed for writers who are just starting to explore writing romance novels.

Have a great love story in mind?


In this 12-week romantic fiction course, you will learn all the elements of writing romance. You’ll begin by looking at the romantic spark which will kick off your novel and provide the basis of your plot. You’ll get to know your main characters, including your romantic lead and the people getting in their way, and you’ll write the all important ‘meet-cute’. You’ll look at setting and it’s importance as both a character and a plot point in your romance novel. At the end of the course, you’ll come away with an edited first chapter and a plan for where you want to take your story next.

This course is ideal for people who have done no formal training or courses who want to learn the basic skills of structuring and writing romantic fiction. Build your confidence and a writing routine with the support of your peers and individual feedback from a highly experienced tutor.

Start date

Monday 12 February 2024





12 weeks (please see course schedule below)




This course will teach you how to…


  • Finding the perfect setting for your romance novel
  • How to develop your ideas into a short synopsis that sets up the bare bones of the novel
  • Consider the chemistry, compatibility and romance between your protagonists
  • Explore the moment your lovers-to-be meet, and what makes a great, memorable first meeting
  • Write and edit the first chapter of your romance novel
Online course

Why study with National Centre for Writing?

National Centre for Writing has been supporting writers to develop their craft for over 25 years. Our online tutored courses are developed in partnership with University of East Anglia, home to the prestigious School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, which boasts award-winning alumni including Kazuo Ishiguro, Ian McEwan and Anne Enright. Our course tutors are all published writers, many of whom have studied or taught at UEA themselves.


While there are many online courses available to you across the world, ours are unique in offering:

  • One-to-one feedback on up to six assignments, directly from your course tutor
  • A tailored learning experience with 15 students maximum
  • Flexibility to progress through the course anywhere, any time
  • Support and structure to develop a writing routine
  • Skills and knowledge to improve the craft of writing
  • Confidence in your ability as a writer
  • Opportunity to join our NCW Alumni, an international network of like-minded writers and translators.

The feedback I received from my course tutor was so valuable — constructive and encouraging.

Morwenna Rogers

Course programme

Module one – Your story

All books start with a spark of an idea. In Module 1 we’ll look at your idea for a romance novel, however small it is, and consider how to develop (or condense) it into a short synopsis that sets up the bare bones of the novel. We’ll consider what the main character is searching for, the ‘inciting incident’, what transpires and what throws them off track, and ultimately how things resolve so they find their happy ever after.


Module two – Your characters

Getting to know your characters takes time. From the initial idea to the final draft, you will still be learning things about them. In Module 2 we’ll delve into getting to know your characters, their backstories, motives and characteristics. We’ll also consider the chemistry, compatibility and romance between the protagonists, and how credible it is that the two can overcome their setbacks to find love.


Module three – Your meet-cute

Key to every romance is the perfect ‘meet-cute’, the moment your lovers-to-be meet. But what makes a great, memorable first meeting? In Module 3 we’ll consider what would be both appropriate and memorable, humorous or cute, for your lead characters.


Module four – Your setting

Finding the perfect setting for your romance novel is essential. Maybe you’re planning a sweeping love story with characters on separate continents, maybe your romantic hero and heroine live next door to each other. Whatever your set up, in Module 4 we’ll find a dream setting which is true to the characters and plot, while also bringing a dash of escapism for your reader.


Module five – Your 1:1

During Module five, you’ll begin to work on refining your longer final assignment – the first chapter of a romance novel. You’ll also have your 1:1 session, in which you’ll have the opportunity to discuss anything you wish to work on leading up to your final assignment.


Module six – Your feedback and how to use it well

One of the most important skills as a writer is knowing how to refine your work through the process of feedback and editing. In Module 6 we’ll learn about the art of editing chapters and storylines, and also about the editing process from first draft to final proofread.

Live sessions

There will be two live sessions for this course, which will take place over Zoom.

Zoom one: Tuesday 13 February, 7pm GMT

Zoom two: Bookable 1-1s on Wednesday 17 April

Annie Robertson (Nora Wood)

Annie Robertson is the pen name of Nora Wood, an author of eight romance and book club fiction novels published in ten countries. Nora is also published under the pseudonym, Norie Clarke.

Nora graduated from the Creative Writing MA at Bath Spa with distinction, gaining immediate interest from agents and publishers, with her first novel being published less than a year later. Since then, she has written a book a year, working with both ‘big 5’ and independent publishers. She has experience of writing both original material and to commission, making her a versatile and adaptable commercial novelist.

Prior to her career in writing, Nora trained as a composer at the Royal Academy of Music in London, then worked as an assistant for an Oscar winner, an acclaimed artist, a PR mogul and a Beatle. After several years of running errands for the rich and famous, she went to medical school where, hiding novels in anatomy textbooks, she discovered her true passion for writing.

Nora now lives in a beautiful village by the sea with her husband, son and dogs. When not writing, she can be found in her studio at the bottom of her garden playing the piano and trying, not very well, to draw.

The format of the course really suited me, with feedback from the tutor on six pieces of writing, plenty of very high-quality online content, a horizon-expanding reading list and face to face sessions to meet the tutor and other students online.

Fiona Gell

How does this course work?

We have partnered with digital learning platform Teachable to host our self-paced courses. The platform is accessible across a range of devices, simple to use, and does not require any specialist equipment.

We want to make sure that you get the most out of our tutored online courses and feel confident that you’re choosing the right course. Each course contains a mixture of teaching content, reading to prompt discussion, writing exercises for you to hone your skills, and group and one-to-one feedback.

Click to read more about how they are structured and what equipment you may need.

Find out more

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If you still have questions, get in touch with the learning team by email [email protected] or phone (+44) 01603 877177 between our working hours of 9am – 5pm BST, Monday to Friday. We’re here to help!

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