Writing Romance Fiction
  I: Administrative Information   II: Course Details   III: Topical Outline(s)  Printable Version
Section I: Administrative Information
  Total hours: 45.0
Credit Value: 3.0
Credit Value Notes: N/A
Effective: Fall 2017
Prerequisites: N/A
Corequisites: N/A
Equivalents: N/A
Pre/Co/Equiv Notes: N/A

Program(s): Creative Writing
Program Coordinator(s): N/A
Course Leader or Contact: N/A
Version: 20170905_00
Status: Approved (APPR)

Section I Notes: This is a Mohawk College course that is offered through Sheridan FCAPS. Students who register for the course through Sheridan will receive credit from Sheridan College only. Access to the course materials will be through

Section II: Course Details

Detailed Description
Are you a romantic at heart? Explore the art and craft of writing for the romance fiction market. Through examples and exercises, develop skills for creating plots, wonderful settings, real characters, and satisfying romances. Use structure and plot, setting, dialogue, scenes, pacing and emotions to hook your reader. Participants will be encouraged to prepare their work for publication in this unique and exciting field. Participate in individual and group projects, prepare a synopsis of a romance novel for evaluation, and make a presentation on a romance novel from a writer's point of view.

Program Context

Creative Writing Program Coordinator(s): N/A

Course Critical Performance and Learning Outcomes

  Critical Performance:
Learning Outcomes:

To achieve the critical performance, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Discuss the field of romance writing in broad terms as well as more specifically, including the many subgenres that now exist - students should have a good grasp of the possibilities.
  2. Develop an understanding of their readers through research - a look at the reading public for romance fiction.
  3. Research publishing opportunities to gain a better understanding of the market - look at some publishers that specialize in the field
  4. Identify the elements of romance fiction in broad terms
  5. Examine the plot, including a more detailed look at subgenres - to develop a better understanding of how to tailor their pieces of various markets
  6. Study character creation in general, then specifically the female & male leads to create the kinds of characters required in this field
  7. Examine subplots and peripheral characters to construct an engrossing, multi dimensional plot
  8. Create settings that add to the plot

Evaluation Plan
Students demonstrate their learning in the following ways:

 Evaluation Plan: ONLINE
 Final Assignment40.0%
 Online log10.0%

Evaluation Notes and Academic Missed Work Procedure:

Provincial Context
The course meets the following Ministry of Colleges and Universities requirements:


Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
PLAR Contact (if course is PLAR-eligible) - Office of the Registrar
Students may apply to receive credit by demonstrating achievement of the course learning outcomes through previous relevant work/life experience, service, self-study and training on the job. This course is eligible for challenge through the following method(s):

  • Other
    Notes:  This course is delivered through OntarioLearn at and is hosted by (Mohawk College) MO-COMMLLT04.

Section III: Topical Outline
Some details of this outline may change as a result of circumstances such as weather cancellations, College and student activities, and class timetabling.
Instruction Mode: Online
Professor: Multiple Professors
OptionalTextbookOn writing romance: How to Craft Novel that Sells, Leigh Michaels, Writers Digest Books, ISBN 9781582974361, (Suggested text Optional)

Applicable student group(s): All
Course Details:

Module 1: An overview of Romance Writing

  • Discuss some of the background, history, and variety of romance fiction and the opportunities it presents for writers

Module 2: The business of Romance Writing

  • Describe how to prepare a manuscript for submission to an editor.
  • Describe the business side of writing and publishing in the romance fiction field

Module 3: The importance of the synopsis

  • Describe the purpose of a Synopsis and how it is prepared. 
  • Write a Synopsis suitable for submission to a publisher

Module 4: The elements of Romance Writing

  • Discuss the unique requirements of plotting for Structure and Plot romance fiction.
  • Discuss the basic and complex structures of romance fiction.
  • Setting
  • Character
  • Describe how characters are created, developed, and allowed to grow and change.
  • Dialogue
  • Discuss the significance of setting in romance fiction.
  • Discuss dialogue in fiction and how to use it.
  • Scenes
  • Describe the structure of scenes and how the work to control and move the Story.
  • Write an effective scene.
  • Pacing and Emotions
  • Discuss how tension (sexual and non-sexual) works in developing the story and involving the reader.

Sheridan Policies

All Sheridan policies can be viewed on the Sheridan policy website.

Academic Integrity: The principle of academic integrity requires that all work submitted for evaluation and course credit be the original, unassisted work of the student. Cheating or plagiarism including borrowing, copying, purchasing or collaborating on work, except for group projects arranged and approved by the professor, or otherwise submitting work that is not the student's own, violates this principle and will not be tolerated. Students who have any questions regarding whether or not specific circumstances involve a breach of academic integrity are advised to review the Academic Integrity Policy and procedure and/or discuss them with the professor.

Copyright: A majority of the course lectures and materials provided in class and posted in SLATE are protected by copyright. Use of these materials must comply with the Acceptable Use Policy, Use of Copyright Protected Work Policy and Student Code of Conduct. Students may use, copy and share these materials for learning and/or research purposes provided that the use complies with fair dealing or an exception in the Copyright Act. Permission from the rights holder would be necessary otherwise. Please note that it is prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote. It is also prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own or your own work with the intent to assist others in cheating on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote.

Intellectual Property: Sheridan's Intellectual Property Policy generally applies such that students own their own work. Please be advised that students working with external research and/or industry collaborators may be asked to sign agreements that waive or modify their IP rights. Please refer to Sheridan's IP Policy and Procedure.

Respectful Behaviour: Sheridan is committed to provide a learning environment that supports academic achievement by respecting the dignity, self-esteem and fair treatment of every person engaged in the learning process. Behaviour which is inconsistent with this principle will not be tolerated. Details of Sheridan's policy on Harassment and Discrimination, Academic Integrity and other academic policies are available on the Sheridan policy website.

Accessible Learning: Accessible Learning coordinates academic accommodations for students with disabilities. For more information or to register, please see the Accessible Learning website (Statement added September 2016)

Course Outline Changes: The information contained in this Course Outline including but not limited to faculty and program information and course description is subject to change without notice. Any changes to course curriculum and/or assessment shall adhere to approved Sheridan protocol. Nothing in this Course Outline should be viewed as a representation, offer and/or warranty. Students are responsible for reading the Important Notice and Disclaimer which applies to Programs and Courses.

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