A reverse harem is a category or trope of romance that authors will write about paranormal or contemporary paranormal. It is situations that are otherworldly fantasy sci-fi type, ghostly, vampires, zombies, witches, etc. Usually werewolves, that whole pack thing, you could see how that could fit into the reverse harem. Here, a woman does whatever she wants, depending on the situation.
A heroine’s story is where she becomes better when people help her heroes. The opposite for the men, or it’s where a man can do it alone. So often, whatever she’s going through with all these men helps her evolve and become a complex woman.
How to write reverse harem books?
Today we’re going to talk about how to write a reverse harem romance novel. First, we will discuss the five characteristics that all reverse harem novels have in common. Then we will talk about the six steps that need to go into your plot. So let’s go!
5 Characteristics of reverse harem book
The five characteristics that all reverse hair romances have in common:
- There’s one heroine with 3 to 7 guys.
- The POV can be first or third, and it doesn’t matter.
- The word count can be 30 to 50000 is the norm, but it could go up to 70k.
- Reverse harem is always written in series because those sell better.
- Do not make it contemporary. Paranormal is more popular and more of the norm and aliens and shifters.
1. One central heroine
The first of the characteristics that all reverse harem romances have in common is there is one central heroine. It is a woman, and she has 3 to 7 men who are all in love with her. There’s no jealousy between the men, and there is no cheating.
So it’s not polyamorous where they are out having love affairs and sex with other women. They only want to have physical with this one particular woman. Now the reason it’s three is that if it were two, it would be a straight romance. The max is seven because keeping track of any more men than that is hard for the reader and the author.
Now, all men are usually brothers, in a team together, or friends. Either way, there is no relationship building among the men in your story because they all came together as a unit, and within that unit, they’re usually all heterosexual. You could have some gay romance inside of there, but that’s a little rare for the most part.
2. Common POV
The next thing that all the characters have in common is the POV. These are usually told in first person POV with alternating POV. So you have your heroine, and then each of the men in the story gets their own POV.
You see some third-person POV, but that is also rare, seeing only the heroine as the first-person POV. That is very rare as well, but it could be done now. These could be in the present or past tense, which doesn’t matter in the reverse harem.
3. Book thickness
The third thing is the word count. This tends to be 30000 to 50000 as the norm. However, some novels are 70,000. So, for example, Snow was 50,000, and then Cinderella was 67,000. So it’s up to the author and how the story flows on the different word counts.
4. Book series
Stand-alone reverse harem novels do not sell as well. Authors know this, so they sell them as a series. Series create a cliffhanger to read more, and you can develop the characters largely and smoothly.
5. Fantasy plot
The ordinary reverse harem romance world is a paranormal world where there is maybe a pack of wolves that are shifters, and they all have one woman because they’re already in a package. Or it is a woman who had to reach her full power or potential because she’s the chosen one who has to be with all four or five or whatever different men to do that. Now, the other type that is very normal is alien.
So aliens come down to earth because there is a shortage of women on their planet, and they would like to procreate. They usually abduct a human. Or maybe you have a dystopian future where it’s a little sci-fi, and there are not enough women in the future. So you have arranged marriages where they set up four or five guys who will marry and share one woman. Those are more the norm versus a contemporary, which is what I write now.
Six steps that need to go into your plot
The plot is essential for a reverse harem because the entire series depends on it. So let’s talk about how to plot it.
1. Meet cute
The first part is, you have a meet-cute. What makes it unique for a reverse harem romance is that in this meet-cute. The heroine meets all men at once, and she’s torn because she’s attracted to them. In her everyday world, she doesn’t do reverse harems. So she thinks she needs to pick at least one, and she feels jealous because she wants to have all of them.
2. Different personality men
The second thing is that each of these men has a personality. You’ll notice that the authors skipped this step in reverse harem romances that aren’t as meaningful to you. Each guy inside the story has to have his unique personality and stand out from the other men. So you genuinely are dating someone different within the harem.
3. Individual dating
The heroine meets and hooks up with each of them individually to show that. She does meet all of them at once, but she forms a relationship with them. So you get to learn how she responds differently to each guy. Maybe one is very rough and alpha. The other one’s very beta. The third one is bashful, and she has to coax him out of his shell. So she should act differently in response to their different personalities.
4. Harem formation
After they all hook up one at a time, they all come together. Sometimes this could depend on how many are in there. Maybe two of them come together at once, introducing the reverse harem concept. Or, they all come together at once for a big scene.
5. Dark moment
Everything falls apart after their perfect reunion. Maybe society is judging them because it’s contemporary, or they’re going to be taken away, or something scary happens where one or all men will be pulled away from this new harem unit.
6. Happy ending
The resolution is that they all live happily ever after or happily for now because they all come back together. You can add a climax and sad ending, but readers want to see happy moments after reading the series.
Summarize the six steps for plotting:
- Meet the cute where the heroine is attracted to all men.
- Each man has to have his personality and character.
- The third one is that heroin has to form a relationship individually with each of the men, one at a time first, and then she finally comes together with all of them.
- After the heroine’s efforts, a harem will form.
- The harem will break after their black moment when someone has torn away from the harem.
- They all come back together and live happily ever after.
I hope my tips will help you think about how to apply your reverse harem romance and figure out if you even want to write one. Reverse harem is a trend, and I don’t know how long it will stay around. If you don’t write very fast and it takes you a year, a year from now, it might not be as popular.
If you have any questions about writing them or the industry or how to market them, leave that comment below. I am always waiting for your opinion and questions. Let’s write a reverse harem series!
Read popular reverse harem books for your writing:
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