Beach Read Writing: Here’s What You Need to Know

Filed in Writing Tips by on June 24, 2021 0 Comments

A “beach read” is a book typically set at or near the beach, published in late spring to early summer. Here's what your book needs in order to fit in the...

A “beach read” is a book typically set at or near the beach, published in late spring to early summer. The intent for this popular sub-genre is to have these be the books people take to their summer vacations. The cover designs are typically colorful, with beachy aspects incorporated.

Beach reads have been around for decades but didn’t become a popular sub-genre until a few years ago. This is mostly thanks to the authors who put out a summer-themed book every year at the start of summer vacation travel. Some of the big hitters in the beach read genre include Elin Hilderbrand, Mary Alice Monroe, and Mary Kay Andrews.

So, should your novel be classified as a beach read? Here’s a list of ingredients your fiction book will need in order to fit in the beach read sub-genre.

6 Important Pieces You Need to Include to Make Your Book a Beach Read

1. Location is paramount.

When writing a beach read, your setting should actually be written as if it’s one of the characters in your book. The location, climate, and more should all have prominence in your story. As for your setting, the beach is 100% the right location for a beach read.

2. Has characters readers want to root for.

For your book to be a thoroughly enjoyable beach read, your protagonist needs to be someone your readers want to root for. You need your characters to be flawed, so they come across as real, but you don’t want them to be too flawed that the story takes a dark turn.

3. You can deliver a happy ending for your characters.

The happy ending for your story is something you must be able to deliver in your beach read. Your readers are counting on everything working out by the last page with all the characters in their happy places.

4. Romance is necessary.

The romance element is another ingredient of a beach read that you can’t deviate from. Readers who have come to love the sub-genre are expecting a romantic relationship to brewing between the protagonist and another character, and they want those characters to get their happily ever after.

5. Can be read fast.

You have to be able to keep up the pace of your writing if you are going to classify your book as a beach read. You’re aiming for a page-turner that your readers don’t want to put down because they need to find out what happens next. The reason you need this type of pace is that you’re writing a book for people who want to start and finish your book during a week-long summer vacation.

6. Should be a shareable book among friends.

Beach reads are often printed in paperback and are meant to be passed around among friends, left in little free libraries, and on bookshelves in beach houses. This way, more people can enjoy the book.

Are you writing a beach read? Search “writing tips” on the Xulon Press blog to find more writing inspiration.

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About the Author ()

Erika Bennett has been a freelance editor for nearly half a decade. Before joining the Xulon team in 2010, she worked with several first time authors who wanted to test the waters of self-publishing. Her aim is to make sure great books find their way into readers' hands.

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