Before I began rewriting The Genie Whisperer, I heard advice from another author on the importance of writing to genre and meeting reader expectations. Her advice was to study the best books in your genre and take note of repeated themes and tropes that would be good to keep in mind while writing and plotting your own stories. While that’s an excellent idea, I had a bit of a roadblock with that. Most reverse harem series are steamy romances, while I write sweet romances. So where did I turn to for research? Reverse harem manga!

Reverse Harem Manga

I’ve mentioned before that I came to love reverse harem after discovering it in manga and anime, though the version of the genre found there has some differences from the novels that have become popular in the western world. But since I wanted to more mimic the feel of the manga that led to many internal fangirl squealing throughout my life, it seemed like the perfect place to conduct my research. So I pulled out all my old reverse harem series and began my study!

I spent about five weeks rereading the series pictured above and took copious notes along the way. I noted repeated elements between the series, tropes I enjoyed, actions by the love interests that made me adore them, etc. At the end, I put together a giant spreadsheet with all my findings broken down by categories such as love confessions, conflicts, plot devices, and so on.

Now that spreadsheet is my first stop whenever I start on a new book. I go through my copious notes and pull out what tropes and themes I think I’ll plan on using in that book and which character(s) will be involved. With how much information I have, it can take a few hours to go through it all, but it helps me focus on the progression of the romance, which is very important in slow burn for such a long running series (the total number of books for The Genie Whisperer will be fourteen or fifteen).

I’ll do a series of posts more specifically covering the series I chose to study, why I picked them out, and why I enjoyed them.