3 Useful Additions for Your Romance

Elizabeth Craig’s fun post on writing a mystery got me thinking about other genres. Since romance is the type of novel I’m attempting to learn, I thought I’d throw out some of the things Romance Writing has taught me so far.
Writing Tip for Today: 3 useful additions to a Romance:

  • Meet and Greet. Get the hero/heroine on stage fast. Many Romance lines want the two main players to meet on page one. A reader who is interested in how this relationship plays out wants to hit the ground running. It’s tempting to set up the scenery, the background. But paint these elements in the context of two opposites attracting, or you’ll lose your reader.
  • Layer Their Problems. You won’t want your characters exactly LYING to one another, but a few withheld secrets, mis-directions or misinterpreted cues liven up the chemistry. Also, we all know conflict makes for good story. But in a Romance, readers expect trouble to be more than skin deep. Both hero/heroine should have a balance of outer/inner struggles. So for instance, an outer struggle might be the heroine taking over a failing business, but her inner conflict is her own fears and avoidance of another failed relationship.
  • Get a Sidekick. Taking another cue from Elizabeth’s post, a Romance hero/heroine with at least one sidekick gives the character someone to confide in other than the love interest, frequently gives advice and sometimes acts as a kind of Greek chorus. Do be careful, though. If your secondary character is more interesting or colorful than the protagonist, the reader may not bond with the main character in the way you intend. As I’m learning, genre writing is not that easy. But you can learn how to write a Romance, and using these 3 useful additions should speed the process. Write On!

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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