Basic Romancing 101

You know, I awoke this morning thinking it was Sunday. It's not Sunday here, It's Saturday. I thought, well that's odd but I'm sure it has happened to others before. I've been busy doing lots of things and not all of them writing related, so it's not a surprise. Anyway, I want to really delve deep into my present WIP and get it finished sooner rather than later. Focus!

In the meantime, I started going over what actually makes up a romance novel. And writer, Dawn Arkin puts it just right. So here is a simple basic review for all of us who may be slipping on romancing our stories.

When planning your romance, you need to create the perfect characters, setting, plot, and sensuality level for your story. Here are some of the things to keep in mind while you are writing your romance to make it stand out from the rest of the submissions.

Hero: A hero should be strong, exciting and bold. He knows what he wants, and does what is necessary to get it. He has a purpose in life. He does not have to be rich, brilliant, political, or economically powerful. But he can be any of those, if you wish. You want to create a hero who makes your heroine's heart go pitter-patter.

Heroine: Your heroine can be strong-willed or shy. She can have imperfections as long as they are not overwhelming. She can look anyway you want, as long as she is attractive to the hero. But one thing she must be is someone the hero is willing to do whatever it takes to have.

Villain: The antagonist is the best character to write. He can be as bad as you want, as evil as you need. He should be flexible and motivated. He knows what he wants and is willing to do anything to get it. But he has to have some redeeming qualities.

Secondary Characters: This is a story about your hero and heroine, not their best friend or neighbor next door. Your secondary characters should never be more vivid then your main characters. They can be used to move the story forward, give information to the main characters, and provide support to them, but they should never take control of the story. Every scene should have at least one of the main characters in it.

Setting: Where you set your romance is almost as important as what it is about. Your setting does not have to be exotic as long as you are able to convey it to your reader in such a way that they can become part of your world. Since publishers change what they are looking for based on reader desire, this is the one thing you should be sure you have researched carefully to avoid the rejection pile.

Okay, now I have to go and do some non-writing chores like, run the vacuum and clean the bathroom... But no kidding, after that, I'm closing my door and writing!
So what else can you add to this list of basic romance story do's? Any one else have some ideas?

What I'm Writing


Dianna said...

I know this is a given, but here's one--

Always make sure the love story between the h/h is the main storyline, and subplots support that.

Good luck cleaning and most of all writing!

Cate said...

Well let's see...

You covered the basics well, I think. But it's true, in romance the love story is the story. We who love plotting need to keep that in mind!

Becca said...

Hi, this is really good. I'm glad you posted it. It helps me.

Cari said...

Good romance reads. There is nothing quite like excaping into a good one.

Johnny said...

Okay girls, I'll add something here about the villian. It doesn't necessairly have to be a person. It can be something dark (an evil force,etc.) that your h/h must be up against together.

Kaye Manro said...

These are all good points. Thanks to everyone for adding to the romance pot o' golden ideas!

Helen Hardt said...

Great advice, Kaye! I especially love the portion on setting. To me, setting is almost like a character. I want my readers to feel like they're there. I particularly love to describe food. Hmm, I'm getting hungry... Wonderful post!


Kaye Manro said...

Hi Helen! Glad you stopped by. Setting is a wonderful thing to work. I like the sights and sounds of creating a new place for my characters to be.

Christina Phillips said...

I'm in the process of discovering the villian for my next story. He's a real nasty piece of work! Can't wait to start writing him!!!

Kaye Manro said...

Yeah Christina, don't I know. I have the best villain I ever created in Knight of Magic. He even goes on to bother the h/h in Knight of Dreams! (second story in the series) He's a real bad guy and hard to kill, since he's actually a time traveler from the 24th century who has futuristic weapons and such. His favorite place is the 12th century. And does he ever wreck havoc on those unsuspecting people. They think he is a powerful evil wizard. My heroine is a timeline protection agent(TPA) from his century and is out to get him. Too bad he gets the upper hand! Anyway, it finally works out at the end of the second story. But I had such a great time with his character, I was kind of sorry to see him go in the end. Oh well, there are always more bad guys to create.