ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Monday, 28 June 2010

Calling all Romance Writers!

Reading an article over on Raquel Writes who blogged about an article in the May/June issue of Writer's Digest , talking about just how popular romance novels are. The genre is constantly one of the top sellers of books with authors such as Nora Roberts et al, constantly on NYTimes' bestseller lists.

So, all you romance writers, or would-be romance writers out there, here are a few tips. Some are well known, some may be new. It never hurts to be reminded. No 3 is a point worth noting for those who don't consider themselves romance writers. I was reading recently that no matter what the genre, readers like a bit of romance *sighs*.


What Your Romance Novel Should Have:


1. "HEA"- Translation: "happily ever after." Romance stories should always have a happy ending.

2. "Morality Reflective of the Majority"- Basically the characters have to be in a monogamous
relationship.

3. "Variety"- Contrary to popular belief, romance novels are not all the same. There are several
subgenres of romance which includes, romantic suspense, paranormal, erotica, inspirational, urban
fantasy, contemporary, historical, and comedy, and thriller. That's a lot if you ask me.

4. "Sexual Tension"- This does not mean explicit sex. The misconception is that romance novels are filled
with explicit content. Not true! There is no need for sex unless it reveals character or advances the plot.

5. "Character Growth"- This is true for all genres in my opinion. Nobody likes a flat character.


The article also states there are 10 things you can add to make you romance novel a success.


Spice Up Your Romance Novel

1. "A strong hook or concept"

2. "Sympathetic motivated characters"

3. "Evocative Setting"

4. "High-stakes conflict"

5. "Unique voice"

6. "Credible emotion"

7. "Tight pacing"

8. "Skillful layering" (with regard to plot, themes, characters, etc.)

9. "Reversals" (surprises and challenges)

10."Authenticity"


Publishers Seeking Romance Writers:

1. Harlequin Enterprises

2. Random House

3. Penguin Group

4. HarperCollins

5. Kensington

6. Dorchester Publishing

If you want some links to some Australian Romance Publishers/Writers, I have a link if you troll down on the right sidebar.

Good luck, fellow romance writers. Maybe there's some little thing you learned from this post.

Let me know if there are any other gems you'd like to share with moi!

Have a great writing week -

Denise


13 comments:

  1. Hi Aussie! Good to meet you!

    Here's a salute to Australia! We Americans need all the friends we can get, and we're thankful for you!

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  2. I'm in drive-by mode, here... :)
    So, just a quick "You have an award on my blog"!

    Sorry I couldn't stay longer. :(

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  3. Okie Prof, raise that glass! Well, we're both kicked out of the soccer anyhow, and we have matching oil spills, although yours is the mother of all spills!

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  4. I like writing YA, which almost always has romance in it. Both of your romance lists works for me as well. The "spice" list should be a part of every novel.

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  5. All of my writing has romance in it, but I'm not sure I write specific "romance" novels. I do have the HEA at the end, though!

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  6. Thanks for the comments. Do you know Phil Castle, may still be teaching at QIT? We worked together on journalism and trauma several years ago, and he's visited here.

    My other blog: Coffee with Clark: http://clarkcoffee.blogspot.com

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  7. Thanks for your post. I found this site on Open mics in Australia that I hope helps.
    http://www.openmicaustralia.com/

    Best wishes on your new novel.

    ~Sofia

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  8. L'Aussie, great post, thanks! I was wondering if my southern women's fiction cum romance was going to have a happy ending. You just reminded me that it has to! :)

    Thanks for the prod, Olivia
    P.S. thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting. I love meeting other romance writers and am learning so much out here in Bloggerville.

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  9. Theresa: Yes, what's a novel without 'spice?'..)

    Aubrie: Hope things are looking up with your queries. Anything in that mailbox yet? Thanks for comment..:)

    Okie: No. Phil Castle doesn't ring a bell. Do you mean QUT? I actually thought I was following Coffeewithclark. Caught my eye as I have a son Clarke!!

    Sofia: Thanks for link and comment and best wishes for my novel (which plods on slowly through the edit phase)..)

    Olivia: Thanks for comments. Yes, I love the blogosphere. Full of excellent info and good writing..:)Gotta have the HEA..:)

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  10. Hey Aussie! Love your blog. Alan sent me over, I'd been meaning to, but I'm glad he reminded me.

    I take issue with a couple of items on the list...I can't fathom "The way We Were" or "Gone With the Wind" with a happy ending. So I think it depends on the tale and the characters and what feels right.

    The other bit I'd argue is the theory that sex isn't necessary. I know, I know...I write LOTS of smut. It's a Latin thing or maybe a sickness, I dunno, lol. Anyway, I get seriously annoyed if there is zero sex or if it's poorly written (cheesy). I mean, a girl has expectations. ;)

    If I didn't want to read a love scene then I'd opt for a different genre. Just saying...

    But I think that's a really interesting and helpful article. Thank you so much for posting this. It has given me food for thought. As I'm considering trying my hand at a sleazy romance novel.

    Hope you're well. :)

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  11. Kat, yeah, you're right! Gone With the Wind definitely wouldn't work with a HEA but then I guess most of us don't aspire to write such an epic.

    Sex is certainly a requriement in some of the modern romances, so I agree this statement is a bit of a generalisation.

    Thanks for your comments and I'm glad you like my blog.

    The best to you too..:)

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  12. A useful reminder Aussie.

    Speed comment - as I called over to read. The novel needs firm foundations and proper structure.

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  13. Hey, I've been meaning to thank you for stopping by my blog a couple weeks ago! And thanks for following me, I really appreciate it!

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