Romance Writing Tips from Leslie Wainger

 

‘The Book’ is now with the HMB editors at Richmond.

I no longer have nails.

 

While I wait to hear how much they love it [ snarf] I am beating myself up, by thinking about all the mistakes I made on this one while pretending to tidy my desk and file notes etc.

I need a bigger boat to sail in, before setting off on my next exciting adventure into the unknown, so… time to sort out my notes on craft and try to create some order.

Starting with — Romance Writing Tips from HMB Editors.

Leslie Wainger wrote an excellent book called ‘Romance Writing for Dummies’.

Yes, I know, I thought the title was more than a little insulting too, but the content was excellent- why? Leslie was a senior Editor at HMB for many years and knows the romantic fiction business back to front – she is currently working for HQN single title books as a consultant and also works as a book doctor.

Romantic Times ran a very useful series of Articles from Professionals, including Leslie, and you can go her to have a look – http://www.romantictimes.com/authors_tip.php?tip=894

I have already copied all 8 of these articles onto my computer and I know I will be coming back to them in the future when I get stuck.

Here is an extract of some key pointers which resonate with me – especially the section on pacing, which I KNOW I have to work on –

*FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU WANT TO WRITE BEFORE YOU START WRITING IT.

Sure, you can just sit down at the computer and see where your thoughts take you, but if you want to sell, you can significantly increase your chances if you take a hard, analytical look at the marketplace and figure out where you’ll feel comfortable.

So know what you like, what’s being published and what’s selling.
KNOW WHO IS WHO.
Romances are all about emotion, and for the emotion in your book to be believable, it needs to grow from your characters, not be forced on them to create drama and tension. Get your characters right and you’ve done a lot of the heavy lifting right there. Know your hero and heroine inside and out, not just what they look like but how they think, what makes them feel, where their insecurities come from, what presses their hot buttons. Then make sure there are plenty of genuine emotional reasons, not just intellectual issues, that can lead to tension between them. The more you know them, the more real they’ll become to you and the more genuine their actions (and reactions to each other) will seem on the page. Every single thing they do—no exceptions—should feel logical and inevitable based on who they are, not what you want, because that’s what gets readers to care whether or not they get together.
 IT’S NOT WHAT HAPPENS THAT MATTERS, IT’S HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING.

Part of pacing your story right is knowing how to use chapter and scene endings and beginnings to your advantage, how to create cliffhangers, and when to give your reader just a taste because….
GETTING THERE IS ALL THE FUN. The happy ending should indeed be the ending. So let the reader enjoy the journey and all its ups and downs, and save the confession of love for the end, where it belongs.

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 I WANT to tell the story of my characters in the most effective and compelling way possible.

And I am a nerd. GULP. Time to get studying.

I NEED that bigger boat. And maybe a crew. And chocolate. And…in the meantime I can listen/watch Daniel Bedingfield http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=m5CWuOCdxwQ

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