Ten Essential Heroes To Write About – Romance Writing from A to Z

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ten essential heroes to write about

H is for Hero The hero in this instance is the protagonist, often male (but easily converted to female). The I’m-going-to-win-because-it-makes-me-look-good hero. A.k.a The egocentric hero who’s in it for the fame or money. He’s also a charmer and kinda loves himself. Think Tony Stark/Ironman. The Alpha male hero who has to do it because he needs to prove his masculinity. He’s the leader of the pack. The bossman. Sometimes has to do with money, sometimes power. Has to be a hero because it’s his status. The I’m-not-afraid-to-die-so-i’ll-save-the-world Hero. Think Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon or Keanu Reeves in John … Read More

Book Cover Blitz

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For a limited time only, I’m offering a totally, dirt cheap cost on digital book cover design. **Offer valid until December 31st 2016

The Three Miss Allens by Victoria Purman – Book Review

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three-miss-allens

Book Review The Three Miss Allens is the first book I read by Victoria Purman. I must confess that when I opened the first pages it took me a small while to get into the story. I’m usually one of those bang-bang fast paced plot people and for a fraction of a second, wondered if it was going to appeal to me. I’m so glad I kept reading because not long after, I was hooked. The plot was certainly engaging and had me enthralled. I read the rest of the book in one sitting and was thankful that Victoria spent … Read More

Five Ways to Fail Miserably at NaNoWriMo – Learn from my mistakes

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How to Fail at Nanowrimo

It’s that time of year again and writers all over the world are gearing up for another crack, or their first crack, at NaNoWriMo. For those that don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every nation in the world is invited to this online event in November and it’s free. The aim of the game is to teach all writers, whether new or old, to get into the habit of sitting down each day and writing. This is because one of the biggest hurdles a writer has to face is the one of distraction. The aim is to … Read More

Grand Gestures Do Not Have to Be Grand – Romance Writing from A to Z

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The Grand Gesture doesn't have to be big to make an impact

This week I welcome author J.C. Harroway to Author Zoo as she speaks about one of my favourite (especially in a romantic comedy) elements of a romance – The Grand Gesture. I absolutely love her points below, especially how the GG doesn’t have to be big or by the hero to make an impact. Read more about the author at the end of the article. Thanks J.C. for taking the time to share your tips. The Grand Gesture So what is the grand gesture and why do we need it? Clichéd over the top romantic rubbish or often , producing the book hangover we … Read More

The Secret Formula to Writing a Winning Romance

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The secret formula to writing romance

F is for Formula – Romance Writing from A to Z Ha! Sucked you in, didn’t I? You want to find out what the secret formula to writing winning romance is, don’t you? Well, there is no formula. I’m sorry. I lured you here under false pretences. But I can tell you that there are two types of romances – the category romances (think Mills & Boon) and your other romance (basically every other kind of romance in the world). The closest thing to a romance formula is how a Category romance follows a strict set of rules. Each line … Read More

Book Review – The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion

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Book Review

I’m a huge fan of Graeme Simsion and I absolutely adored reading The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect. Needless to say, that when this book came across my desk I had to stop everything to read it. About the Book This is the blurb from the back of the book: A novel about love, music and coming to terms with the past, from the author of the international bestseller The Rosie Project. On the cusp of fifty, Adam Sharp has a loyal partner, earns a good income as an IT contractor and is the music-trivia expert at quiz nights. It’s … Read More

F is for Fear – 6 Tips on How to Evoke Fear in Your Writing

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F is For FEAR - Tips on injecting fear into your writing

Thank you Michelle Somers for writing this post as part of my A to Z of Romance Writing Series. Michelle is the author of award winning, Lethal in Love. Read more about Michelle at the end of the article. I’m lucky to host her today, her tips on creating fear in your writing are priceless! Without further ado, here is her article.  Fear is such a complex emotion, yet at the same time so subjective. So personal, even. What is one person’s fear, or even phobia, is another person’s… nothing.  So, how do we evoke fear in our writing? Great question. To do this – … Read More

My Personal Slush Pile Heaven and Hell – Love, Hate or Date

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What makes an editor or agent stop reading?

The Love, Hate or Date session at the recent RWA conference in Adelaide was where writers were asked to submit their first two pages anonymously in the expectation that it would be read out in public for a panel of top editors and agents to advise on when they’d say no before adding it to the slush pile. Funnily enough, Love, Hate and Date is exactly the path my emotions took when it was my turn. LOVE When I first heard that the RWA conference was holding a Love, Hate or Date session this year, initially, my reaction was – what a fabulous idea. … Read More

E is for Endings – A to Z of Romance Writing

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Endings and Why they're so important in Romance Writing

Endings – And Why They’re So Important in a Romance Hello Romance Writers, I’m up to the second ‘E’ post in my Romance Writing from A to Z series. And I think it’s potentially the most important post of the entire series. Do you know why? Because, That’s right. The ending is what defines the romance genre. If you’re an avid reader of romance, then you’ll already know what I’m going to say next. That’s the whole point of a romance. Romance readers what a happy ending, or a happy for now. Think Cinderella – she lives happily ever after and … Read More

Erotic Romance vs Erotica – What’s the difference?

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The Difference Between Erotic Romance and Erotica

One letter. That’s all that separates the two words, but that one letter means so much. Erotic Romance is a story about the emotional journey of the two main characters, and as part of that journey, they have sex a few times. The sex in this type of genre is generally explicit, but usually restricted to only a couple of times a book. The overarching plot is about the two characters falling in love. Think Fifty Shades of Grey and Sylvia Day’s, Crossfire series. Erotica is a story about the sexual journey and little else. Your characters will be having … Read More

The Dark Moment – Why Taking Your Protagonist To Her Lowest Makes for Great Reading

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The Dark Moment

D for Dark Moment – Romance Writing from A to Z No matter if you’re a plotter, a pantser or a whatever-the-hell-I-want-to-write-liker, there’s one moment in your protagonist’s journey that resonates with your readers most out of any other. This moment is often called the Dark Moment, or the All is Lost Moment, and I’ve heard it called The Darkest Night of the Soul. They’re all pretty similar, but what they have in common is that it’s the lowest of the lowest points for your character. This moment usually occurs just before the climax of the novel, when your protagonist has had … Read More

Work in Progress Update – My Rom-Com ‘You Know You’re a Writer When…’

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you-know-youre-a-writer-when

I think it’s about time I start sharing my works in progress. So … here we go (she says with a gulp). Currently, I’m finishing off a rom-com titled ‘You Know You’re a Writer When…’ I’m pitching this at the RWA conference, so fingers crossed it get’s through. I got the idea to write this novel from a very good friend who is a fountain of ideas. She showed me her spreadsheet once full of amazing concepts and we often joke about how she’ll never have time to write all of them so what if she sold them? Then … … Read More

Conference Confidence – RWA 2016

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conference confidence

This is my first conference and I’m a little excited and nervous at the same time. I’m on the RWA committee so, in a sense, I’m at an advantage over other newbies. I’ll already know a few people, so I won’t be going in blind. But nevertheless, I still want to get the most that I can out of the conference. Are you attending the conference? If you see me, please come and say Hi! About the Conference The Romance Writers of Australia conference is in August in Adelaide and has over 400 attendees from all over the country coming. … Read More

Book Review – The Art of Keeping Secrets by Rachael Johns

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The Art of Keeping Secrets Book Review

The Art of Keeping Secrets is the second Rachael Johns has written in the newly coined ‘Life lit’ category. Her first in this genre, The Patterson Girls, won the ABIA Award for Best Book in 2016. The book centres around three women and their families. Each woman gets a chapter from her point of view and as the book progresses, you learn more about their secrets, hopes, and dreams. Felicity or Flick is a taxidermist and a mother whose husband has a habit of secretly dressing in woman’s clothes. Genevieve or Neve is a makeup artist and single mother raising … Read More

D is for Dialogue – Romance Writing from A to Z

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Guest post from Victoria Purman

  Thank you Victoria Purman for writing this fantastic blog post as part of my A to Z of Romance Writing Series. Victoria is the author of upcoming book, The Three Miss Allens. Read more about Victoria at the end of the article. D is for Dialogue Dialogue: a conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play or film So, that sounds simple, right? Dialogue is a conversation, with two – or sometimes more – people talking to each other. The aim of dialogue is to move the story forward, to show interactions between your characters. It can … Read More

Create Sizzling Conflict Between Your Hero and Heroine – A to Z of Romance Writing

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How to create sizzling conflict in your romance story

When you’re writing a romance, there’s one thing that readers expect – that the hero and heroine will eventually work it out and get together. Whether it’s a happily ever after, or a happy for now situation, there’s a satisfying relationship resolution. So, what keeps the reader ploughing through your pages? Conflict! Without it, the story is predictable and there’s no reason to keep reading. I remember when I first started writing, I thought every element of conflict I added sounded too contrived. But, now, three books on, I have figured out that the key to making believable conflict is … Read More

Baby Boomer Love – Getting Romance Right for Mature Aged Protagonists

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Baby-Boomer-Love

I’m happy to host this wonderful guest post by Jonna Holston, author of the book Toggle (one). Thank you Jonna for taking the time to write about such a fascinating topic as part of my A to Z of Romance Writing Series. Read more about Jonna at the end of the article. Baby Boomer Love If you are writing romance then chances are that a large percentage of your readership will be of the baby boomer age. Infrequently is a romance novel written specifically for this generation, so in rarity we find value. If written well the rewards are great. … Read More

The Bold and the Beautiful – Do all Romance Characters Need to Be Perfect?

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Do all characters need to be fit and beautiful?

Whether we like to admit it, or not, we’ve all fallen prey to a book boyfriend (or girlfriend) or two.  And there are many of these characters, especially in romance, that are described as ‘extremely attractive’, ‘well built’, or my favourite, ‘hubba-hubba’ – I could go on, but I won’t. The point is, that it seems for a romance to survive the mainstream market, the main protagonists need to fit the general bill of what it means to be attractive – visually perfect. Just have a look at the Disney cartoons, for example. Mainstream loves perfection. But do we need … Read More

How to Build a Romance Thread that Leaves an Emotional Impact

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beats

A to Z of Writing Romance – Beats When I started writing romance, I was totally confused with how to plot one. Sure, I’ve read a few and I had a bit of an idea that girl meets boy, they like each other, there’s conflict, they get over it and happy ending. But, there are so many other elements, that I often get lost, throw my hands in the air and give up. Then I discovered the theory of story beats, and haven’t really looked back. What is a beat? A term coined by screenwriters, beats are what novel writers like to call … … Read More