Do You Know the Difference Between a Romance and a Love Story?

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If you want to write in the romance genre, there’s one thing you need to know for sure – the difference between a love story and a romance. Both deal in the relationship between two people, but only one has a happy ever after, or the HEA as it is affectionately known as by the romance community. Books by Nicholas Sparks and JoJo Moyes  – or the movie La La Land – can tend to have a tragedy at the end of the relationship road, or the couple part ways. The happy ever after a romance reader looks for is … Read More

How to Write a Kick-Ass Heroine And Get it Right

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These days, having a strong female lead is a popular trope in many stories, not just romance. It’s not just a trope, though, is it? Women want to be heard and we want to be equal. If you’re thinking of having a strong female lead star in your story, here’s a few tips to help you get it right. She literally kicks butt She leads She makes decisions on her own She makes her own way She stands up for herself She’s not a door mat She can protect herself She’ll ask for help when she needs it. She learns … Read More

In Defence of Romance – How to Handle Coming Out of the Romance Writer’s Closet

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J is for Judgement – Romance Writing from A to Z Personally, it took me a long time to come out of the romance writing closet. First I was a teenager, embarrassed to say that I read real books for fear of being labelled a nerd. Then I was too shy to reveal that I loved to read fantasy, and it took until my adult years to peel back the layers of analysis and figure out what it was exactly about those fantasy books that I loved the most. It was the ones with a romance thread in them. It … Read More

How to Craft a Killer Meet Cute for Your Romance Novel

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Note from Lana: Thanks Louisa West for coming down to AuthorZoo to provide this fabulous article on getting the most out of your character’s introduction in a romance novel. There are so many good tips in here that you’re sure to leave full of ideas for your story. Here it is: I is for Introductions – Romance Writing from A to Z As writers of romance, we all know the drill: a love story starts with a killer first meeting. There’s a lot riding on it, too. There needs to be interest, some form of conflict, and most of all an … Read More

Interracial Romance: Room for Everyone | Guest Post by Claire Boston

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I asked Claire to write a blog post about her feelings on Interracial Romance. It’s a hot topic at the moment, and more people around the world are screaming for diversity in their stories. Claire just so happened to have written an interracial and MM romance titled ‘Place to Belong‘ as part of her Flanagan Sisters Brother Series. Thanks so much for stopping by Claire and sharing your thoughts. Here is the post from Claire: I is for Interracial – Romance Writing from A to Z When I first decided to write an interracial romance, I really didn’t consider that … Read More

38 Clichés to Avoid when Writing Romance

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H is for Heaving Bosoms and other Romance clichés to Avoid I asked my fellow members of RWA (Romance Writers of Australia) what sort of clichés they dislike reading about in the genre. The following discussion was fun, informative and light-hearted. But at the end of it, even though I came up with a wide variety of suggestions for clichés to avoid in your romance, the general consensus it to . I thought I’d share it anyway, because it was a fun activity to learn more about what goes on behind the eyes of others. Some of these you might … Read More

How to get your book published with only 3 chapters written

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It sounds like a dream, right? Books take forever to write and only hours to devour. The industry is fickle and hard to predict. Well, now you can submit all of them, as long as you’ve written 3 chapters and a 5 page synopsis. Carina Press, a subsidiary of Harlequin, is now accepting submissions for works in progress with only 3 chapters and a five page synopsis. If they like your style, they’ll ask for more. For people like me, who have a million story ideas and can’t possibly focus on one, this is great news.  Here is what they said … Read More

H is for Heat Levels | Romance Writing from A to Z

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When I started writing romance, I was boggled to discover that there was such a thing as a heat level expected in a book. And if you got your level mixed up (especially in category romance – think Mills & Boon), then by George I hope you’ve brought yourself a parachute because you’d be out of there! Readers and publishers alike have certain expectancies. Readers can be more forgiving, but publishers, less so. I guess if you are an avid romance reader, you’d already know this. But I came from a background of Urban Fantasy, Paranormal and Sci-Fi reading. For all … Read More

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

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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

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

Lana PecherczykWriting2 Comments

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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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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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

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

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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

Lana PecherczykAll, Book Reviews, Marketing, Writing13 Comments

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 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

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

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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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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

Lana PecherczykAll, Writing2 Comments

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

D is for Dialogue – Romance Writing from A to Z

Lana PecherczykAll, Writing2 Comments

  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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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