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

Lana PecherczykWriting2 Comments

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

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

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

Erotic Romance vs Erotica – What’s the difference?

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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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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

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

Baby Boomer Love – Getting Romance Right for Mature Aged Protagonists

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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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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

Lana PecherczykAll, Resources, Writing0 Comments

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

Rules of Attraction – How to build attraction between two characters

Lana PecherczykAll, Resources, Writing2 Comments

Welcome to the first post in my romance writing from A to Z series. To kick us off, I’m tackling something that every single romance or love story has to have – attraction. From Fifty Shades of Grey to Pride and Prejudice, there’s so many different levels of attraction that it’s hard to know which one suits the story you’re about to write. I’ve spent some time scouring the web for information and this is what I’ve come up with. I’ve even put it into a handy downloadable worksheet for you to workshop your characters’ attraction. What is attraction? For the purpose … Read More

How to Write Romance – from A to Z

Lana PecherczykAll, Writing2 Comments

I remember when I first decided to put a romance thread in my story. I got so confused that I almost didn’t do it at all. But I knew that for a story to be satisfying to me, I needed a romance thread otherwise I didn’t enjoy them. So why should I not write them?  Then I found the RWA website and realised that there’s a whole community out there to help me. You don’t have to be a full-fledged romance writer, you can write in other genres with romantic elements. I’ve learned a lot over the last year, and … Read More