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

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

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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

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

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

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

D is for Dialogue – Romance Writing from A to Z

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  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

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