Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Plotting A Romance Novel

So! It's been a while! I apologize for the absence, but writing a novel is time consuming :) Now that I'm in revisions, I will get back to posting at least once a week for my awesome readers. I decided to mark my return with plotting romance since the book I am working on falls in that genre. And let me just say...whoever said romance was formulaic and easy to write obviously never did it. Emotional change and conflict are difficult things to capture, especially when another plot line is involved, as it usually is in romance. Yes, the romance is the key plot, but there is always another plot line or two that provide us with the circumstances to allow our characters to fall in love. But it's not just an easy dive. There is always struggle in romance and emotional motivations for that struggle are important. So...if you are taking on Romance, read through these links. I assure they will help with plotting!!

Plotting the Romance Novel by Andi Ward and June Drexler : "Romances are so easy to write," the saying goes. "Boy meets girl, girl hates boy, boy seduces girl, end of story. How hard can that be to come up with?"
Well, if that were all there was to the standard romance story, not hard at all. But, like any genre, or writing in general, nothing's as easy as it looks. Published authors have the subtleties down so well, it looks as easy as learning to dance from watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers movies, or performing gymnastics from watching the Olympics. However, when an author sits down and dissects a modern romance genre, and discovers how it's built, the complexity often surprises them. I know it did me when I first studied the genre a decade ago. READ MORE

In a romance novel, the romance, or the developing of a committed relationship, is the primary plot. In other words, it's about the emotional journey of the characters from strangers or friends/enemies to lovers and to a committed partnership. All other elements of the story -- suspense, mystery, opening a restaurant, for instance -- are secondary. Their primary function is to provide situations for the romance to develop. In other words, the activity of the story is the catalyst/conduit for the developing relationship. READ MORE

Do All Roads Lead to Plot Mapping? by Romance University featuring Tracy Montoya : Good morning and welcome to Crafting Your Career.  I used to think keeping track of my plot ideas was like trying on bathing suits.  I would  just have to keep going until I found something that worked.  I’ve tried outlining, scene charts, character charts, goal-motivation-conflict charts, you name it.  I finally came up with a combination of things that helps me keep my story focused (most of the time!), and Harlequin Intrigue author Tracy Montoya had a hand in it. 
Several years ago I took an online plotting class from Tracy, and it changed the way I approach plotting.  I could go on and on about this, but I’m going to let Tracy do the talking here!  I hope you all find mapping as helpful as I do. READ MORE
Emotionally Speaking: Romance Fiction in the Twenty First Century by Jennifer Crusie : Romance fiction is the most popular, elastic, exciting, and creative genre in publishing today, but it’s also the hardest kind of fiction to write. All you have to do is convince the modern, jaded, ironic reader that your heroine and hero have not only fallen in love and surmounted all the barriers in their path, but that their love is unconditional and will last throughout time. You must, in short, give your reader not only good narrative, but also great emotional satisfactio. If you’re up to the challenge, there are three things you’ll need to know. READ MORE


  1. Yay! I had been wondering what you had been up to, but novelwriting is more important than blogwriting.

    Do you think you might enlist assistance in the future if you have to end up dropping this again?

  2. I am so happy to see you posting again! I know a blog like this is a lot of work, but you're doing something really great here! It can be tough to find balance between writing and blogging, and writing should come first!

    Thanks for another great post and links to check out. Hope you're doing great and the drafting went well!


  3. This is awesome! Might be just what I need to finish my book. Thanks! :)

  4. Deciding on a story line is the easy part in writing a romance novel. Capturing on paper the emotions that the writer had envisioned is the difficult part in writing said romance novel. To do this, the writer needs to thoroughly research the character he wants to build, and then use this research as a guide in weaving together a well-structured story line.