The Unconventional Guide to Writing a Good Romance Novel

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What does it take to go about writing a good romance novel? Well first, let me throw out the disclaimer I am no way, shape, or form an expert in writing, but it’s a part of my daily life, and besides I know more now than when I wrote my first novel five years ago. And to be honest, I still pick up valuable tips when I stumble upon them.

Even as a novice writer back then, the one thing I knew for sure when I became an independent author was my genre would be romance. I love reading it. Readers get deep down, invested in a romance novel, one of many reasons the genre is so popular. They love the concept of two attractive people meeting and falling in love, are ready to go through boxes of Kleenex when the male and female go through their conflicts and struggles, and can finally breathe again at the end of the story when the love-birds work everything out to live their happily ever after.

So how do you begin a good romance novel? Well, think about story ideas you can write about for your novel, if possible, something that would spark a reader’s interest. After you figure it out, the next move is to work out your storyline. Try thinking about it in different phrases (e.g. beginning, middle, end) and mapping events out. It helps a lot.

The information below are a few ideas to steer you in the right directions.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I need inspiration for my storyline. How do I get it?
You can base a storyline off real-life experiences or something you made up. This is where you get creative and let your imagination soar. Still, if you find yourself at a loss, think about things that have triggered your interest, and why it did, such as books, magazines, tv shows, and movies just to name a few.

What is the age group of your audience?
Determine if adults or tweens will read your romance novel. It doesn’t matter which one you pick, just remember your novel should be age-appropriate for the reader.

Point of View.
When you’re creating your story you should consider what point of view you are writing. I prefer writing in third-person point of view, but choose what’s comfortable for you.

Think about the main character.
The main character tells the story so you want this person to be interesting so he/she engages with the reader (e.g. Joe of Caroline Kepnes’ book/Lifetime Movie YOU).

What type of romance should I write?
By this I mean there are subgenres of romance (e.g. historical, contemporary, time travel, etc.) For example, the subgenres of my stories are interracial romance, which is the partnering between different races; paranormal, these deal with vampires, werewolves, and other undead; and/or urban fantasy, which is good vs. evil. Though writing in different genres may not be the norm, my belief is you should write however you want and do what works for you.

These suggestions are starters to head you in the right direction. I hope you found it useful.

 

 

One Space or Two Spaces After the Period at the End of the Sentence?

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I decided to do a little research about that pesky question of whether to use one or two spaces after the period at the end of a sentence. As a lifelong proponent of the two spaces camp, I now grudgingly yield to the 21st century and advances in typography to move to using only one space after the period.

Every major style guide–including the “bibles” of the Modern Language Association Style Manual and the Chicago Manual of Style–prescribes a single space after a period. The two-space rule began during the age of typewriters, when the spacing of letters was not proportional (as it is now) and using two spaces at the end of a sentence made documents more readable. The only computer font that is not proportional is Courier, which we do not use. (I don’t think anyone uses it anymore.)

According to an article in Slate (http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2011/01/space_invaders.html) which addressed this very issue, “because we’ve all switched to modern fonts, adding two spaces after a period no longer enhances readability, typographers say. It diminishes it.” This same point was made by every major source that I researched.

So, I am waving the white flag of surrender in my ancient, Tyrannosaurus Rex hands to say that I think the switch to one space is the better and updated rule to follow.

I feel I can adapt to change okay, however, if you find yourself having great difficulty in making this transition, I saw the following suggestion in the online version of the Chicago Manual of Style: once the document is finished, use the Find and Replace feature to eliminate all double spaces. In the “Find” box, type two spaces, and in the “Replace With” box, type one space. Hit “Replace All” and you’re done.

R. Lynn Archie

www.rlynnarchie.com

IS SELF-PUBLISHING RIGHT FOR EVERYBODY?

IS SELF-PUBLISHING RIGHT FOR EVERYBODY

The book publishing world has gone through a revolution in recent years that is similar to the one that happened in music ten years ago when it became easy for bands to publish their own music and have their fans download it, instead of dealing with the middlemen – the record companies. With the rise of e-books it’s easy for authors to self-publish, rather than go through the laborious process of trying to get a book contract with a mainstream publisher.

But is it worth it? There are many pros and cons to self-publishing, and if you’re thinking of doing it, these are the questions you should ask.

How long am I willing to wait to get published?
If you have a story or idea that is just gnawing at you and you feel compelled to publish it, you’ll definitely get it into your readers’ hands a lot quicker if you self-publish. The traditional publishing route can take years, from the time when you send out your first manuscript to when the book actually gets on the market. If you self-publish an e-book it will be a matter of months from the time you write it to when you can publish it.

Am I willing to promote and market my book, or do I want somebody else to do that?
Traditional publishers do a lot of the marketing for their books, which takes pressure off the authors. If you self-publish, the marketing begins and ends with you.

Do I want to do all the editing, cover design, formatting, etc. myself, or do I want somebody else to do that?
Again, traditional publishers have the manpower to do the jobs involved in the book’s presentation. If you self-publish, you’re responsible for all that.

How much of a royalty do I want?
Self-publishers get to keep up to 70 percent of their book’s income. The royalty offered by publishers is usually in the single digits. Self-publishing is a viable option for some authors, but for others, it’s not as attractive as going the traditional publishing route. It’s a question you need to research and think about, to determine if it’s right for you.

R. Lynn Archie
www.rlynnarchie.com

Suggestions on How to Get Out of a Writing Rut

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Has there ever been a time when you wanted to get essential thoughts down on paper but just could not get yourself moving to do so? Whether you are a writer, student, or simply someone wanting to inscribe a thank you note, it can happen. The magic question is what can be done to get out of the rut?

Helpful Suggestions

Think about what you are trying to write about in the first place. Start by focusing on the task at hand and then begin mentally de-cluttering your mind of everything else.

Put your thoughts down on something tangible like paper or a computer. If you are anything like me, as soon as a great inspiration pops into my head I have to immediately write it down. When you have a busy schedule, it’s very easy to forget things.  With this method, you then have the option to go back to your notes later on. It’s a helpful way to kick-start your creative juices to get it flowing again.

Select a means to push your productivity. This can be a special room, a selective piece of furniture like a bed or chair, a special music playlist, or even something straightforward as a change of scenery like sitting in the park or going to a coffee shop. Whatever you decide to do it should be something that is refreshing, and will give you the ability to concentrate.
All it takes is the decision to get started, and as long as you stay motivated and passionate you have the foundation to work through getting out of a rut.

 

R. Lynn Archie

Website:  www.rlynnarchie.com

FREE 4/16-4/18 ~ Trial of Marriage (Interracial Romance eBook)

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Trial of Marriage
Trey Moretti has it all, dream job, loving wife Angelique, and finally a baby on the way. What he does not plan on is his past sneaking up on him. Gradually things start to unravel as Trey fight to keep his family intact. But when that last big skeleton is finally out of the closet will it mean the end for Trey and Angelique?

**Warning, story contains profanity and scenes of sexual content. Intended for mature readers only.**

 

 

The Effect Duplicate Titles Can Have on an Authors KDP Select Bookshelf

KDP Select Bookshelf

Do you know the protocol of having duplicate books on your Amazon KDP Select bookshelf? I didn’t before, but I do now.  First off, as much as I would like to keep my bookshelf tidy by deleting unwanted things, unfortunately, there is no option to take that action. Maybe there is a way internally through KDP, I’m not sure, but what I am certain of is an author is not able to make it happen.

The alternative solution is to change your active book to an unpublished draft. And, if you want to start off fresh still using the same book title, but not wanting the baggage that goes along with it (e.g. reviews, editorials, etc.) you would then use the option “Add a New Book” to create a new book with the same title but under a different ASIN. To be frank, my thinking was the old, unpublished draft would be closed and obsolete, however, that wasn’t the case.

What I came to learn was if you have the same title book their detail pages automatically link within 48 hours after an additional edition or version is published as long as the content, title, and contributors are exactly the same. The only way to avoid this automatic action in the future is to change a small detail in the title by adding a subtitle or a change to the form in which the author’s name is written as desired. You might perform this with the unpublished draft so the system doesn’t feed and match details for similarities.

Though in my case, since it had already happened, it took a few times going back and forth in correspondence with KDP representatives to get things corrected. Things ended well, but it was a headache getting to that point.  Hopefully my experience prevents you from making the same error.

R. Lynn

Website:  http://www.rlynnarchie.com

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