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