Author Topic: For like minded romance writers  (Read 11441 times)

Lin

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For like minded romance writers
« on: February 17, 2009, 01:39:14 PM »
As I am writing romance I just wanted to know how many of you are writing this genre.

Would you be prepared to use this thread as a means of comparing notes and discussing your genre with like minded people?

The kind of subjects I had in mind -

Passing on information about  romance writers groups in the UK

Are you stuck on a passage in your book?

Are your characters not bonding?

Posting links to interesting web sites on romance writing

Do you need support?

Is there something in your story which you can't quite see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Anything really connected with this genre


Perhaps you have some suggestions?

Let me know if you would like to keep this thread going

Lin x





« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 04:48:31 PM by Orangutansaver »

Offline flights_of_fantasy

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Re: For like mind romance writers
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2009, 04:04:47 PM »
Hi Lin,

I've been off the board for a month or so, and this was the first topic I noticed when I was wading through the unread posts.  :)

I think I would technically be classed as a romance writer - although it's a tricky label to stick on yourself. I don't think of myself as someone who could write for Mills & Boon, for example. But my stuff does tend to focus on two people meeting and falling in love.

I'm not stuck with anything right now (hence the reason I haven't been around the boards lately - too busy writing) but I wanted to show my support. I'm up for talking about it. Sometimes, I feel that writing romance is one of those things some people find difficult to admit to. You know what I mean?

"Darling, I have something important to tell you. I ran over the dog this morning, and I've been having an affair with the milk man. Oh, and by the way ... I've been writing a romance novel."

"Sorry? What was that?"

"Never mind."


Anyone else brave enough to come out of the closet? ;D
Heather

"A searing indictment of domestic servitude in the eighteenth century, with some hot gypsies thrown in. My magnum opus, Baldrick. Everybody has one novel in them, and this is mine."
Edmund Blackadder, Blackadder the Third, Ink & Incapability

Lin

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Re: For like minded romance writers
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2009, 04:47:44 PM »
This sounds great I will keep posting on here then even if its just you and me

 What have you found most difficult with your characters - did you write any sex scenes into your book how far did you go?  I wanted to keep my characters "nice" Raunchy wasn't my style but romantically raunchy was OK.  Smoothing the way and teasing the reader sufficiently for them to want to read on.  I wanted them to say ahhhh isnt that lovely!!  Then I wanted my readers to cry with the characters (I've done that with a few books I can tell you!!) I wanted the readers to feel some empathy with the characters involved in the plot.  It's been a roller coaster for me, on some days I could have been in there with them!  Yet this is not the real me!!  Its some other person maybe?  I hope so cos if I was a character in the book I might have committed suicide by now LOL!!  I wonder how many authors have killed themselves instead of killing off the characters. ::)

PS I'm not sure about the Mills and Boon stuff, for me it always seems to carry a stigma of bad writing, but that's just me.  If I can avoid M & B I will do.  The trouble is - it sells!!   I think I will go down the agent route, I now have a recommendation through a  published author, so if it works for her, I shall try it.  First things first, lets get it finished!

Lin x
« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 02:50:45 AM by Orangutansaver »

Lin

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Re: For like minded romance writers
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2009, 03:15:02 AM »
PPS Ive just found this link on the web - looks interesting must go read some more about it

http://www.charlottedillon.com/RWC.html

Offline Vienna

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Re: For like minded romance writers
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2009, 03:35:29 AM »


hiya Lin

I don't think I write romance. Hmmm there is sometimes "romance" in what I write but what exactly makes a piece of writing part of the "romance genre"?
Just a well-read punk peasant

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Lin

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Re: For like minded romance writers
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2009, 04:21:53 AM »
A romance deals specifically where the central characters find love.  You can take it from there what you do with this couple and  how you write your story.  You can play god with them if you like.  Its usually a story with a plot, a reason, an outcome, a tragedy all these things rolled into one as long as the central characters find love at some point during the story.  You might like to include some sex scenes, it all depends on your own feelings about this, but a romance book without the sex might disappoint the reader.  It doesn't have to be raunchy, you can use words which skim over the top of the less than pornographic stuff.  It aint what you say its the way you say it.  I hope my sex scenes are tasteful.

My book deals with two people who find love, a confession,  a plot to murder, and an outcome with a twist to the story. 

I hope this answers your question Vienna

Lin x




Offline flights_of_fantasy

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Re: For like minded romance writers
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2009, 11:43:52 AM »
a romance book without the sex might disappoint the reader. 
I visited a website of an author who had a number of Regency romances published. (the name escapes me for the moment) They were really fun to read and I enjoyed them a lot. However, her editor told her she had to include sex in the next book, because sex was what sold. She tried writing a story with sex scenes included and found she couldn't do it, she just hadn't the knack for it, as she admitted herself.

In order for her to continue being published, she ended up switching genre altogether, which was a real shame.

I've spoken to a number of readers, and not everyone likes to read sex scenes. Romance isn't dead for most people, but it might as well be as far as publishers are concerned, and I find that very annoying.

Personally, I can read a book with sex or without. I really don't mind. I've read the whole gamut of romance, from Jane Austen to Elloras Cave. I think it is possible to have too much sex in a romance novel. I've found myself skipping over the sex scenes, not because they were too hot, or because I'm a prude, but because it was boring and repetitive.

It is possible to have too much of a good thing and you can create a spark between two characters without throwing them in the sack every five minutes.

Also - and this is a personal bugbear, so excuse me while I rant - you can't force a sex scene into every story. Sometimes it just doesn't fit. What do you do then? Crowbar it in using every means possible, just to please the public? Or do you write the story that is crying out to be written, regardless of whether it is commercially viable or not?
Heather

"A searing indictment of domestic servitude in the eighteenth century, with some hot gypsies thrown in. My magnum opus, Baldrick. Everybody has one novel in them, and this is mine."
Edmund Blackadder, Blackadder the Third, Ink & Incapability

Lin

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Re: For like minded romance writers
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2009, 12:29:48 PM »
I totally agree with you on the sex scenes, I can take it or leave it.  This is why I chose to go down the 'gentle'' path.

I use words which leave the readers imagination as to what the characters were doing.   If you want raunch I can write it, but I chose not to because we women, reading a romanc novel , prefer to have their characters loved rather than spend time looking down on a couple having sex.  I feel quite confident about that and let's face it more women read romance  as opposed to men.  If you have any romance whatsoever in your story telling let it flow freely.  This is why Emma on this forum is feeling her characters minds and thoughts during her writing.  Romance should grab you like that too.

I use the F word twice in my book.  This is only because my character is a man and men do that!  (so do some women) But it was natural dialogue rather than a forced swearing for the sake of putting the F word in the book cos the publisher likes it that way.

So what are the elements of a good romance - I would like to know what other members think the best ingredients are for a good romance novel.

I would say

Empathy
Physical contact
Will she or won't she?  general Conflict and deep conflict
A darned good plot
Jealousy
Hate
Death?


Go on add to this, I want to know your ideas so I can add these flavours to my book Im genuinely interested in what the public expect.

Thanks everyone

Lin x













Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: For like minded romance writers
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2009, 12:49:12 PM »
Lin, although I don't write what I would consider Romance novels, some of my writing does have some romance in the story.

Years ago a writing partner shared a list of sensual words with me to help create the right mood in words. I found them very helpful.

I still have the list printed out somewhere around here, but thought it would be easier to point you and any interested in the direction of a web site with the list.

Enjoy.

http://www.annetteblair.com/sensual-words.htm
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Lin

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Re: For like minded romance writers
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2009, 01:16:17 PM »
I COULD KISS YOU THIS IS BEST NEWS IVE HAD IN AGES THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE LINK


 Yes I'm shouting at this news  A great link

Lin x x x x x

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: For like minded romance writers
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2009, 01:25:42 PM »
 :D

You're welcome Lin.
MWC Charity Publications.
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight>
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. -Muriel Rukeyser, poet and activist (15 Dec 1913-1980)

R. L. Copple's: http://www.rlcopple.com/

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
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Offline emma112

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Re: For like minded romance writers
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2009, 03:55:31 PM »
Hey, Lin!
I'm so glad you came up with this, because I'm stuck!
Eleanor (MC) has been friends with a man named Chris for two years now. She see's him as a very good friend, who understands her completely. He is always there for her, makes her laugh when she's down, comforts her all the time. He ALWAYS smiles at her even if he's the one that's feeling down. But, she only see's him as a very, very good friend.
However... (there's just got to be a however) she finds out, from one of her good friends, that Chris has a 'crush' on her. She doesn't know what to do about it, so at first she is quite hesitant around him and tries to escape him whenever he is near, but tries not to hurt his feelings at the same time.
Later on, Stacey (her best friend) tells Elleanor that he is actually in love with her. What does Eleanor do? She feels like crying whenever she looks at him, because she knows deep down that she doesn't feel the same way. But, she knows that she has to tell him, to make it clear that she doesn't feel for him like he does her, so that she doesn't lead him on in anyway.
But, she fails because she ends up crying infront of him (she is a very emotional character) and he embraces her. Because they have hugged a lot before, she forgets about his feelings toward her and embraces him too with a long, loving hug. She regrets it immediately, and is frightened that she has made Chris fall deeper in love with her.
Eleanor is practically begging me right now to ask for your advice, Lin! Lol. I guess she feels that you've got more experience in this matter. So, what do you think she should do? How does she let him down gently?
She's open to any other suggestions too, if anyone would like to help!
Thanks! x x x x
Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us - Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

Lin

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Re: For like minded romance writers
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2009, 04:28:33 PM »
First of all I pasted this into another Word format and read it through carefully

What was crying out for me was another set on circumstances which were needed to be brought into this to get Eleanor on track.  I can see how you got stuck here.

You seem to have three people
Eleanor
Chris
Stacey

Eleanor doesnt have the same feelings for Chris as he has for her
Stacey confirms that Chris is in love with Eleanor -is that correct?

I think that Eleanor should have a dark secret - the reason she cannot be involved with Chris

How old are these people?

Perhaps Eleanor has been ill and cannot consider love at this time
Maybe Eleanor has to move away and is not allowing herself to get involved with someone
Maybe she really does like Chris but cannot allow herself to feel this way because ...........

I think you have to explain the reason for Eleanor not feeling this way about Chris, some other factor needs to come in here.

What is wrong with him?
Maybe she knows something about Chris and he hasn't told her, but Eleanor or even Stacey knows about it

Why has he hugged her before?  She does have some emotions for him
What is it about Eleanor that she cannot love Chris

She is obviously an emotional person - maybe you can tell us what brought on that frequent emotion.

I think that Eleanor has a dark secret which needs to be told!!

Eleanor definitely has an emotional barrier to her love life.  She needs direction - maybe Stacey provides that for her in the way of a girly chat in the ladies loo!

Its a good idea to plan out your plot on paper before writing.  I know I wrote my novel straight from the top of my head, but I had been thinking about it for ten years and when the time came to writing it, I sat at my computer non-stop for three months and just reeled it off.  How the heck I did that I shall never know.  I was emotionally drained, then I took a year out and started again with the editing.  I wasn't far off getting the story line correct all the way through.  I had to make one or two minor adjustments, now its just the tedious editing.

My next book I shall surely plan it out.  This first one was just a freak of nature!!  When you do plan on a chart you can see where you want your characters to go and your plots etc.

I hope these story lines help you.  Best let me see in a PM or e-mail what you have written to so far - dialogue etc

Take care and just relax, it will come to you - honest it will.

Just enjoy what you have and within a short time it will come back - its called writers block!!
It normally doesnt last too long fortunately

All the best

Lin x






« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 04:34:33 PM by Orangutansaver »

Offline emma112

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Re: For like minded romance writers
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2009, 05:02:07 PM »
Thanks, Lin! You're always my saviour! :)

Yeah, Stacey is good friends with Chris too, so she knows all the gossip. She is that type of character. Chris told her in confidence and not to tell Eleanor. But, it kind of slipped out as Eleanor and Stacey are so close.

Well... I haven't figured out yet whether she has a dark secret. I think at the moment she just believes in the 'love at first sight' kind of thing. She has a feeling that someone is out there waiting for her to find him. And it's not Chris. They are too much of good friends for anything to happen between them and she get's quite annoyed at Chris. This is one of the paragraphs I wrote about what Eleanor was feeling:

Now that I was alone, I could think about that troubling fact and decide what should be done about it. Should I ignore him? But, that would be a bit too shameful for me. He was still my friend and I couldn’t believe that he wanted to change what we had, and what we had was special. He was too kind to me, always giving me what I wanted regardless of what he thought about it. He never stopped smiling at me and he was the one person who understood me for who I was. Even Stacey couldn’t compete with him.
But, now he was acting like any ordinary man, who couldn’t just be friends with a woman. It annoyed me slightly, which made me consider what would happen between us now.


Eleanor is 21 years old, I think Chris is about 22 (he hasn't told me yet lol). Stacey is 21, too. So, they're quite young.
They've hugged before just as friendly gestures. They're just really close and that's why Eleanor doesn't want to jeapardise that relationship.

Later on in the book, a new character comes along, Catherine and leads her into a totally new life. This is where she actually meets the love of her life, involving deep, dark secrets that risks her life and his.

Yeah, I guess I haven't explored this enough. Need to get more jotting down and let Eleanor speak to me, when she comes back lol. There have been little hints of her return, but at the moment, other characters have been popping up. I don't actually know who they are yet, but I've wrote what they say down and they seem satisfied that they will be in the story! Hehe.

Thanks for helping me again! Means a lot!

Emma x x x
Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us - Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

Offline flights_of_fantasy

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Re: For like minded romance writers
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2009, 05:19:26 PM »
So what are the elements of a good romance - I would like to know what other members think the best ingredients are for a good romance novel.

There are a number of different starting points that work well. You can have the immediate attraction, the slow-burn, the unrequited love, or even loathe-at-first-sight.

Romance books definitely need some will they, won't they tension - the sort that Sybil Shepperd and Bruce Willis did so well in Moonlighting.  :) As a reader, I enjoy the anticipation, like having the dessert to look forward to at the end of the meal. The stories I like least are those where the two main protagonists are forced together at the beginning of the book - usually some kind of forced partnership, a marriage of convenience, or forced marriage in a historical - and then have to learn to love each other. I much prefer having the wedding at the end of the story, but that's my personal preference.

To me, the thing that makes a good romance is when it you have one of those mush moments. What's a mush moment? It can be a word, or a phrase, or an action where you (as the reader) sigh, and you get those butterflies in your stomach. You get them in films as well. Quite often the event that triggers it will be unexpected, coming at you out of nowhere. It's the point where you desperately want to be in the book, being the heroine, rather than just reading.

It's also the one thing that's very difficult to spot as a writer, because you are too familiar with your own work to be able to tell whether your mush moment works or not.

I like to see a well written rivalry, although that's not necessarily the same as jealousy. I don't mind an element of mystery, if it compliments the romance. Some writers include a mystery plot to flesh out the book, because the romance alone isn't enough, but unless the two share some common ground they don't always work.

Conflict is necessary, but it has to be realistic and fair. I read one book where the heroine spent most of the book rejecting the hero's advances, because she didn't think he was serious. She was putting forward the same objections over and over again, and it wore thin after a while, particularly when the same author used exactly the same trick in her next book. The other thing I'm not keen on is lots of little incidents, coming one after the other, which all serve to keep our lovers apart. She's in a car crash, then he gets mugged and loses his memory, then just as she begins to walk again her father dies and she has to travel five hundred miles away for the funeral. Meanwhile the hero falls for the nurse who is caring for him. How much bad luck can one couple suffer?


Because they have hugged a lot before, she forgets about his feelings toward her and embraces him too with a long, loving hug. She regrets it immediately, and is frightened that she has made Chris fall deeper in love with her.
Emma, reading about your Eleanor, my first question was: Do you intend for them to end up together? If not, where will the happy ending come from?

If yes, what will make Eleanor change her mind about Chris? Jealousy might work well in this scenario. (it's human nature that you don't always appreciate what you've got until it's gone) Is Chris going to be a bit of a doormat, always prepared to do what it takes to make Eleanor happy - even if it means walking away - or is he going to grow a backbone and attempt to win her love by fair means or foul? He's tried the nice guy approach and it isn't working. How far would Chris be prepared to go to get Eleanor taking him seriously?

I wrote a three-way love story once, where girl A loved man B, and man C loved girl A. (and man B only loved himself) Unfortunately, the heroine had to find out the hard way that man B was a rat, at which point man C was there to pick up the pieces. Of course, when she found out how man C felt about her, she couldn't all of a sudden 'see the light' and fall in love with him. That can't happen at the drop of a hat. It is much easier to grow to love someone who you know loves you, but there's got to be something there in the first place. It can't materialise out of thin air. In my case, I decided that girl A would have been attracted to man C all along, if man B hadn't been there to draw her attention. That made them falling in love at the end of the story more believable, because she wasn't just liking him out of gratitude.

So perhaps you need to somehow draw Eleanor's attention from Chris at the beginning, so she doesn't see him like that.

Since I started writing this, you've added more information, but I'm not going to edit what I wrote above. The only thing I'll add, from a readers point of view, is that you need to point us in the right direction of who we're supposed to be rooting for. It can be difficult to get into a story if you're not sure who are meant to be together. So, for example, if I began reading this I might be hoping Chris can win Eleanor, but then later you give Eleanor the love of her life. So that might then leave me wondering about Chris. If you set him up as a main character, you've got to make sure you give him a good resolution too. Don't leave the poor guy hanging, particularly if we've grown attached to him.  ;D


Heather

"A searing indictment of domestic servitude in the eighteenth century, with some hot gypsies thrown in. My magnum opus, Baldrick. Everybody has one novel in them, and this is mine."
Edmund Blackadder, Blackadder the Third, Ink & Incapability