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View Full Version : Category Romance where the hero shows up in chap. 2?


JoyG
02-22-2009, 04:16 AM
Have you read any recent category romances where the hero and heroine meet in Chapter 2? Do you remember the titles? I'm interested in reading them if possible.

In my current WIP, chapter 1 focuses on my heroine's reaction that her long lost love is coming home. She gets a letter from him, but they don't meet face to face until chapter 2.

I'm wondering if that is a HUGE no-no for category romance. I'm targeting the Steeple Hill Love Inspired line.

Thanks

brainstorm77
02-22-2009, 04:17 AM
I don't think there are any set rules but I think usually they do meet at some point in the first chapter.

JoyG
02-22-2009, 04:27 AM
I think so too.

I have a feeling I'll end up rewriting my first chapter. But if there's anyone out there that broke that rule, I'd like to read it.

Carlene
02-22-2009, 04:49 AM
I just got home from my RWA meeting. Mary Theresa Hussey, senior editor from Harliqun spoke - she said she wants to see the H&H meet in the first few paragraphs.

brainstorm77
02-22-2009, 04:54 AM
I just got home from my RWA meeting. Mary Theresa Hussey, senior editor from Harliqun spoke - she said she wants to see the H&H meet in the first few paragraphs.

Personally I think thats rushing it, mine meet in the first chapter about mid way through ...but in the first few paragraphs?

She_wulf
02-22-2009, 05:09 AM
I read a lot of romance/romantic suspense/ and paranormals. I don't know if there are hard and fast rules unless you're writing for Harlequin's sub-genre lines, then the story "rules" are spelled out in the purchase contract. (from what I've heard, don't know, not my cuppa for writing)

Introducing your leading characters early in the story is pretty much necessary in fiction. Why read a story about character A when really Character B (who isn't introduced until later) is the lead?

That's bait and switch, imo.

Chapter One, chapter two... chapter four... it's where it fits best, not a rule as far as I know.

Amy

She_wulf
02-22-2009, 05:10 AM
I just got home from my RWA meeting. Mary Theresa Hussey, senior editor from Harliqun spoke - she said she wants to see the H&H meet in the first few paragraphs.
Again, that's Harlequin's rule, not industry rule. But...if H is 90% of the industry... then...

Susan Gable
02-22-2009, 05:27 AM
Depends on the line. The shorter lines really do want the meeting in the first few pages.

In my last Super, the hero and heroine didn't meet until chapter 2, but both were introduced in chapter one, and the heroine mentioned seeing the hero and why she wouldn't be interested in him. (introduction of some of the conflict.)

The shorter the length, the tighter the focus has to be on the romance itself.

In my current book (which is shorter than the last one because of the change in word count) the hero and heroine meet in chapter one. It's not on the first page, though.

This is all part of the "homework" I've mentioned, so this was a very good question. My advice is to check out a lot of the new releases for the line you want to target and notice any "patterns." Does the line you want to target have them all meet in the first chapter? Then, to maximize your selling potential, I'd recommend you figure out a way to restructure your story to do the same.

Susan G.

dianeP
02-22-2009, 06:24 AM
I'm presently reading something where the hero sees the heroine from a distance (at least I thinks its the heroine, that hasn't really been established yet) in chapter 2 and meets her face to face in chapter 3.

But I don't think its category romance. (to tell you the truth, I don't really know what that means.)

She_wulf
02-22-2009, 06:42 AM
I just did a quick google to site check. eHarlequin.com has these posted writing submission guidelines for their Nocturne Bites (http://www.eharlequin.com/articlepage.html?articleId=1336&chapter=0) line:
Writing Guidelines
Nocturne Bites

http://www.eharlequin.com/store/20060406001/assets/templateimages/clear.gif
Length: 10,000—15,000 words
Senior Executive Editor: Tara Gavin
Associate Senior Editor: Ann Leslie Tuttle

Silhouette Nocturne books is looking to acquire paranormal editorial with strong sexual, fantasy and danger elements for its new eBook program, Nocturne Bites.
We’re looking for fast-paced novellas that hook the reader early on by establishing a paranormal world and its conflicts. We are looking for stories of vampires, shape-shifters, werewolves, psychic powers, etc. set in contemporary times.
Many of the elements that make a Silhouette Nocturne book successful remain true for the Nocturne Bites series. Stories should deliver a dark, highly sensual read that will entertain readers and take them from everyday life into an atmospheric, complex world filled with characters struggling with life and death issues. A strong alpha hero is of utmost importance—he should be powerful, mysterious and totally attractive to the heroine.
While action-packed and mission-oriented, the scope of these stories should be more contained, with additional focus placed on character development. All stories should be capable of standing alone; all loose ends need to be tied up, and the relationship between hero and heroine should resolve itself in a satisfying manner.

That said, they're pretty up front on what they want."...Alpha male...powerful, mysterious and totally attractive...characters struggling with life and death issues.."

If you are writing for yourself, and not for one of the mass market publication houses, just write it how you want. If your goal is getting in to Harlequin, read the guidelines first.

She_wulf
02-22-2009, 06:44 AM
I'm presently reading something where the hero sees the heroine from a distance (at least I thinks its the heroine, that hasn't really been established yet) in chapter 2 and meets her face to face in chapter 3.

But I don't think its category romance. (to tell you the truth, I don't really know what that means.)
Follow this link: http://www.eharlequin.com/store.html?cid=233
mouse over "harlequin" tab/button and you'll see some of the categories of romance.

Nascar romance... for real? Huh.

JoyG
02-22-2009, 07:20 AM
I just got home from my RWA meeting. Mary Theresa Hussey, senior editor from Harliqun spoke - she said she wants to see the H&H meet in the first few paragraphs.

Wow. I bet that depends on the line though.

I've been reading a lot of the recent Love Inspireds. The one I'm reading now, the H&H come face to face on the last page/last paragraph of chapter 1.

The last Love Inspired I read, the H&H met midway through the first chapter but only had one small scene together which was a couple of paragraphs.

I've read and printed out the guidelines for Love Inspired. They don't say anything about when the H&H should meet. I think I read in a book on writing romance that the unwritten rule is first chapter. I just wanted to know if it ever gets broken. I am definitely writing a category romance though, so if I have to rewrite the first chapter I will.

Susan Gable
02-22-2009, 08:40 AM
I've read and printed out the guidelines for Love Inspired. They don't say anything about when the H&H should meet. I think I read in a book on writing romance that the unwritten rule is first chapter. I just wanted to know if it ever gets broken. I am definitely writing a category romance though, so if I have to rewrite the first chapter I will.

Joy, you're doing good homework by reading and studying the line. Way to go! Sure, sometimes it gets "broken." But, if something is pretty standard, you up your odds if you conform to the standard, rather than try to break it, especially for the first sale book.

Susan G.

brainstorm77
02-22-2009, 10:07 AM
Wow. I bet that depends on the line though.

I've been reading a lot of the recent Love Inspireds. The one I'm reading now, the H&H come face to face on the last page/last paragraph of chapter 1.

The last Love Inspired I read, the H&H met midway through the first chapter but only had one small scene together which was a couple of paragraphs.

I've read and printed out the guidelines for Love Inspired. They don't say anything about when the H&H should meet. I think I read in a book on writing romance that the unwritten rule is first chapter. I just wanted to know if it ever gets broken. I am definitely writing a category romance though, so if I have to rewrite the first chapter I will.

I love all the steeple hill lines

girlyswot
02-22-2009, 01:41 PM
Wow. I bet that depends on the line though.

I've been reading a lot of the recent Love Inspireds. The one I'm reading now, the H&H come face to face on the last page/last paragraph of chapter 1.

The last Love Inspired I read, the H&H met midway through the first chapter but only had one small scene together which was a couple of paragraphs.

I've read and printed out the guidelines for Love Inspired. They don't say anything about when the H&H should meet. I think I read in a book on writing romance that the unwritten rule is first chapter. I just wanted to know if it ever gets broken. I am definitely writing a category romance though, so if I have to rewrite the first chapter I will.

I've definitely read a couple recently where the hero and heroine don't actually come face to face until chapter 2. BUT in both cases the two characters were introduced in chapter 1 in ways that allowed the reader to see the potential for interaction. For example one story featured a heroine who was a private investigator asked to find the hero to see if he was someone's long lost son. She gets to look at a picture of him winning a rodeo and is immediately attracted, and of course we know that she'll be off to find him very soon.

So it seems to me that there can be a certain amount of latitude in terms of what constitutes a first 'meeting' so long as what you have establishes the potential for the relationship early on.

JoyG
02-22-2009, 06:17 PM
Joy, you're doing good homework by reading and studying the line. Way to go! Sure, sometimes it gets "broken." But, if something is pretty standard, you up your odds if you conform to the standard, rather than try to break it, especially for the first sale book.

Susan G.

Thanks Susan!

JoyG
02-22-2009, 06:17 PM
I've definitely read a couple recently where the hero and heroine don't actually come face to face until chapter 2. BUT in both cases the two characters were introduced in chapter 1 in ways that allowed the reader to see the potential for interaction. For example one story featured a heroine who was a private investigator asked to find the hero to see if he was someone's long lost son. She gets to look at a picture of him winning a rodeo and is immediately attracted, and of course we know that she'll be off to find him very soon.

So it seems to me that there can be a certain amount of latitude in terms of what constitutes a first 'meeting' so long as what you have establishes the potential for the relationship early on.

You wouldn't remember the titles would you?

Susan Gable
02-22-2009, 06:35 PM
Joy, you're in Buffalo? Do you belong to the Buffalo RWA chapter?

Just wondering. And wondering if we've met (I'm HORRIBLE with remembering names. :( )because I go up there to speak about once a year. They are a terrific group from what I've experienced.

Susan G.

JoyG
02-22-2009, 06:53 PM
Joy, you're in Buffalo? Do you belong to the Buffalo RWA chapter?

Just wondering. And wondering if we've met (I'm HORRIBLE with remembering names. :( )because I go up there to speak about once a year. They are a terrific group from what I've experienced.

Susan G.

I haven't joined yet, but I was thinking about printing out the application today!

I'm glad to hear they've got a great group. I'll definitely look into it.

smoothseas
02-22-2009, 07:01 PM
Just wanna jump in and say...

Good luck with your wip.

Susan Gable
02-23-2009, 12:59 AM
I haven't joined yet, but I was thinking about printing out the application today!

I'm glad to hear they've got a great group. I'll definitely look into it.

When you go to your first meeting, tell them you know me from online, and that I said they were a terrific group! :) That will break the ice for you in case you're feeling a little hesitant.

And tell them I said, When do they want me to come back up there? LOL.

Really, they're a very nice group from my experience.

I always enjoy my time with them, and I know they have terrific speakers, too. (And I'm not just saying that because I get to be one of their speakers. LOLOL!)

Susan G.

girlyswot
02-23-2009, 03:46 AM
You wouldn't remember the titles would you?

The one whose plot I mentioned was one of the free ebooks Harlequin are giving away at the moment: Once a Cowboy, by Linda Warren. I can't remember the others, but I'm sure I've seen similar set ups more than once lately. I quite like that sort of opening. It can give a bit more tension to the first meeting if there's a little bit of build up.

AllieGirl
02-25-2009, 01:27 AM
Due to the nature of the story, if you can't have them meet earlier, try having a section in chapter one that introduces the hero. It doesn't have to relate to what the herioine is doing. He can just be off somewhere doing something, but at least the reader gets to meet him earlier.

You could have them pass each other them meet later. If it's someone the herione already knows, have her reminisce about him so he is introduced.