View Full Version : The craft of romance

08-18-2004, 10:25 PM
Hi Terry and Veingloree,

I'm not going to join you on the whole debate on romance's lack of respect. Doesn't matter how hard we argue for respect, it's not likely to change any minds. What will change minds, are great books!

To me, a good romance is a good story. I personally prefer stories that have other plot lines than just the love story... but there's GOT to be a strong love story, or why bother?

Writing a good story-- in romance or anything else-- requires the same elements: excellent characters you love to love (or hate), a compelling plot, believable dialogue, writing that's strong enough for the reader to slip into another world. Successful romance writers can do that-- and aspiring ones must learn it.

I've been writing for a dozen years-- and just recently learned how to put all of these elements together reasonably well. Writing good stories is hard! Hopefully we can use this board not to bitch about being "down-trodden Cinderella" of publishing, but to help each other write better and sell more. After all, making money is the best revenge!

I'm thinking it might be neat if the three of us... since we seem to be the only ones posting right now... post some of the things we've learned (or are learning) about writing. I'm sure we can support and encourage ourselves and others that way.


Karyn Langhorne
coming Sept 1

08-18-2004, 10:45 PM
Sounds good to me Karyn....and when I think of something...I'll let ya know.. :grin

Actually, I learned a whole lot at the RWA convention in Dallas last month...namely don't mess with Mary Kay! (you had to be there) There were much too many workshops to attend, but I did learn from Jenny Crusie and Lisa Gardner (to name drop) :D about revisions and rewrites.

In October my chapter is hosting a two day workshop with Debra Dixon....so that should be another useful experience. And I'll post what I come away with afterwards.



08-18-2004, 11:13 PM

Why don't you post some of your experiences at RWA? I didn't make it this year (though I'm definitely going next year). I've heard some of the Mary Kay stories, but I'd love to hear your take on the event this time around.

Give us Terri's RWA National wrapup. It will be cool. I'm working on a little piece on discipline I'll post later today.


Karyn Langhorne
coming Sept. 1

08-19-2004, 02:25 AM
I am a big fan of genres a bit 'off-centre' from trad. romance -- like Tor paranormal Romance which has primary adventure and secondary romance. Also 'romantica' in which roamnce and erotica have equivalent weighting.

But when I was stranded in middle America with only superarket books I learned to appreciate chore standard straight up and down romance as well -- stuff I probably wouldn't have read before because of the packaging. Once you get past those terrible covers a good romance is a good book (and vice versa).

I haven't learn much yet accept that my first book was too short, had too many adverbs, a shallow first person and not enough sub-plots. I placed it with an e-publisher and made all of $31 in the first quarter.

I have written 50,000 words on my second book and hope to have it done by the end of the month. Needless to say it will be longer in total, leaner in prose, deeper in person and twistier in plot (now there's an image to conjure with).

08-19-2004, 03:44 AM
Hey V, my first book was very much like that too...but a former friend made me work at it until I reached a higher word count and fixed the book. Then I sent it out and had an editor say...no, not ready....do this and that. If you do, send it back I want to see it again.
So, as of this moment...I'm still waiting to see if she liked the changes....:grr (the good news is, an agent loves what she's read so far) :)
I'm currently revising my second book, a paranormal romance, because the same editor wants it back too. I just wish she'd buy the dang things! :\

And K, I'll gather my notes and give you my report on the convention as soon as I can.