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veinglory
03-30-2005, 05:45 PM
Hmm. I've not seen it before but it sounds like an intriguing idea to me.

Susan Gable
03-30-2005, 09:06 PM
In a number of the single title romance novels, you will find secondary romances. Some authors, like Suz Brockman, write romance series where the secondary characters take their turns at coming to the front story. In the pervious books, you'll find them in smaller roles, perhaps as their romances are just beginning to develop.

Sometimes the secondary couple might be older than the H&H.

But yes, you can do this. :-)

Susan G.

Nateskate
03-31-2005, 03:50 AM
It surprises me that you'll find more of this in Epic Fantasy than in a Romance Novels. Generally speaking (in my memory) many Romance novels follow the lead female POV. You'll find more complex combo-relationships in a romantic comedy in order to complicate the picture, but often times, it's a "Who will she end up with plot".

jdkiggins
03-31-2005, 06:00 AM
psm0904,
Susan gave you some great information here. I'm reading Michael's Discovery by Sherryl Woods. Woods writes for Sillouette Special Edition Series. She often adds a second romance which will in turn be the focus of her next book. In Micahel's Discovery the heroine is trying to play matchmaker as she deals with her own hero. I won't tell you anymore in case you want to read it. :)

Good luck with your writing.
Joanne

veinglory
04-01-2005, 04:47 PM
I am working on a trilogy at the moment that uses that secondary character device (I call it the 'Waltons strategy'). I have not seen a serious romance with more than one equlally weighted romance in it though. I think it might be a nice idea!

Susan Gable
04-01-2005, 05:38 PM
I am working on a trilogy at the moment that uses that secondary character device (I call it the 'Waltons strategy'). I have not seen a serious romance with more than one equlally weighted romance in it though. I think it might be a nice idea!

I think the "problem" with have two "main attraction" stories is that you will not have enough word count space to do both stories justice. You've got 100,000 words - 400 ms pages - for the "normal" romance novel - that's the word count the publishers want. So, to do a complete story arc for one romance, which means two character arcs, then to double that - you're talking about cramming a lot into 100,000 words.

Susan G.

lindylou45
04-02-2005, 04:25 AM
I'm new to this genre, although I've been writing a long time. I read a lot of romance and most of the time it revolves around one hero and one heroine. Is it possible to write a romance that has two seperate stories going on, if they are sort of related?

Also looking for a critique partner!

Thank you!

In my second book I have two stories going on that are related and it all comes together in the end. Not both couples have a happy ending though, one of the women die. But I found it challenging to write and loved the book when it was done.

lindylou45
04-02-2005, 04:31 AM
I think the "problem" with have two "main attraction" stories is that you will not have enough word count space to do both stories justice. You've got 100,000 words - 400 ms pages - for the "normal" romance novel - that's the word count the publishers want. So, to do a complete story arc for one romance, which means two character arcs, then to double that - you're talking about cramming a lot into 100,000 words.

Susan G.

My book was 104,500 words, using the new method you told me about -- thank you very much. 418 pages. It's a romantic suspense and I'd like to believe I did both stories justice. I'm even able to set up the third book in the series at the end of this book.

BTW both couples were secondary characters in my first novel.

Ursula
04-06-2005, 09:03 PM
As a writer, I am sticking with a single couple focus.

As a reader, I've seen many authors handle the dual romance, with a primary or alpha couple, and then the secondary beta couple. More word count is devoted to the alphas, but the betas figure key into the story. I see this more in things like single title historicals. I also think it's fading out in lieu of "seeding for a series". Now I see secondary characters introduced and then followed up in the next or the next book as the lead. I don't think all secondary characters really warrent a book, but I understand the love of series in readers and the marketing strategy.

If you're working with a category romance, it will be very difficult to add in a second couple romantic plot, but I've seen it done. It's with a light and sparing hand.

Does your story require you have two romances at once? If not, and this is your first walk in this genre, I'd focus on the alpha couple. However, if that second couple and thier romance (each Goal/motivation/ & conflict) is critical and central to the story, I'd write it out to see what happens, and be careful to ask myself: if they're that critical, why are they secondary characters?

BTW, you might want to check out http://www.eharlequin.com
They have good links, and, info on writing in the romance genre.
Also, check out: http://karenfox.com
She has some awesome info such as what houses average what advances, as well as some slamming links.
Last, look into the Romnace Writers of America organization.

Good Luck.


Ursula
****
http://livejournal.com/users/space_opera_x/

FAB
05-04-2005, 04:49 PM
In my novel, Running of the Bulls, I have a secondary romance set in the background of the main romance. Actually, at first I was kind of reluctant to do such, but once I did, the two intermixed well. So, yes, it can be done.

MMo
05-04-2005, 06:14 PM
Dorothy Garlock's extremely popular single title frontier-era romances generally have the main plot romance and a strong secondary plot romance running parallel in the book. The books aren't extremely long, probably 100,000 - 125,000 words.

Mo

sunandshadow
05-27-2005, 06:10 AM
The gay sff romantica novel I'm working on has four characters who do a sort of romantic do-si-do. They start off in the wrong pairings and get switched around into the right pairings. I really like having two romances going on in parallel because whenever there is a lull of temporary happiness in one I can balance that with drama in the other.

Cathy C
06-06-2005, 08:13 PM
Our new book that's coming out in August will have two, distinct romances that both conclude at the end. It can be done within the constraints of single title (although, admittedly, we did go over the 100K mark a bit to 112K.) I will say it's unusual in the industry, but if you can manage it -- GO FOR IT! :)

sunandshadow
07-08-2005, 01:49 AM
Just read a good double romance - Lord of Danger by Anne Stuart. :) And I'm still working on a plot outline of my own.

Sonarbabe
08-01-2005, 06:07 AM
I've seen the double romance in other books. Maggie Shayne did that in her book Twilight Hunger. She paved the way for the secondary couple in this story and then later gave them their own story.

Coincidentally, I'm doing something similar in the series that I'm writing. The primary couple of course takes the spotlight, but the secondary couple (an afterthought, I like to think worked out well) play major roles since they are related to the heroine. (Mother and uncle) The secondary couple in mine will take center stage in the third book in my series. So, I see nothing wrong with it as long as the primary couple shines and you're not left writing a 500 page ms. ;)

lrs
08-01-2005, 06:45 AM
Generally speaking, I believe you should have one main couple in romance. Secondary characters can also have their own little romance going on, which can lead to another book but they usually shouldn't overtake the main characters. But then again, if both storylines work, then an editor might not care.

sunandshadow
08-01-2005, 12:09 PM
So, I see nothing wrong with it as long as the primary couple shines and you're not left writing a 500 page ms. ;)

Why would writing a 500 page manuscript be a bad thing? Well, I guess it could be a problem if you wanted to get published by a standard romance line, but science fiction, fantasy, and historical romances regularly run 500 pages, and sometimes as many as 700.

Sonarbabe
08-01-2005, 05:54 PM
Sunanshadow: There's absolutley nothing wrong with 500+ page manuscripts, but like you said the standard romance line runs between 200-400 pages. I'd be afraid that if I wrote too much more than that, the editor would call me back and ask me to cut some if it out. I probably should have specified that. LOL :)

sunandshadow
08-02-2005, 12:57 AM
Oh ok, lol. :) I can definitely understand being afraid of being asked to take a knife to your manuscript and whittle it down to size.