Writing a Romance Class (online)

Begins June 13, 2016!

If you’ve ever thought of writing a romance, you’re not alone. Romance is the bestselling fiction genre, so who hasn’t thought about trying her hand at one? But romances are harder to write than you might think.

I developed this class for people interested in learning the basics of writing romance. Whether you’re still toying with your idea or you’ve already written the first draft, this class can help you avoid the most common pitfalls new romance writers make. Not only am I a romance writer myself, but I work for publishers as a romance book developer – the person who helps writers make their books great.

Here’s what this class covers:

Week 1. We talk about what romance is about—and why it’s the hottest-selling genre in book publishing today. You’ll find out why readers enjoy romance and you’ll learn why thwarting those expectations will result in an unpublished romance. We’ll also discuss the main subgenres of romance (e.g., paranormal, suspense) and what readers expect to see in them (for example, in a romantic suspense, the suspense plot cannot become more important than the love relationship between the hero and heroine).

You’ll delve into finding and polishing a storyline that will appeal to readers. We’ll cover classic storylines that romance readers love (secret baby, older woman/younger man, reunited love) and discuss how you can put a new twist on these beloved (but sometimes overused) classics. We’ll cover the importance of starting your novel in the right place, and how not to gum everything up by dumping in too much backstory in the first chapter.

Week 2. You’ll start plotting your book (or attend to any problems in your work-in-progress’s plot). Your plot will be based on creating a believable conflict between the hero and the heroine. You’ll discover how to create plot points that are based on motivation/action/reaction (e.g., what real people would actually do in a given situation). You’ll find out about common pitfalls waiting for unwary romance writers (such as creating a conflict that could be solved if the hero or heroine asked one question.)

You can’t have a romance without a likeable heroine and a hero your reader will fall in love with. This week, we’ll discuss favorite types of heroes (the alpha male, the soldier, the friend-turned-lover) and how you can turn types into real peoples. You’ll create character sketches for your main characters. We’ll also cover secondary characters and how not to let them take over your plot.

Week 3. Your romance takes place somewhere and it’s told by someone. The setting may be contemporary Chicago, or 1855 London, or a planet in a different solar system. This week, we’ll cover the importance of world building. What does your reader need to know and when is enough enough?

We’ll also delve into the question of who is telling your story. In romance, the preferred perspective is third-person limited, with the point of view shifting between the hero and the heroine (without head-hopping!) We’ll discuss what perspective is and what your choices are (first, second, third) and why you should stick with convention. We’ll also discuss how to create deep perspective and how to realistically convey the opposite sex.

Week 4. This week is all about making sure your romance has a romance! Not every romance needs a sex scene, but they all need love scenes. This is where the hero and the heroine show their attraction to one another (and sometimes consummate it). This is not a class aimed at erotica writers, so we’ll keep the conversation PG-13. When you’re writing love scenes—whether they’re sweet or sexy—the emotional punch is the key. And if you grew up reading the purple prose of 1970s and 1980s romance, you’ll have to discard everything you think you know about writing compelling love scenes for contemporary readers.

This week, we’ll get into the nitty gritty of getting your hero and heroine’s relationship down on paper, focusing on the importance of creating convincing dialogue and showing rather than telling.

This class is only $299! Use the Paypal button below to reserve your spot:

If you’re an FLX member, use this button for the members’ discount: