Read How to Write a Brilliant Romance: The Easy, Step-By-Step Method of Crafting a Powerful Romance (Go! Write Something Brilliant) Online

Authors: Susan May Warren

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How to Write a Brilliant Romance: The Easy, Step-By-Step Method of Crafting a Powerful Romance (Go! Write Something Brilliant)

How
to
Write
a Brilliant
Romance

 

 

 

 

Written by
RITA award
-
winning,
best-selling novelist

 

SUSAN MAY
WARREN

 

 

 

 

 

How
to
Write
a
Brilliant
Romance.
Copyright
©
2015
by
Susan
May
Warren. Manufactured
in
the
United
States
of
America.
All
rights
reserved.
No
part
of
this
book
may
be reproduced
in
any
form
or
by
any
electronic
or
mechanical
means
including
information
storage and
retrieval
systems
without
permission
in
writing
from
the
publisher
except
by
a
reviewer,
who may
quote
brief
passages
in
a
review.
Published
by
My
Book
Therapy,
a
division
of
Susan
May Warren
Fiction,
LLC,
20
Wild
Plum
Dr
,
Grand
Marais,
MN
55604.
First
Edition.

 

Visit
our
Web
site
at
www.mybooktherapy.com
for
information
on
more
resources
for
writers.

To
receive
instruction
on
writing
or
further
help
with
writing
projects
via
My
Book
Therapy’s boutique fiction editing services, contact
[email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My special thanks go to Beth Vogt, for her endless hours of
editing.

 

 

Dedicated
to:

 

Andrew Warren for showing me what is means to love
someone.

 

 

 

For your Glory, Lord

 

 

Table of
Contents

The 10 Ingredients of a Romance 1

Section One: The Recipe 7

Ingredient 1: Boy Meets Girl 9

Heroes 9

Heroines 17

Ingredient 2: Interest/Need 27

Ingredient 3: Why 31

Ingredient 4: Why Not? 35

External Why Nots 36

Internal Why Nots 38

To Why or Why Not: Exploring the Romance Story
Arcs 39

Ingredient 5: Wooing (Dating Your
Reader!) 43

Character Layering 44

Developing the Backstory 45

Inserting Backstory 52

Ingredient 6: Sizzle (Dialogue!) 55

Ingredient 7: It’s Just a Little
Kiss 73

Ingredient 8: The Breakup (The Reopening of the
Wound) 83

Ingredient 9: The Big Why (Let’s
Makeup) 87

Ingredient 10: The Grand Gesture or Sacrifice (The wound
healed) 89

Section Two 95

Building the Perfect Romance Hero and
Heroine 95

Who is your hero? 95

Who is your heroine? 98

Developing the key ingredients 101

Boy Meets Girl 101

Interest and Need 103

Building the Romance Whys 104

Why Not? 106

Constructing the Breakup 108

Section 3: Putting it all together 111

Adding the Ingredients into your Story Structure
111

Act 1 Application 111

Act Two Application 119

Act Three Application 125

Extra Goodies 129

The Use of Secondary Characters 129

Lethal Weapons in Romance 133

Keeping the Romance Alive 134

My Book is Finished. Now What? 137

Editing Checklist 138

Putting It All Together: Writing the Synopsis 139

Make It Colorful 140

Query Letters 142

A Word about Sample Chapters 144

The Business Side of Writing Romance 145

Now, how about some Q&A? 146

The My Book Therapy Secret Formula for a Bestselling Romance 147

 

Susan May
Warren

Susan
May
Warren
is
the
Christy,
RITA
and
Carol award-winning
author
of over
forty-five
novels
with Tyndale,
Barbour,
Steeple
Hill
and
Summerside
Press. A
prolific
novelist
with
over
1
million
books
sold, Susan
has
written
contemporary
and
historical romances,
romantic-suspense,
thrillers,
rom-com
and Christmas
novellas.
She
loves
to
help
people
launch their writing careers and is the founder
of
www.MyBookTherapy.com
and
www.LearnHowtoWriteaNovel.com,
a
writing
website
that
helps
authors
get
published
and
stay
published.

She’s
also
the
author
of
the
popular
writing
method,
The
Story
Equation.
Find
excerpts
and
reviews
of
her novels at
www.susanmaywarren.com

 

 

 

 

 

A Note from your
Therapist

 

I
love
romance.
My
boys
are
convinced
I
am
a
hopeless
romantic,
from
the
way
I
make
them
dance
(yes,
I’m
a
firm
believer
that
every
boy
should know
a
few
foxtrot
and
swing
dance
steps) to
the
advice
I
give
them
on
datin
g
. A
small
part
of
me
lives
in
that
happy
world
where
people
break out
into
song,
make
grand
gestures
for
each
other,
and
say
deep,
profound,
romantic
things.

And
I’m
not
the
only
one
who
loves
romance.
The
romance
genre
continues
to
hold
strong
despite the
recession.
According
to
the
2008
Romance
Writers
of
America
(RWA)
annual
report,
romance fiction generated $1.37 billion in sales and remained the largest share of the consumer market at

13.5
percent.
The
romance
genre
continues
to
dominate
the
publishing
world.
The
truth
is,
people still
want
to
believe
in
love
and
happily
ever
after,
even
in
the
bad
times.
Maybe
especially
in
the
bad times.

It
behooves
us
then,
as
writers,
to
consider
romance
as
we
write
our
novels.
Whether
we’re
die
hard romantics
who
want
to
write
a
full-out
romance,
or
romantic
suspense
writers
who
write
half
and half,
or
even
women’s
fiction,
fantasy,
or
thriller
writers
who
add
just
a
smidge
of
romance,
there’s no
doubt
that
a
great
romance
thread
makes
a
good
story
great.
Even
men
like
a
little
romance.
(I have
a
growing
list
of
male
readers
who
swear
me
to
secrecy!)

So, how
do
you write a great romance? It’s all about creating great
expectations!

Not
long
ago,
my
husband
and
I
celebrated
twenty
years
of
marriage.
Since
I
was
doing
a
book
tour in
Holland,
we
decided
to
add
on
a
trip
to
Prague.
About
four
months
before
our
trip,
we
got
online and
searched
for
hotels
and
found
a
beautiful
hotel
right
on
Old
Town
Square,
facing
the
Tyn Cathedral.
We
ordered
Prague
travel
books
and
we
hired
a
guide
for
a
day.
My
husband
recorded every
travel
channel
episode
he
could
find
on
Prague,
which
led
to
a
day-long
excursion
to
find
the perfect
apple
strudel,
thank
you
so
much,
Samantha
Brown.

We
were
ready.
Or
so
we
thought.

We
knew
from
pictures
that
it
was
beautiful,
but
when
our
taxi
drove
us
into
Old
Town
square, words
failed
us.
Everything—from
the
dark
grandeur
of
the
gothic
cathedral,
to
the
storybook buildings
bordering
the
square,
to
the
tangy
smell
of
the
local
café
ovens
roasting
pork
the
fresh bouquet
of
linden
trees,
to
the
sound
of
horses’
hooves
clopping
across
black
cobblestones— convinced
us
that
we’d
been
swept
into
a
fairytale.
We
expected
to
eat
a
pig’s
knuckle,
explore castles,
to
linger
at
the
artwork
and
sculptures
on
St.
Charles
Bridge,
to
tour
the
city,
and
most
of
all, to
escape
into
a
different
and
romantic
culture.
Our
anticipation
only
whetted
our
appetite,
and
the reality exceeded our
expectations.

A
great
romance
novel
does
exactly
this.
We
understand
the
feelings
of
falling
in
love,
but
a
great romance
brings
these
feelings
to
life
and
stirs
in
us
those
memories
and
moments
we
may
have forgotten.
A
romance
captures
the
hope
and
anticipation
and,
most
of
all,
that
sense
of
intimate belonging we all
crave.

But
what
sets
a
romance
apart
from,
say,
a
literary
novel?
Or
even
women’s
fiction?

A
great
romance
is
comprised
of
loveable
heroes
and
heroines
we
want
to
root
for.
It’s
about tension
and
sexual
sparks
(even
in
inspirational
romances).
A
great
romance
woos
the
reader
with dialogue
and
creative
scenes
(not
unlike
dating!).
It
has
a
Black
Moment
and
an
Epiphany,
and especially
a
happily
ever
after.
A
great
romance
is
about
meeting
expectations.
When
a
story
lets
you down,
it’s
because
it
didn’t
meet
one
of
the
essential
storycrafting
expectations.

Because
of
that,
all
romances
have
the
same
ten
elements.
And
yes,
it’s
a
formula,
but
just
like perfumes
are
formula,
when
they
are
put
together
differently,
they
create
a
different
scent.
Your novel
may
use
a
formula,
but
only
you
can
create
it,
adding
your
own
unique
“fragrance.”

In
How
to
Write
a
Brilliant
Romance
,
I’m
going
to
reveal
my
secret
ten
ingredients
and
demystify the
romance
formula.
I’ll
walk
you
through
questions
as
you
create
your
hero
and
heroine,
then
we’ll apply
these
ten
ingredients
into
the
structure
of
a
three
act
romance
structure.
Finally,
you’ll
learn some
techniques,
some
lethal
weapons,
and
what
to
do
after
you
novel
is
written.

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