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Authors: Susan May Warren

Tags: #Reference, #Writing; Research & Publishing Guides, #Writing, #Fiction, #Romance, #Writing Skills, #General Fiction

How to Write a Brilliant Romance: The Easy, Step-By-Step Method of Crafting a Powerful Romance (Go! Write Something Brilliant) (5 page)

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Make him
Courageous!

Courage
is
the
last
element
of
a
great
hero.
We
won’t
fall
in
love
with
a
wimp
!
A
hero
has
to
have courage
to
change.
We
don’t
like
heroes
who
are
stuck
in
their
ways,
who
don’t
see
their
need
for change,
who
are
unwilling
to
take
up
the
sword
and
fight
the
battle.
A
hero
who
is
unwilling
to change
is
a
brute,
a
beast,
and
a
villain.

Why
is
The
Matrix
so
popular?
Because
it’s
about
an
ordinary
guy
who
dared
to
reach
out
with
his gut
instincts
and
fight
for
something
real
and
better.
He
can
be
reluctant,
for
sure,
but
in
the
end,
he has
to
see
the
greater
good
of
going
into
battle
for
what
he
wants
(and
ultimately,
for
the
woman
he wants).

Don’t
we
love
it,
ladies,
when
a
man
is
willing
to
do
something
he’s
never
done
before,
for
the
sake of love?

Courage
to
change
give
us
that
delicious
moment
when
we
know
that
the
hero
or
heroine
are
going to
make
it—or
at
least
have
a
fighting
chance.

Courage
shows
up
when
Bob,
the
hero
in
Return
to
Me
,
goes
into
the
café
and
begs
to
know
where Gracie is.

It’s
when
Johnny
Castle
charges
back
into
the
resort
and
takes
the
stage
with
Baby.
(Dirty
Dancing)

When
Sam
reaches
out
on
the
top
of
the
Empire
State
Building
and
takes
Annie’s
hand.
(Sleepless
in Seattle)

When
Conner
Mead
chases
the
woman
he
loves
through
the
snow
to
tell
her
he
loves
her.
(Ghosts
of Girlfriends
Past)

When
Jack
shows
up
at
the
subway station with a diamond ring and
drops
it
into
the
change
slot
for Lucy.
(While
You
Were
Sleeping)

It
even
shows
up
in
A
Walk
in
the
Clouds
,
when
Paul,
the
hero, comes back to face
the
wrath
of
the heroine's
father
and
asks
for a second chance from her
family.

Give
your
hero
a
courageous
moment
where
he
breaks
through
his
fears,
overcomes
his
flaws,
and changes
into
the
perfect
hero
that
saves
the
day
and
gets
the
girl!

As
you’re
plotting
your
story,
ask
your
hero:
What
will
you
do
that
shows
your
courage
to change in order to get the
girl?

Give
your
hero
these
four
qualities,
pair
him
with
a
winning
heroine,
and
you’ll
be
on
track
to building
a
hero
your
readers
will
love.

 

Ask your character:
  • What
    causes
    are
    you
    fighting
    for
    that
    make
    us
    love
    you?
  • What
    sweet,
    kind,
    and
    sacrificial
    Boy
    Scout
    Moment
    will
    you
    do
    that
    make
    the
    readers
    love
    you?
  • Why
    did
    your
    last
    girlfriend
    break
    up
    with
    you?
    Or:
    Why
    haven’t
    you
    found
    true
    love?
  • What
    is
    your
    flaw,
    and
    the
    fear
    behind
    the
    flaw?

What
will
you
do
that
shows
your
courage
to
change
in
order
to
get
the
girl?I
used
to
hate
romances.
Why?
Because
I
didn’t
respect
a
woman
who
had
to
have
a
man
to
save her.
But
I
did
respect
a
woman
who
allowed
a
man
into
her
life
to
make
her
better,
stronger,
more noble,
more
complete.

Which
is
why
all
the
heroines
in
my
books
are
strong
women:
CIA
agents,
K-9
handlers,
bush
pilots, and
fire
chiefs.
But
for
all
the
toughness
of
my
heroines,
they
need
a
good
man.
So
what
makes
a strong
heroine?

 

Heroines

Give
your
heroine
a
goal.
In
many
early
romance
novels,
the
heroine
had
“getting
married”
as
her goal.
This
is
even
the
goal
of
some
heroines
today,
especially
in
historicals—Regency,
Amish,
Gilded Age.
But
if
we
look
more
closely,
there
is
often
a
larger
goal
driving
their
desire
to
be
married.

Perhaps
the
heroine
wants
to
marry
a
duke
so
he
can
pardon
her
brother
for
a
crime.
Or
support
her sister,
or
child,
or
even
rise
to
power
to
help
the
oppressed.

The
fact
is,
readers
have
changed
and
the
majority
today
want,
yes,
to
get
married
and
have
children, but
they
also
want
something
else.
They
want
to
impact
their
world,
to
be
someone
who
does something
courageous
or
compassionate,
even
bold.

In
a
book
written
for
today’s
contemporary
audience,
being
married
is
more
of
a
vehicle
to
a
goal
than the
goal
itself.
And
while
I’m
all
for
marriage
(and
romance!)
we
also
need
to
create
heroines
to whom
readers
can
relate.

Thus,
when
you
are
crafting
a
heroine,
the
first
element
she
must
have
is
a
goal.
A
goal
gives
her something
proactive
and
causes
her
to
fight
for
something
she
believes
in.
As
a
reader,
we
want
to embrace
her
cause
and
fight
the
fight
with
her.
Making
her
proactive
and
strong
makes
her
noble and
someone
we
might
even
want
to
emulate.

This
goal
is
similar
to
our
hero’s
Noble
Cause.
However,
is
our
heroines
are
often
innately
noble. (It’s
just
the
way
women
are,
let’s
be
honest.)
Not
that
men
aren’t,
but
most
women
are
born nurturers,
so
we
don’t
need
something
dark
and
compelling
from
our
past
in
order
to
make
us throw
ourselves
in
front
of
a
speeding
vehicle
to
save
our
child,
or
sit
out
in
the
sleet
to
watch
their football
game.

But
women
struggle
with
goals.
Men,
on
the
other
hand,
often
have
no
problem
setting
goals.
It’s
a part
of
a
man’s
innate
nature.

Behind
every
goal
is
a
reason
for
that
goal.
(And
it
must
be
a
reason
that
resonates
or
makes
sense
to the
reader.)
It’s
in
this
way
that
the
heroine’s
goal
is
very
much
like
the
Noble
Cause
of
the
hero.

Let’s
take
a
look
at
the
goals
of
our
heroines
in
our
favorite
movies:
My
Big
Fat
Greek
Wedding:
Our
heroine
just
wants
to
get
away
from
her
family
business
(the restaurant)
and
do
her
own
thing.
Yes,
it
helps
that
she
sees
the
hero
in
the
beginning,
which
gives her
motivation,
but
her
real
goal
is
to
respect
herself
and
live
life
on
her
own
two
feet.

Shakespeare
in
Love:
Our
heroine
wants
to
perform
a
role
in
a
play—to
do
something
for
herself before
she
is
assigned
to
marry
a
man
she
doesn’t
love.

Pride
and
Prejudice:
Our
heroine
wants
to
marry,
yes,
but
marry
for
love,
not
convenience.
(Although she
realizes
that
convenience
is
the
convention
of
the
time,
and
she
is
going
against
the
flow.)

Return
to
Me:
Our
heroine
wants
to
finally
do
the
things
she
couldn’t
do
when
she
had
a
bad
heart: ride
a
bike,
go
to
Italy,
fall
in
love.

You’ve
Got
Mail:
Our
heroine
wants
to
save
her
bookstore,
The
Shop
Around
the
Corner.
It
was
her mother’s
store
and
she
wants
to
hold
on
to
those
memories.

How
to
Lose
a
Guy
in
10
Days
:
Our
heroine
wants
to
write
“meaningful”
articles
that
can
change
the world.

Whatever
it
is,
the
goal
must
also
be
measurable
and
specific.
If
it
isn’t,
how
will
she
know
if
she reaches
it?
And
it
must
touch
the
heart
of
your
reader—something
they
can
get
behind
and
believe in.

A
caveat
here:
Your
heroine
may
not
reach
her
goal,
because
along
the
way,
she
might
find something
better,
aka
the
hero!
But
without
a
goal,
a
heroine
simply
isn’t
heroic.
And
she
has nothing
to
fight
for
in
the
story.

Sometimes
authors
ask
me
if
the
goal
of
the
character
and
the
goal
of
the
author
is
the
same
thing.
No.
Your
character
believes
she
wants/needs
one
thing.
As
the
author,
you
will
have
a
different
goal for
your
character,
much
like
a
parent
might
have
for
their
child.
But
the
author
goal
doesn’t
keep your
character
from
pushing
forward
to
their
goal.

Here’s
a
hint:
When
you’re
building
your
romance putting
the
hero
on
one
side,
the
heroine
on
the
other,
and
comparing
and
contrasting
their Noble
Cause
and
Goals.
It’s
a
great
way
to
find
those
obstacles
that
keep
them
apart,
which
we’ll talk
about
in
a
moment.

To
discover
your
heroine’s
goal,
ask
your
heroine:
What
do
you
want?

Give
your
heroine
a
flaw.
Although
your
heroine
has
a
goal,
we
can’t
let
her
get
there,
at
least
not without
a
struggle.
This
means
our
heroine
also
needs
a
flaw.

We
know
women
aren’t
perfect.
But
we
try,
oh,
we
try.
And
the
key
to
a
great
flaw
is
something
that can
be
overcome
.
.
.
with
the
help
of
a
good
hero.
It
doesn’t
have
to
be
a
huge
flaw.
Maybe
it’s
a tendency
to
run
away
from
her
problems,
or
better,
a
tendency
to
push
men
out
of
her
life.
As
she gets
to
know
the
hero,
he
can
help
her
overcome
these
flaws
and
grow
stronger.

However,
a
heroine’s
flaw
works
differently
than
the
hero’s
flaw.
The
hero’s
flaw
is
often
based
on his
fear.
I
mentioned
my
husband’s
not
liking
to
dance,
which
is
because
of
his
fear
of
looking foolish
and
is
based
on
his
childhood
and
being
ridiculed.

A
woman’s
flaw
is
less
about
her
past
and
is
more
about
unmet
goals
and
things
she
wants
to accomplish
and
can’t
or
won’t.
It’s
often
based
on
perceived
fears
of
the
future
and
something
that
could
happen.

ADS
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