Why Romance Writers Need ‘How To Write A Romance’

I received an early copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

How to Write a Romance is a guided journal created by the editors at Avon Books that helps spark creativity and the writing process. When I was offered this book to review, I jumped at the opportunity being an aspiring romance author myself. I started reading through the journal and I found that it could be a very useful and productive tool for romance writers of all genres from fantasy to contemporary. There are many highlights within the journal that will help jumpstart creativity within romance writers or help continue a story when writer’s block hits. These are only a few of so many other great prompts and activities that could be found in this amazing journal!

1. The Scenarios

The scenarios in this guided journal were the best part of it. They could be good writing prompts for new story ideas but also to help jump start creativity for existing projects. Here’s an example of one of the scenarios I thought could spark a scene or even start a story: Your attractive roommate is exiting the bathroom after a shower, but something startles them and the towel slips. You quickly avert your eyes but it’s too late…you’ve already seen them naked. What happens next?

2. The Quotes

All the quotes were encouraging and helpful while also making me go “hmm…” While writing, it’s easy to lose faith and hope along the way and these quotes could help a writer remember why they write and help them continue until they write the last word.

3. The Mini-Outlines

The mini-outlines such as the one that asks to outline the first five scenes of a story would be completely helpful for a writer. For me, those are the scenes that bug me the most when I have a new story idea and cause me to have to write them.

4. The Character Exercises

The exercises that ask the writer to describe non-physical things about their hero and heroine such as how they smell or their speech pattern were great. It’s easy to forget those things even when you create back stories and they do influence how a character acts and reacts to certain situations.

5. The Love Scene Prompts

The love scene or steamy prompts are perfect. It’s easy to forget that a couple can be intimate in different places and scenarios and it’d help spice up the story, such as this prompt: Write a sex scene outside of the bedroom, where your hero and heroine could be discovered at any moment.

6. The Dialogue Prompts

The dialogue prompts could be really helpful and it was nice how they strayed from the norm of what writers have characters talk about. Again, this could help create variety for author who write multiple books so that they do not all start to sound the same.

7. The Villain Prompts

There were only a few prompts about villains but they were insightful and helpful because they would force the writer to make a more in-depth villain who isn’t two dimensional and so black and white. For example: Does your story have a villain? Describe that person without commentating on their physical appearance.

8. The Goals Prompts

The goals prompts could help the writer understand what may tear their characters apart. One of those could be the black moment in the story. Knowing these up front could make it easier to write the story and shape the characters motives.

9. The Action Scene Prompts

The action scene prompts are good as well because those are some scenes that writers can struggle with—at least I do—and writing them in the beginning could help the writer when they are writing so that they do not get bogged down with those scenes when it comes to them.

10. The Romantic Arc & The Narrative Arc Prompts

Both the romantic arc and narrative arc prompts are very helpful as well because knowing these things upfront can only help when writing the story. Sometimes writers get lost along the way and forget what they intended for the story especially without an outline that having this written out could make it easier to go back to and remember what’s supposed to happen and why.

11. The Mini-Scene Prompts

The mini-scene prompts are great because they offer unique ways to approach a scene. Sometimes writers get into a rut and recycle the same scenes over and over, it’s nice to have prompts to use to shake it up a little. Here is one example of one of what I’m calling the mini-scene prompt: Write a scene in which your heroine has to listen while another character says something she wishes they wouldn’t. How does she feel? Why can’t she speak up?

*This article was originally posted on The Nerd Daily!

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