Thursday, March 17, 2011

Romance Writing Checklist

. Thursday, March 17, 2011

This is NOT a rule sheet. I hate rules. They should be acknowledged and then broken. These are simply guides that I like to keep in my mind while writing.

1. Choose a theme or question that is asked at the beginning of your story and not answered until the very end. Example: Can love heal a broken heart?

2. Allow one or both of your main characters to grow to value love, family, and relationships. And if you choose only one as the “grower” make sure the other character already has these core values.

3. Your hero and heroine need to be likable, not to say they can’t be flawed. In fact, the more flaws the better…as long as they’re endearing or if detrimental to the relationship, able to be overcome by the end of the book. If your readers don’t care for your characters, they’re not going to care about finishing the book.

4. Start with action, conflict, excitement, a scene that shows your character(s) for who they are and hints at who they will be by the end of the book. HOOK your readers and reel them in with every line.

5. Internal AND external conflict is an absolute must. Without it, your story and your characters aren’t going anywhere, but your readers sure are…far, far away.

6. Even the most interesting, endearing, strange, stupefying characters will become boring without a plot. Give your peeps something to do!

7. Make sure you’re not forcing your characters into bed before they’re ready. Make it believable people. Put them in a situation where it makes absolute, 100% sense for them to be getting it on.

8. Comic relief is needed in an emotionally heavy story, whether in the form of a sticky-fingered child, a broken-tailed cat, or even a rolly-polly robot.

9. Start off with a bad situation and make it more and more awful until things can’t get any worse.

10. End with a happily ever after (HEA) ending that proves love conquers all and is satisfying to the readers.

Love, light, and laughter!
Jocelyn Modo


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