John Wiley & Sons Writing a Romance Novel For Dummies Cover Get your romance (writing) on! Writing a Romance Novel For Dummies is the only reference aspiring w.. Product #: 978-1-119-98903-5 Regular price: $21.40 $21.40 Auf Lager

Writing a Romance Novel For Dummies

Lieske, Victorine / Wainger, Leslie


2. Auflage März 2023
384 Seiten, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-119-98903-5
John Wiley & Sons

Weitere Versionen


Get your romance (writing) on!

Writing a Romance Novel For Dummies is the only reference aspiring writers need to get their careers off to the right start. Fully updated to reflect the industry's latest trends and secrets, this book helps you understand what makes a great novel, so you can hone your craft and write books people want to read. We break down the romance subgenres, give you expert tips on plotting and pacing, and walk you through the process of finding an agent and getting published in today's competitive market--or self-publishing like many six-figure authors are doing. For aspiring writers longing to find success in the industry, Writing a Romance Novel For Dummies is easy to read, highly informative, and a must-have!
* Refine your writing to craft engaging stories readers can't put down
* Find a route to publication that works for you--mainstream, or self-published
* Understand the ins and outs of the romance genre and its subgenres
* Learn how to get your work noticed in the popular world of romantic fiction

This Dummies guide is perfect for beginning writers who want advice on writing and publishing a successful romance novel. It's also a great reference for accomplished writers looking to level up their romance game.

Introduction 1

About This Book 2

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 3

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 4

Part 1: Welcome to the World of Romance Writing 5

Chapter 1: Romance Writing at a Glance 7

Tuning in to the Market 8

Defining a romance 8

Subdividing romances into genres 9

Practicing Your Craft 10

Everything starts with characterization 11

It's all about emotional tension 11

Plotting, pacing, and point of view 12

Choosing Indie Publishing or Traditional Publishing 13

Exploring the pros and cons of each 13

Choosing your path 13

Best Practices of Indie Publishing 14

Working with editors and graphic designers 14

Marketing and selling your book 15

Submitting Your Manuscript 15

Choosing the right publisher 15

Putting together a selling submission 15

Chapter 2: Romancing the Marketplace: Identifying Your Options 17

Knowing Your Reader 18

Meeting the romance reader 18

Meeting the romance reader's expectations 19

Starting from Square One: Reading 20

Drawing up a reading list 20

Reading like a writer 21

Getting to Know Your Genre 22

Historical versus contemporary 22

Mainstream versus category 25

Subgenres and niche markets 28

Related women's fiction markets 35

Choosing Your Subgenre 37

What do you like to read? 38

How do you fit into the market? 39

Chapter 3: Setting Up for Writing Success 43

Finding the Perfect Time to Write 44

Making time to pursue your dream 44

Creating your writing routine 46

Building a Writer's Tool Kit 48

Sharpening up your office supplies: More than just pencils 49

Stocking the shelves: Your home library 49

Booking it: Accurate financial records 50

Accessing Resources for the Would-Be Writer 51

Joining writers' organizations -- romance-related and otherwise 51

Going where the writers are: Conferences and more 52

Taking advantage of courses and critique groups 52

Online resources 54

Part 2: Laying the Foundation: The Building Blocks of a Great Romance 57

Chapter 4: Creating Compelling Main Characters: Alpha Males and Fiery Females 59

Depending on Your Characters 60

The Key to Every Romance Is the Heroine 61

Drawing the reader into your story 61

Making your heroine feel real 61

Introducing imperfection 63

Naming your heroine 64

Creating Your Hero 66

Heroes are for loving 67

Holding out for a hero: Alphas and others 69

Looking for love in all the wrong places 74

Hello, my name is 74

Keepin' It Real: Secondary Characters 76

Remembering their roles 76

Avoiding stereotypes 77

Speaking up 77

Naming the baby (and everyone else) 78

Factoring in the future 78

Laying Concrete Strategies for Creating Characters 78

Chapter 5: Crucial Ingredients for Every Plot: Conflict, Climax, and Resolution 81

You Can't Have a Novel without a Plot 82

Where do ideas come from? 82

Letting your characters drive the plot 85

Suspense: Every Story Has It 86

Using romance to create suspense 87

Other ways of creating twists and turns 88

Making Sense Matters 89

Creating Emotional Conflict and Tension 91

Emotional versus intellectual conflict 91

Internal versus external conflict 95

Personal versus situational conflict 95

Handling Conflict Effectively 96

Keeping them together 96

Letting conflict complicate your plot 97

Taking two steps forward and one step back 98

Using sexual tension to deepen conflict 100

Dreaming of love 101

Saving "I love you" for the right moment 102

And They Lived Happily Ever After 103

Making your reader believe 104

Dark moment: Where all is lost 105

Climax: Timing is everything 105

Resolution: Endings made easy 106

Epilogue 107

Chapter 6: Setting the Scene 109

Deciding Where Your Story Takes Place 110

Following the lead of your characters and plot 110

Joining the real world or living in your imagination 112

Keeping your setting in check 113

Telling Time 114

Using Your Setting to the Fullest 115

Illuminating your characters 115

Making your setting a character 119

Chapter 7: Outlining versus Discovery Writing 121

Identifying What Kind of Writer You Are 121

Outlining methods 122

Discovery writing methods 123

Outlining: Mapping Out Your Story 124

What can an outline do for you? 124

What belongs in an outline? 125

Using your outline effectively 126

Listening to your creativity 127

Discovery Writing: Letting Your Story Unfold 127

Letting the characters guide you 128

Plotting as you go 129

Getting stuck in the rewriting trap 132

Part 3: Putting Pen to Paper 133

Chapter 8: Finding Your Own Voice 135

Speaking Up for Yourself 135

Revealing where readers hear your voice 136

Making the language your own 138

Choosing your words wisely 139

Mixing what you say with what your characters know 140

Putting the Show in Show and Tell 141

Knowing what you need to say, and then saying it 141

Speaking metaphorically 142

Describing your characters 143

Making every word count 143

Talking too much 143

Telling It Like It Is 144

Keeping your writing clear 144

Moving right along 145

Chapter 9: Letting Your Characters Speak 149

Giving Your Characters Voices 150

Making every character unique (and real) 150

Giving every character a consistent voice 153

Meeting the secondary-character challenge 153

Writing Great Dialogue 154

Using dialect and accents effectively 155

Keepin' it cool: A word about slang 156

Using dialogue to convey information naturally 157

Putting dialogue on paper 158

Choosing and Using Point of View 160

What are they thinking? 160

Knowing whose voice to use 162

Internal monologues and how to use them 165

Chapter 10: Pacing: The Secrets of Writing a Page-Turning Romance 169

Pacing Doesn't Mean Racing 170

Pacing and Plotting: Two Halves of a Whole 170

Knowing what readers care about 171

It's not only what happens, it's when and where 174

Knowing what to tell and what to leave out 177

Avoiding the Dreaded Sagging Middle 178

Recognizing a sagging middle 178

Stopping the sag before it starts 179

Dealing with it 180

Show It, Don't (Always) Tell It 181

Harnessing the power of dialogue 181

Telling it like it is: Using narrative effectively 183

Finding the balance between showing and telling 185

Prose That Goes and Prose That Slows 186

Chapter 11: Taking It All Off: Writing Love Scenes 189

Comparing Sex and Romance 189

Knowing Where and When 190

Creating sexual tension 190

Deciding when the time's right 192

Using love scenes to increase the tension 193

Using love scenes to support your pacing 195

Writing the Scene 196

Knowing your market 196

It's not what they do, it's how you describe it 197

Part 4: Putting It All Together: Mechanics Count, Too 201

Chapter 12: Starting and Stopping 203

Mastering the Winning Beginning 203

How to hook your reader 204

How to bore your reader 206

The cute meet: Necessary or not? 207

Putting Theory into Practice 209

Finding your starting point 209

Backtracking to the background 211

Opening lines that work 214

Constructing Can't-Miss Chapters 216

Viewing every chapter as a new beginning 217

Leave 'em wanting more: Effective chapter endings 218

Keeping transitions fresh 221

Moving from Scene to Scene 222

Stringing scenes together 222

Seeing scene endings as mini-chapter endings 223

Intercutting scenes 223

Chapter 13: Getting Your Story Straight: Doing Research 225

Getting It Right: Priority Number One 226

Making Research Work for You 226

Figuring out what you need to know 227

Avoiding information overload 229

Getting Down to Business 230

Timing is everything 231

Organizing like a pro 231

Finding the Facts 233

Surfing the Net: Great information (and misinformation) 233

Supporting your local library and bookstore 235

Developing a nose for news 237

Taking time to stop, look, and listen 238

Traveling for fun and profit 238

Talking to experts 239

Getting Permissions 240

Determining when permission is necessary 240

Filling out the paperwork 242

Chapter 14: Neatness Counts -- and So Does Grammar 243

Knowing the Importance of Good Writing 244

Finding good references 244

Using grammar and spell-check programs 245

Taking a course 246

Asking a friend 246

Making a Point with Punctuation 246

Comma placement 246

Using ellipses and em dashes 247

Talking about Dialogue and Narrative 249

Making Thoughtful and Relevant Word Choices 250

Don't choose a fancy word when a simple one will do 250

Don't use incorrect synonyms 251

Watch for repeated words 251

Formatting for Success 252

Setting your margins 253

Using the right fonts and spacing 253

Breaking your story into paragraphs 253

Avoiding common formatting mistakes 254

Formatting with indie publishing in mind 255

Checking Your Work One Last Time 256

Part 5: Traditional Or Indie Publishing -- Which Is Best for You? 257

Chapter 15: Choosing Your Publishing Path 259

Weighing Your Options 260

Knowing the pros and cons of how you publish 260

Changing course 261

Staying on top of a quickly changing landscape 262

Comparing and Contrasting the Paths 263

Traditional publishing 263

Indie publishing 269

Becoming a Hybrid Author: The Best of Both Worlds 271

Chapter 16: Finding Success in Indie Publishing 273

Defining Your Success 274

Creating a Professional Product 275

Judging a book by its cover 275

Writing a tagline (it's all in the hook) 277

Writing blurbs 278

Building your website 279

Creating Your Launch Team 279

Sending out ARCs 280

Finding helpful services 280

Forming Your Launch Plan 281

Networking 283

Boosting your sales 284

Building Momentum 285

Building a newsletter 285

Giving away a reader magnet 287

Purchasing an ISBN 288

Registering your copyright 289

Obtaining a Library of Congress Control Number 290

After You Publish 291

Doing market research 291

Paying for ads 291

Understanding the power of free 292

Chapter 17: Selling Your Manuscript: Traditional Publishing 295

Submitting Made Simple 296

Doing your research 296

Writing a successful query letter 297

Deciding Whether You Need an Agent 299

Understanding an agent's job 299

Finding an agent 300

Sizing Up the Contract 303

Coming up with questions 303

Reading (and rereading) the fine print 306

Getting help 307

Strategies for a Win-Win Negotiation 307

Working with Your Editor 309

Making the relationship work 309

Revising your book one last time 310

Line editing set straight 310

Chapter 18: Handling Rejection 313

What the Rejection Letter Is Really Saying 313

Regarding rejections 314

Revising and resubmitting 315

Understanding the Revision Process 316

Addressing editor queries 316

Using an incremental approach 317

Being timely 318

When great minds don't think alike 318

Handling the resubmission process 319

Identifying Common Issues 320

Your heroine isn't as sympathetic as she needs to be 320

Your pacing is erratic 320

Your hero's too strong/arrogant/tough 321

Your plot lacks the necessary complexity 321

Your characters' motivations aren't clear 322

Your characters seem more like types than real people 323

Maximizing Your Chance of Success 323

Keeping a positive attitude 323

Dealing with rejection, emotionally and professionally 324

Dealing with bad reviews 326

Part 6: The Part of Tens 329

Chapter 19: Ten Tropes Every Editor Knows -- and Why They Still Work 331

Marriage of Convenience 332

Stranded with a Stranger 332

Runaway Bride 333

Secret Baby 333

Second-Chance Romance 333

Back from the Dead 334

Mistaken Identity 334

Woman in Jeopardy 334

The Dad Next Door 335

Even Sketchier Setups 335

Chapter 20: Ten Tips for Coming Up with a Successful Title 337

Speak the Reader's Language 337

Know the Long and the Short of It 338

Try Single-Word Titles 338

Match Title and Tone Perfectly 339

Use Keywords 339

Consider Alliteration 340

Coin a Cliché 340

Name Names 340

Make Connections 340

Follow in Others' Footsteps 341

Chapter 21: Ten Tips for Avoiding Common Writing Mistakes 343

Remember the Reader's Expectations 343

Don't Overwrite 344

Love It or Lose It 344

Let Your Characters Drive the Plot 344

Know That Effective Conflict Comes from Within 345

Make Sure You Have Enough Plot 345

Keep Your Story on Track 345

Keep Your Reader Interested 345

Don't Forget the Details 346

Keep the Story Moving 346

Chapter 22: Ten Questions Every Romance Writer Needs to Ask Herself 347

Should I Write Romance Novels? 347

Why Can't I Get Started? 348

What Can I Do When the Ideas Don't Come? 348

How Can I Focus and Stay Positive When Things Go Wrong? 348

When Is It Research and When Is It a Waste of Time? 349

When Should I Publish or Submit My Manuscript? 349

Do I Need an Agent? 350

How Do I Handle a Friend's Success? 350

When and How Do I Follow Up on My Book's Status? 350

When Do I Let Go of a Book? 351

Chapter 23: Ten Ways to Beat Writer's Block 353

Work Your Way Through It 353

Select a Different Scene 354

Look at the Last Scene You Wrote 354

Write a Scene That You Won't Use 354

View the Scene from a Different Angle 355

Don't Focus on Perfection 355

Stop in the Middle 355

Analyze Your Outline 355

Re-energize Your Creative Instincts 356

Start Another Project (If All Else Fails) 356

Index 357
Victorine Lieske is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 25 romance novels, as well as several books on writing. She loves all things romance and watches While You Were Sleeping about once every six months. When she's not writing, she's designing book covers or making something with her extensive yarn collection.