Plotting the Romance Novel by Andi Ward and June Drexler : "Romances are so easy to write," the saying goes. "Boy meets girl, girl hates boy, boy seduces girl, end of story. How hard can that be to come up with?"
Well, if that were all there was to the standard romance story, not hard at all. But, like any genre, or writing in general, nothing's as easy as it looks. Published authors have the subtleties down so well, it looks as easy as learning to dance from watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers movies, or performing gymnastics from watching the Olympics. However, when an author sits down and dissects a modern romance genre, and discovers how it's built, the complexity often surprises them. I know it did me when I first studied the genre a decade ago. READ MORE
In a romance novel, the romance, or the developing of a committed relationship, is the primary plot. In other words, it's about the emotional journey of the characters from strangers or friends/enemies to lovers and to a committed partnership. All other elements of the story -- suspense, mystery, opening a restaurant, for instance -- are secondary. Their primary function is to provide situations for the romance to develop. In other words, the activity of the story is the catalyst/conduit for the developing relationship. READ MORE
Do All Roads Lead to Plot Mapping? by Romance University featuring Tracy Montoya : Good morning and welcome to Crafting Your Career. I used to think keeping track of my plot ideas was like trying on bathing suits. I would just have to keep going until I found something that worked. I’ve tried outlining, scene charts, character charts, goal-motivation-conflict charts, you name it. I finally came up with a combination of things that helps me keep my story focused (most of the time!), and Harlequin Intrigue author Tracy Montoya had a hand in it.