Elements of Romantic Comedy: Little Moments

Use little moments to enrich your hero (or heroine)--the classic "man with a baby" thing. When done right, it's powerful. This photo, for example, says a lot. Not the child's trusting expression, but the man's. His affection leaps off the page. Those fond eyes, that tiny smile. Writing friend, you need this in your novel. … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: Little Moments

Elements of Romantic Comedy: The Know-It-All

Every story needs a Know-It-All--who entertainingly gets taken down a few pegs. Just, you know, because. Then too, the genre in which I write begs for secondary characters. Readers enjoy seeing old friends in new adventures, so I oblige. Included in this group are characters people love to hate. A venerable element from the early Austen … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: The Know-It-All

Elements of Romantic Comedy: Justice

What is it about poetic justice? We love seeing people fall into the pit they've dug for someone else. It doesn't happen often enough in real life, or if it does, we aren't around to witness it. But fiction can fix all that. Book Justice is cheap therapy for the writer, and is a rollicking good … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: Justice

Elements of Romantic Comedy: Intention

Because a novel--even one that is light and fun--is about more than "word piffle" if you will. Between the lines you as a writer have something to say about life. You do! And thought-provoking does not mean preachy. Even in fiction, you can raise questions about stuff. Your world view gives depth to your artistic work. Even … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: Intention

Elements of Romantic Comedy: The Hook

There it is, hiding among the colorful feathers, a hook. It attracts a fish and tempts him. Chomp! That hook won't let go. Writing friend, pay attention. As with a catchy tune, the clever story premise catches the reader's eye, promising entertainment and satisfaction. And that 'hook' ought to sink in deep, keeping the reader … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: The Hook

Elements of Romantic Comedy: Gusto

Vitality, enthusiasm, larger-than-life living... otherwise known as gusto. Readers look for that in escapist fiction, particularly the romance novel. Stories involve adventure and mystery and suspense; your lead characters must rise to the challenge and step outside their "comfort zone." I enjoy working with characters who are hopeless snobs (or who are uncommonly stupid). They say outrageous … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: Gusto

Elements of Romantic Comedy: Fight!

Ah, the fictional fight. Where the mean girl provokes a verbal battle with the heroine--and gets bested. We loves that kind of thing. (I wrote about the Cat Fight last time. Must be a favorite subject.) There is also the guy fight, where the bad guy gets koshed in the nose. Uh-huh. We loves that, too. … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: Fight!

Elements of Romantic Comedy: Eggheads

If you're writing light fiction, don't forget the comic relief, otherwise known as the fool. Jane Austen makes it easy for me. Her novels offer a smorgasbord of fools to choose from. Perhaps someday I'll write a more serious book with only one point of view. But for now I am smitten with the multi-point-of-view ensemble piece with … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: Eggheads

Elements of Romantic Comedy: Duplicity

Because everyone has secrets, even ones that seem harmless. We are afraid to risk something or to be misunderstood. Or to be understood and then be criticized or worse, rejected. So we lie a little. And those lies trip us up. Elements of self-protection give power to your story, as long as they're believable.  We … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: Duplicity

Elements of Romantic Comedy: Chemistry

You know, like from school? Combine two elements and wait for a reaction? Baking soda and vinegar fizz and hiss. Hydrogen peroxide and potassium iodide form that leaping snake of foam. It's unexpected and exciting, that one-plus-one-is-a-lot-more-than-two thing. A romance novel needs chemistry--emotional chemistry. Here's the tricky part: the reader must fall in love along … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: Chemistry