What a way to end the A to Z Challenge, by talking about money! And yet selling books is part of the equation. Readers are always on the hunt for new titles--and authors--to love. They are! Don't lose heart, writing friend. This is the age of the story. I mean, look around. People are addicted to Netflix … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: SaleZ
Grasping at straws for a meaningful Y word here. But "Why not?" is a question I ask whenever my story gets stuck. Not IF it gets stuck, but WHEN. Sooner or later every plot bogs down (like the unhappy jeep pictured below), usually in the middle. It's too easy to write yourself into a corner and/or … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: Y-not?
With each book you write, you take your best shot. What you release into the wide world represents the best you can do. That's the glory and the heartbreak of writing. Your book deserves to live. Bring it out of your imagination and share. What if your favorite author had given in to self-doubt and had never … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: eXcellence
Okay, so the Worthy Adversary is the baddie: the villain, the antagonist, the opposition. (Find out more about villains here.) The Worthy Opponent, on the other hand, is the sparring partner, otherwise known as the charming romantic foil. That's right, the love interest. This person should be more than your lead's equal, having intelligence and humor and … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: Worthy Opponent
To be human is to be vulnerable. Even in a book that is considered an escapist "Beach Read," your hero and heroine should not--indeed, they cannot--be perfect. They ought to have human foibles. You know, those likable failings and flaws. Remember Mary Sue? It's a kind of story in which the novelist lives out wish fulfillment through … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: Vulnerability
Your story needs a pulse, a ticking clock running in the background. Like a time bomb, this sense of urgency is quietly unrelenting, pressing the story forward. Think of suspense like the tempo of a song, the thing that causes you to tap a foot, even without meaning to. Readers might say they want "Happy People in … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: Unrelenting
Other names for this story moment are the Black Night of the Soul, the Bleakest Moment, the Death of Hope. This is the story's climax, where your hero faces the worst complication possible. He's at the end of his rope, no way out. And your readers keep turning those pages, scarcely daring to breathe... The stakes … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: The Tailspin
To keep the bedroom door open or closed? As the author, it's your call. Do realize, however, that what you write defines your brand. I write romantic comedy--comedy of manners, if you will--not fantasy romance. My stories are light,not literary. It's tricky, though, showing growing tenderness while sidestepping the bedroom. I'm up for the challenge. I see … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: Sensuality–or not?
As with with a delightful musical, your story ought to end as if it were singing. When the final page is read and the cover is regretfully closed, resonance is what should remain. Resonance fuels the highest compliment an author can receive: a second read. And, well, a heartfelt recommendation to friends... At its best, … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: Resonance
Don't, just don't. Don't tuck in every plot thread or solve every story problem, especially when it comes to secondary characters. Other writers have given in to this temptation, and their work would have been more powerful without it. Follow the writer's maxim: Resist the Urge to Explain. Solve the primary dilemma for your lead couple, and … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: Questions (left unanswered)