An older generation would call this Pizzazz, right? It's Glamour. Vitality. Magnetism. Excitement. Charisma. Zazz in a romantic comedy keeps readers turning pages. Like the x-factor, zazz is hard to define. But you know it when you see it, oh yes. So your story gots to have a sprinkling of zazz, see? I'll illustrate with … Continue reading Pile on the Zazz
With romantic comedy, a happy ending is de rigueur. This means, dear writer, that it's expected. Romcom is, after all, escapist fiction, a beach read. The reader is looking to experience the swing and elation of falling in love, right along with your heroine. Yes, this includes happily ever after. If you prefer sad (or … Continue reading Happy ending? Yes!
It's an indescribable quality, really. Something attractive about a person that you cannot put your finger on. Urban Dictionary provides an example: "I don't know what it is; she's not that pretty, but has this x-factor which makes her very hot." In other words, it's what the French call je ne sais quoi. That captivating … Continue reading That elusive X-Factor
The ordinary, the ho-hum, the annoying---it's just another day. If your fictional characters work for a living, you'd better include a dash of reality in the workplace. Everyone knows that even "glamour" careers aren't glamorous. They only look that way from the outside---and your job is to tell the inside story. So include the slog. … Continue reading Workaday World
Every story needs a villain, right? And when Pam Ray from My 500 Words suggested this topic for V, I pounced. Muahahaha! But aren't villains like the rest of us? Well, almost. They're not all bad, nobody is that. They like watching sports, say, and enjoy fine wine, and maybe have a fondness for cats. … Continue reading V is for Villain
Even the most manly heartthrob hero needs an adorable quirk, complete with a lopsided smile. Because men are able to access the boy within, right? And we like seeing that playful side. So toss him the ukelele and let him sing. Or give him a baby to hold. Or a couple of nephews to run … Continue reading Toss him the Romcom ukelele
The "Too Stupid To Live" heroine is so common in romance novels that there's even an acronym: TSTL. You know who she is. And by the middle of the story, you've either tossed the book into the Donate box, sent it back to the library, or kept reading to see if the story gets better. … Continue reading Too Stupid to Live?
Suspension of disbelief is powerful. Readers long to be swept into the wonder of your story world. Sure, it's fiction. But your readers want it to be real. Don't let them down. As a storyteller, you must be trustworthy. Have your characters respond in ways that are reasonable, that make sense. You want readers absorbed … Continue reading Suspension of disbelief
In other words, stepping outside the Safe Zone. Because as James Scott Bell says, nobody wants to read about "Happy People in Happy Land." Who wins? Who loses? What risks does your lead character run? Because the encounter with Love causes men and women to change, oh yes. Men become fearful of loss, and they … Continue reading Must run risks in Romcom!
Call it what you will. The break up. The parting of ways. The crucial misunderstanding. The "I Quit." It's the point in the story where everything goes suddenly and terribly wrong. The hero and heroine are parted. Their relationship, so bewitching and wondrous, is at an end. Of course it isn't, and the reader knows … Continue reading That “I Quit” story crisis