Elements of Romantic Comedy: Resonance

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

Elements of Romantic Comedy: Questions (left unanswered)

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)

Elements of Romantic Comedy: Pain

Physical pain and emotional pain. If handled right, these keep readers turning pages. Of the two, I consider emotional pain to be the most hurtful. Broken relationships do not heal the way injuries do. But if your lead characters are to grow and change, pain must be part of their journey. If you can juxtapose pain with … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: Pain

Elements of Romantic Comedy: Outsmarting the reader

I learned to write by posting serialized stories on a Internet fiction forum. I have tried to step aside from this practice, but I just can't. Having my work "go live" for a reading audience is just too valuable. Through doing this I have come face-to-face with this important fact: my readers are smart. Ve-ry … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: Outsmarting the reader

Elements of Romantic Comedy: Nighttime

Romance stories beg for nighttime scenes: The carriage traversing the torch-lit drive leading to the mansion. A stroll through an ornamental garden. A midnight chase, lit only by stars and moon. Well, the moon can be a problem. Because you've got to know where you are. Mention it twice in your story, and you'd better have … Continue reading Elements of Romantic Comedy: Nighttime

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: 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!