When an editor started editing Anything but Normal she didn't like Boyd my hero because he allowed Krystal to get into trouble and didn't save her like a strapping hero would. After Janette's romance writing class I'm making my hero much more Knight-In-Shining-Armor. Hope it helps the reader fall in love with Boyd.
I'm sharing my notes in hopes it helps you too.
She loves you, She loves you not: Writing Romances Editors want to buy – by Janette Rallison -
Romantic Heroes qualities need to be- Powerful in some way, Rich, Titled, and have a successful job.
We want to read heroes who are clever, street smart, resourceful, tough, and protective of the heroine.
We love the witty banter.
Heroes need to be faithful and loyal.
Love triangles really only work one way.
He’s also good even when he’s a bad boy.
Don’t make them too bad. You don’t want a hero who is a total rake and a player. They can change for the heroine.
Romance has grit, wit, and hot.
#1 rule – It is not enough for heroine to fall in love. The reader has to fall in love too.
A heroine is:
- Fairly young
- She doesn't know she’s beautiful
- Likable and strong
- MC is a woman (POV can change)
- She isn't weak
- She isn't perfect
- She is well developed
6 elements every story needs:
- . A likable character
- Who has a problem
- Which leads to a goal
- The character encounters obstacles
- There is an antagonist
- There is a consequence of failure if the MC doesn't get the goal.
The character needs to grow. Romance is character driven more than plot. If hero and heroine don’t have to change, what’s keeping them apart?
Write 10 good qualities about your MC.
What are her fears?
Main Plot-line can’t be that the heroine’s goal is to fall in love.
Rules of thumb-
- Must be worthy goal that the heroine wants to accomplish
- Best goals are important and urgent
- If goal can be postponed until next year than it isn't good enough
- All MC should have goals
- Goals can change
- They don’t have to be achieved always
- Be specific
Strong obstacles/ conflict
Conflict is not arguing. Conflict that can be cleared up with a 2 min conversation is not good enough.
Don’t throw unrelated conflict at MC.
Make sure the consequences of failure are big.
10 mistakes to avoid:
- Physical attraction is not the only reason why they are in love.
- Weak conflict (a snippy rude heroine overcomes and falls in love.)
- Unlikable characters – example: a Jerk or a vixen
- Not enough character development
- Starting slow
- Bringing characters together to soon. For romance we need tension, something has to keep the hero and heroine apart.
- Bad boy is too bad
- Weak, stupid, or poorly motivated heroine. Your readers shouldn't ever say, “I’d never do that.”
- Not knowing sub-genre and all the rules and cliches
- Writing like it’s 80’s or 90’s
Here are some of my favorite romances. Please share with me some of your favorite romance novels.
Me with Janette Rallison my favorite author