If you aspire to write, definitely make Zadie Smith’s 10 Rules of Writing required reading. While many “writing rules” lists concentrate on grammar and structure, Smith’s advice highlights practical actions that keep distractions at bay.
At AReCafe, we connect with authors on a daily basis and assist them in promoting their works. Today we asked them for their help, to offer their own personal rules for writing erotic romance and sensual romance. If you’re in need of a boost, take note of how some of our favorite writers get the job done.
Don’t forget, too, it’s important to read. Know the genre you enjoy and fill your digital reader with some great books.
Yvette Hines - Something I always ask myself before starting a story. Why this hero and this heroine, together? What is it that this hero needs (emotionally) that only this heroine can help him address/deal with? I repeat that same question for heroine. A lot of time in a romance, you get to the end of a story and things have been resolved emotionally, however, the h/h with them wasn’t an integral part in the person’s emotional growth or change. In these cases then why was the h/h even important in the story? It could have been anyone.
Kissa Starling - I think keeping a happy ending in mind is a definite rule as is focusing on the character’s relationship.
Giselle Renarde - The only rule I follow is to stay true to my characters, even if they fly in the face of convention… or popularity. One of my favourite and most romantic books is a novella called “Friday Night Lipstick.” It’s a friends-to-lovers story about two lesbian-identified transgender women, both of whom fall into an older age bracket than most romance characters. If I only listened to the part of my brain that said, “Sell books! Make money!” I wouldn’t write so many niche stories, but if all writers thought that way imagine how many segments of the population would never be represented in the romance genre.
Jack Greene - My first rule is that words for body parts are very important: too clinical, like “penis,” ruins the romantic mood. Silly euphemisms, however, like “rod” or “member”, though, make me laugh and also ruin the mood. There’s nothing wrong with “cock!”
Bridget Midway - Figure out what should keep her hero and heroine apart. This will strengthen your conflict. Make character profiles before writing your story. When you get into your characters’ heads, you’ll understand their motivations. Also, outline your novel before writing it that way you won’t go off into tangents.
Phoebe Conn - In the early 1980s, when I first approached Leslie Gelbman, my editor at Kensington, about writing a Viking romance, she discouraged the idea. “We can’t sell books set outside the United States and medieval books don’t do well. But if that’s what’s really in your heart, go ahead and write it, and if I don’t like it, I won’t buy it.”
I wrote CAPTIVE HEART, she loved it, and it was Kensington’s first New York Times Bestseller. It’s now a Samhain Retro Release and popular again. For me, there are no rules. If we follow our hearts, writing will always be a joy, and we’ll write the best books we possibly can.
Tina Donahue - My motto is Heat with Heart. Without the heart, you don’t get the heat. It all begins in the brain, contrary to what a lot of people believe.
Authors, what advice do you have for aspiring romance writers?
Barbara Donlon Bradley - Write every day. Even if it is only for fifteen minutes. You’d be surprised how many of those fifteen minutes turn into an hour or more.
Isis Rushdan - Let it all hang out. Flaws give characters depth and make them real. Dare to show the bad and the ugly, as long as they can rise above it.
Filed Under: Cafe News