romance novels

Is “Love Conquers All” Realistic?

February 12, 2015 Random Musings
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Every month or so, there’s an author or blogger or journalist making news by putting romance stories down. “They give women unrealistic expectations!” they say. Right. Are they unrealistic because romances end with love and a Happily Ever After? Or do the naysayers think true love isn’t possible or that it isn’t powerful enough to conquer and overcome obstacles? That’s just sad.

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What’s Influenced Your Writing?

February 10, 2015 Writing Stuff
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We often talk about how reading is subjective. But we don’t usually talk about how writing is subjective as well. The genres I enjoy writing and the stories I like to tell aren’t the same that others enjoy or like to write. That’s a good thing. If everyone wrote the same genre, readers looking for something new and different would be left out.

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How to Create Characters Worth Reading

January 27, 2015 Writing Stuff
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There’s no shortage of blog posts about what makes characters likable to readers. Yet readers still read and enjoy stories with unlikable characters. Why? Let’s take a look at what options we have for creating characters that compel readers to keep turning pages.

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Balancing Conflict in Romance Stories

January 22, 2015 Writing Stuff
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One of my commenters asked a great question last week that gets to the heart of the balancing game we have to play when writing romance. The characters have to be perfect enough for each other to make a believable couple, but there also has to be enough conflict between them to sustain a story.

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What Makes a Story’s Black Moment a Black Moment?

December 16, 2014 Writing Stuff
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The Black Moment is usually one of the most emotional sections of the story, so it can be difficult to pull together. If we read stories (or watch movies), we’ve seen this beat play out endless times, so we probably understand the plot point more than we may think. But let’s take a closer look and see if we can learn something new.

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The Pros and Cons of Switching Genres — Guest: Summerita Rhayne

November 6, 2014 Writing Stuff
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We often choose which story to focus on by writing the idea that pesters us the most. That “squeaky wheel” path might lead us to hop genres without meaning to, and our brand is often tied to our genre. So should we ignore that idea? Learn some of the pros and cons we should keep in mind if we consider following our muse’s lead.

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Ask Jami: How Do We Describe Characters?

October 28, 2014 Writing Stuff
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How we describe characters often depends on our story’s genre and what impression we want readers to have. When we’ve talked about descriptions here before, we focused on how it’s important to describe our settings enough to anchor our readers. Do we have to describe our characters to the same extent?

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Ask Jami: Whose Point of View Should We Use?

October 23, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Today’s Question: “How does one figure out which POVs to use and when? … How can I balance it out so that each character has their share of the novel without revealing too much or ruining the suspense?”

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Ask Jami: How Many Characters Is “Too Many”?

October 21, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Kim wants to know if there’s an optimal number of characters to include in a novel. That’s a great question because we want to hit the balance between the claustrophobia of too few characters and the confusion of too many characters.

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Why No Advice Is Perfect: Character Emotions

September 30, 2014 Writing Stuff
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There’s never going to be a ‘one size fits all’ guideline for any aspect of writing. Every story is different, so some advice doesn’t apply to us. What’s right for one genre might not be right for another genre. Ditto for the point of view of the story. Or the characters. Or the plot.

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