My 'How to' recipe for writing a Category Romance!
I thought I’d share with you my formula, or maybe I’ll call it a recipe for a page turning romance that leaves you feeling satisfied just like a delicious slice of chocolate cake.
We start with a pivotal incident, our mixing bowl, where our hero and heroine will be tossed in together for the battle of their lives.
To the mix we need to add a bucket of conflict. External conflict drives the hero and heroine together, while internal conflict (their life experiences and beliefs, even if faulty) pushes them apart.
The stronger these conflicts/differences the stronger your story and the more personal challenges they have to overcome to be together, the more your reader will come back for more.
Stir in a generous scoop of emotion, and keep it on every page. Every scene must have a purpose and move the story along or you have to cut it. Don’t tell us about the furnishings unless it reveals something of the character or the situation.
Spoon in feelings and reactions. Show us how the hero and heroine are feeling. Don’t get angry. Sweep the desk of the pens! How would you react in a particular situation? We want to breathe your story, feel it, live it!
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Quote by Anton Chekhov.
Mix in plenty of angst. Make things bad for your hero and heroine, and then make things a zillion times worse. Torture your characters. Put them out of their comfort zone and see if they sink or swim.
Now you’re happy with the mix you have reached turning point one, your hero and heroine are ready to commit to the plot.
Everything is going well. This is turning point two, your hero and heroine are enjoying being together while their love is deepening. It’s a tranquil time where they commit to each other, the honeymoon in their relationship. You see a future.
A discovery is made and everything is over and the relationship fails. This is the black moment when all is lost, and there seems no way for the hero and heroine to be together.
Suddenly realization hits and we sort through our options and come to an understanding, this is the epiphany. The hero and heroine will sort through their conflicts solve their differences and change.
Ending with a satisfying Happily Ever After where we see the hero and heroine together and we believe in their future happiness. And that together they can face life’s challenges.