What makes a romance novel a romance? How do you write a kissing book?
Writing a well-structured romance isn’t the same as writing any other genre—something the popular novel and screenwriting guides don’t address. The romance arc is made up of its own story beats, and the external plot and theme need to be braided to the romance arc—not the other way around.
Told in conversational (and often irreverent) prose, Romancing the Beat can be read like you are sitting down to coffee with romance editor and author Gwen Hayes while she explains story structure. The way she does with her clients. Some of whom are regular inhabitants of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.
Romancing the Beat is a recipe, not a rigid system. The beats don’t care if you plot or outline before you write, or if you pants your way through the drafts and do a “beat check” when you’re revising. Pantsers and plotters are both welcome. So sit down, grab a cuppa, and let’s talk about kissing books.
One of the panels I virtually attended at RWA this year recommended ROMANCING THE BEAT. I’m a devoted plotter, so I wanted to see how best to weave the romance beats into the greater story beats. Hayes’s book is short and sweet. She lays out the beats, where they fall in the three-act structure, and gives a brief description of what each one needs to accomplish. Because it’s so short, you can read it easily in one sitting and be ready to plot or revise your next romance novel. However, because it’s such a quick read, it’s short on details that would have been nice. Whether you’re new to writing romance or have been at it for awhile, there are some great tidbits in here for every romance writer.
A solid resource that you’ll find yourself referring to over and over.
About the Book
Title: ROMANCING THE BEAT: Story Structure for Romance Novels
Series: How to Write Kissing Books Series #1
Author: Gwen Hayes
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble
About the Author
Gwen Hayes (that’s me) lives in the Pacific Northwest with her real life hero and a pack of wild beasts (two of whom she gave birth to).
She is a reader, writer, and lover of pop culture (which, other than yogurt, is the only culture she gets).
Gwen also edits kissing books.