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8

Off the top of my head-- If the romance is indeed a *sub*plot, keep it that way. Don't let it take over and become a central plot thread, which is easy to do. It should complement the story, not distract from it. I think romantic dialogue is the easiest place to accidentally cliche yourself up a wall by getting too serious. "Never let go!" Don't do it. As ...


5

There's a good thread on this over at Absolute Write - http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=184551 The general consensus there seems to be that there is definitely a limit on how explicit YA sex should be. They suggest going for the more 'poetic' approach rather than an explicit or erotic one, and I think that makes sense. ETA:I didn't ...


4

If the POV is Jennifer's, we are getting her perspective, as if we're riding on her shoulder. Whether we get her thoughts is up to you, but if this is from Jennifer's eyes, then no, we cannot know his name until he gives it to her. So you have to describe him the way she sees him: an Indian man, a short man with skin the color of coffee beans, a tall man ...


4

Here's a great article by Mette Ivie Harrison: How To Write Romance (in Fantasy), published in OSC's Intergalactic Medicine Show. I think it's particularly appropriate to your question because it focuses on romances as subplots, romance combined with other elements. Harrison starts out by rejecting "category romance" and obiquitous mishandlings of fictional ...


3

Do you want to piss your readers off? No? Then call a tragedy a tragedy, a drama a drama and a romance a romance. This question is all about customers' expectations. You can call your story a romance and end it in disaster. But be prepared to disappoint a lot of readers (also be prepared for their reviews). Of course not all readers expect a romance to end ...


3

I'm not a romance writer, but because I hate orphaned questions, I can offer you a link which I found interesting. (Well, you probably know it.) http://www.writing-world.com/romance/ It's not a book, but articles from different authors to the subject.


2

In her writing book Plot, Ansen Dibell discusses the technique of mirroring characters - two characters who are alike in many ways, and different in others. This gives you a "compare-and-contrast" effect, where the contrast between the two characters naturally creates significance and tension. This excerpt via Google Books has a lot of the section. She gives ...


2

If you want real rivals, why make one of them "wrong"? As an exercise, why not try to make both of the romantic rivals "Mister Right", just in different ways? For example, one of the more interesting aspects of the early 90s Winona Ryder / Janeane Garofalo romcom "Reality Bites" is that a good case could be made that the corporate guy (played by Ben Stiller) ...


2

There is no hard set rule, and the boundaries are constantly expanding. Tender Morsels deals with incest, molestation, gang rape, abortions, and many other extremely adult issues. But it does so with implications and metaphors more often than gritty details (don't get me wrong, the book is amazing). So many of the issues could be glossed over by a reader ...


2

Your novel should be as long as it needs to be. Not shorter, not longer. Too vague? Well, that's writing ;) Honestly I think we already answered this question, but I can't find it. To summarize out of my head: A novel starts around 50,000 words. That's a widely accepted figure no matter what genre you write in. Write, don't care about word limits. If you ...


1

In my opinion, literary genres are not defined in terms of “your story must have A and B, but not C, in order to belong to genre X”. Rather, they are defined by “A, B, and C, are exemplars of genre X”. So even if contemporary category romances all have happy endings, your story can run against that trend as long as it resembles the classics of the genre in ...


1

As far as creative writing is concerned, nothing is right or wrong. It's entirely up to you, the writer, to describe the scenes in your own way. That said, writing just "Jennifer walked inside the restaurant and saw Niranjan waiting for the free table" sounds kind of lame and plain, whereas the second kind of sentence adds a slight element of suspense to ...


1

You already have a rival: Time. Or Circumstance, or whatever your plot complication is which keeps the lovers apart because it's the Wrong Time. Isn't it even more tragic/angsty/yearning that there's no third person keeping the two apart, just the adult recognition that the couple simply can't work out at this moment in time? That it's the choice of one or ...


1

The truth is (as usually) not nearly as simple. There are different styles of writing and different audiences you're aiming at, but not only the split doesn't go along the line of "online/offline", the line is not nearly as clear-cut as you're trying to make it. Some of the longest books even written never reach paper and have avid audience online. And ...



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