I write romance. I’m not sure I will always write romance as I have ideas outside the genre, but for now, I enjoy the genre and all the resources out there for us romance writers.
Because romance is such a large part of the market out there ($1.3 billion in 2010), the resources on how to improve your craft are many. Romance Writers of America alone provides writers with tons of articles, chat groups, opportunities to enter contests and workshops. In addition to this, many cities will have local RWA chapter groups which offer even more opportunities and resources on a local scale. All this being said, I don’t believe you need to be a romance writer to take advantage of what RWA has to offer.
So back to what I was originally saying… I write romance and in my romances, the story focuses primarily around the love interest of the couple and a happily ever after. In my latest novella, I am experimenting with an outline plot designed by my critique partner and a former Nights of Passion blogger, a.c. Mason. I won’t say too much about her plot chart as it is still being tweaked and she will be hosting a workshop on Passionate Ink come 2012 :
12 Beats & Other Instruments to Tell A Story by a.c. Mason September 15th – 30th, 2012
Basically, as I spoke with Mason about my latest work, I came to realize that I wasn’t consciously making the effort to unite my protagonists in as many ways as possible. I’m not just talking about the romance but I’m talking about the various scenes. For me, it seems as I write plots and try to tie all the loose threads together, I end up with a bunch of knots instead of a flowing story. Now this may seem simple to some of you, but if you’re anything like me, plots can be a bit confusing and sometimes overly complicated.
Many times, I tend to write my hero and heroine as separate stories and then I’ll have them unite throughout the book. Instead, I should be trying to intertwine the hero’s and heroine’s stories (not their personalities) as much as possible for a manuscript that flows better. The threads of your story (emotions, physical scenes, hero, heroine, villain, etc.) should weave together throughout your book. They shouldn’t be straight, separate threads, but an intertwining pattern.
Quite honestly this is a tough concept to grasp so if you are reading this and feel a bit confused, please don’t worry. Great plots take time and experience to craft. As more information comes out about Mason’s workshop, I will keep you all updated so you can learn more about plots. In the mean time, I’ll keep you posted as I start to improve my own craft and plot writing. Happy writing!