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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ten Easy Steps to Becoming a Romance Writer

So you want to be a romance writer? No sweat. It’s easy. Everyone knows romance writers don’t work hard. They spend all day eating chocolates and having sex with multiple partners. Then they jot down their experiences et voilá – a new romance bestseller is born.
Since I’m a romance writer, who better to give you my secret list of 10 easy ways to write a romance bestseller.
1.     You need a plot. Dig out an old Archie comic book. They are full of good plots. Two dates for the prom? Change it to two dates for the company picnic and you’re ready to roll. Or use a plot suggested by your local bus driver. I understand some exciting things happen on his route.
2.     You need characters? Use your best friend. How about a neighbor? Maybe your boss or your brother-in-law is dying to be immortalized in your book. We all know romance writers don’t invent original characters, they write about the people around them. They all think you’re writing about them anyway, so why not?
3.     Names? You need names for your characters. Get a baby name book. Close your eyes, open the book to a page and the first place you touch, use that name. If it’s Mergatroyd, you might want to select again.
4.     Dialogue? Original dialogue? Take a small recorder to Starbucks and turn it on. Looking for realistic dialogue? You’ll get it there. “I can’t believe they forgot the cinnamon, AGAIN!” Now there’s true emotion. Transcribe it and you’re set to go. After all, why should you have to think it up yourself, when realistic words are being spoken all around you every day.
5.     Plot twists? Think about a natural disaster…hurricane, tornado, bad hair day? Throw a few disasters in whenever the plot cools down. That will rev it up.
6.     Setting. Write about what you know/ Use your neighborhood. Don’t forget to describe in detail the crummy house your best friend lives in. Don’t leave anything out: the rusting cars in your uncle’s driveway, the number of potholes on your street, the old man spitting tobacco juice at the barbershop…describe them in detail. It’s called adding texture to your book.
7.     Love scenes? Didn’t your best friend tell you all about her one-night stand with the hunk from the gym? Hell, use that. Write down all the details she told you. Why should you have to invent it when Susan lived it for you?
8.     Keep your reader guessing. Throw in new characters you like from a TV show, book, play or comic book two-thirds of the way into the book.  Don’t explain who they are, let the reader guess. If you really want to keep the reader on her toes, don’t resolve everything at the end. Make her want to find out what happens in a sequel. To write the sequel, go to # 1 on this list. Plagiarism you say? I say, who will know?
9.     Once you have finished your book, bribe a friend to write your synopsis and blurb. Babysit her kids, walk his dog, pick up dry cleaning. Anything is easier than writing a synopsis and blurb. A few favors should earn you what you need to submit to an agent or publisher. Don’t bother editing. You knew your book was brilliant from the time you put the first word on paper.
10.  Time to get published. Offer to sleep with the agent or publisher. Everyone knows us romance writers are hot to trot and would do anything to get a publishing contract. If the contact is a straight woman, bring in the hunky guy from the gym to do it for you.

Once your book has miraculously made it to the bestseller list without your wasting one single minute on promotion, remember to save me a signed copy.

Don't believe me? You're right. 
There are no easy steps to becoming a romance writer. You've got to write every day, read every romance book you can get your hands & books about writing, edit your heart out, work your butt off...then you've got to get lucky. That's the "magic" formula.


Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

Too funny!I enjoyed, even thought people who have never tried to write think that way. And just the right touch of sarcasm too. :)

Anonymous said...

ummm, I've done some of these things...just sayin' -- of course I'm not on any best seller list, and that may be why...

Nichelle Gregory said...

Ha ha! Thanks for laugh tonight, Jean! :)

Lindsay said...

Glad I don't write romance.

E. Jamie said...

Too damn funny! Gonna share now!

Kellie Kamryn said...

bahahaha! Love it Jean!

Elaine Cantrell said...

Very funny! Wish it would work.

Simon Smith-Wilson said...

Sleeping with people doesn't work? I have been wasting my time!

Jean said...

Thank you everyone. And Simon, LOL, I hope you got a good time for your efforts! LOL.

Simon Smith-Wilson said...

Well, I don't like to brag, but that was the best 90 seconds they ever experienced... now you see why I don't like to brag, lol.

Jean said...

ROFL! Best laugh all week!! Simon, you're too much!