Thursday, August 7, 2008

RWA Workshops

Emotions, emotions, emotions by Barbara Mac Mahon, Barbara Heney, Jessica Hart, all published with Harlequin, and Lucy Gilmour, Mills &Boon editor.

We all have to deal with problems in life and we all face emotion in life. Focus on what all women have in common, not what makes them different, what appeals to women in general. Wherever we live, we relate to being lonely, disappointed, hurt. Romances are about happiness being achieved in spite of problems, disappointment, hurt.
A romance is an emotional fantasy.

HQ books are big books in small packages with strong emotional ties. They use:
Universal emotions.
Universal settings.
Universal themes.

Draw the reader right away with different backgrounds for the hero and heroine. Different but easily recognizable. Take the hero and heroine out of their comfort zones.
Attraction vs obstacles.
Keep the reader worrying about the hero and heroine. Keep the reader holding her breath because as readers we don’t know how the hero and heroine will overcome the obstacles that are keeping them apart.

Plunge your characters into emotional situations.

What are the things that women get emotional about:
Insecurity; sickness of loved ones; death in the family; financial stress; guilt; infidelity; medical anxiety; custody of children; family secret; betrayal; friendship; old flame; homecoming…

Don’t make the big city better than the small town.

Who are they?
Where are they coming from?
Where are they going?

Throw the backstory in bits and pieces. Because of their backgrounds, characters react differently to the same situation.

Make sure your hero and heroine act in characters to who they are, according to their backgrounds.
Make him honorable. Make her sympathetic.
Keep their conflict strong.

What bring them together?
What keep them apart?
Where is the emotion?

Summary of important items in a romance:
A for action
B for backstory
C for chapters one and characters
D for details
E for easy and gradual steps
F for frustration and sexual tension
G for goals and gorgeous end.


Sandra Cox said...

Excellent blog!

Sammie Jo Moresca said...

Thank you so much for sharing your fabulous conference with us, Mona! Everything crossed you'll get a big sale soon.