Pre-published writers of Romance are sometimes confused about emotional punch. What exactly is it? How do we get us some J
Following are tips and a couple of exercises that might help!
For a Romance we need:
Ø Compelling characters driving the story
Ø Strong goals and conflicts stated early (Bring that conflict forward! J)
Ø Sympathetic (and flawed) characters with pasts, and who exhibit believable emotions/reactions. (Perfect, single-dimensional people aren’t interesting.)
A Romance must fulfil a reader’s expectation through –
Emotion, emotion, emotion!
Never hold back on the attraction (or sexual tension)
Emotional punch, is NOT constant bickering, endless tears, lamenting one’s life at every turn. It’s not a bullying hero or a cliché needy heroine. It’s not belabouring one point over and over until the magical answer arrives after the black moment (this is what an editor might term elliptical/circular writing or plot.)
Look at your first few pages.
Are the opening pages compelling, starting at the point of change?
Have you foreshadowed/introduced the conflict?
Have you taken the opportunity to introduce the romance (and, perhaps,
build on the attraction)?
Remember: the reader wants to fall in love right along with the heroine.
Work now to either:
a) find a more compelling place to begin with a winning opening
b) tighten your backstory / introduce critical points
c) add to the attraction/sexual tension
Take a scene that you think is filled with emotion and double it! Not with
purple prose but by using the characters’ senses and developing
universal feelings of desire, uncertainty, anger, devotion, etc.
You’ll be surprised what you keep and what you might hone back
from the original! J
Trick: With particularly important scenes, tell yourself these paragraphs will feature on the inside jacket, the first words a potential buyer might read. Make them clear, make them count, and have them throb with meaning for both the character and your audience!
And remember, along your journey to publication, surround yourself with people who believe. J