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A Clueless Writer's Guide to Writing Romance

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Sun Sep 02, 2007 5:36 am
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Snoink says...

A Musician's Tip to Writers

Playing music harder than it looks. Fast-paced music, strangely enough, is not the hardest thing to play. The hardest songs are the slow songs which are bare. When an amateur group plays one of these lyrical music, two things almost always happen. Either a) the percussion and bass line play sloppily, or b) the melody overplays the whole band. Now, you may see why 'a' would be a problem, but you would probably wonder why 'b' would even be considered a problem. After all, isn't the melody the main part of the song?

But it isn't. A song is not just one part. A beautiful melody may be fine, but if the tubas were making obvious mistakes and not supporting the group, the song would become a sappy bowl of mush where the melody drones on and on, very lyrical, but at the same time, horrible.

In fact, the background noise is the most important part of the band during the songs. It creates an undercurrent, a direction, so that when finally the melody gets boring, there is always something to go back to.

Now you may be wondering, "Okay... nice music lesson, but it doesn't tell me how to write romances!" And then I would smile. You see, writing is the same way.

Now, sometimes we novelists realize that our characters need to get a love life. Fine. But too often, we decide to stop the entire story to put this love life in. Just like the amateur bands, we play out the melody and ignore the parts underneath it, just when we should be concentrating on those parts the most.

Never forget what your story is about. Keep it running. A romance scene, even in a romance novel, is not the main part of the story. Scenes will come and go, but the story will remain there for the whole time.

Let 'em go crazy!

Yes. For the past couple of years, I have been telling you to know your characters and to never ever go away from who they really are. Now forget all of that.

"But why?" you ask desperately. "Didn't you say...?"

Yes! But for love scenes, this doesn't quite work.

You see, when people fall in love, they go crazy. I don't mean they start laugh maniacally and need a straitjacket, but they do things out of character. For example, one of my characters, who is a goody-two-shoes and never does anything wrong, yada yada, tells a lie that ends up hurting more than helping. But, that shows just how much she's going to put on the line. No longer does anything about her matter; it's only about him.

You get the point. Of course, you still have to know your character. Otherwise, how do you know how far would they go? If I make a six-year old girl fall in love with someone, I'm not going to have her do a strip tease.

Keep it somewhat short...

At first, the romance scene should be relatively short. (Note that, by romance scene, I mean when they are paying attention to each other instead of the plot. This doesn't mean they cannot be together.) The next one should be progressively longer, and so on. Finally, at the climax, they should have a huge scene together. Just remember, at the beginning, make it short.

"I love you babe."

Oh great... the dialogue. If you have a dozen "I love yous" without any meaning to the plot, then it is bad. Try to make the dialogue interesting and true to the character's style of speaking. And, if the character actually speaks like that, then cutting out those parts and describing it through the narrative is not only good but recommended.

Last Words

I've only finally figured out my love scene. Some of the tips here seem rather strange and they may not be suited to you. Some of you may actually hate this advice. If you do, it's okay. I'm just a beginner in writing. ^___^[url]
Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est.

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Sat May 17, 2008 11:40 pm
aestar101 says...

That was good and imformative. I'll use this in my new work of romnce literature
Character is what you have left when you've lost everything you can lose. - Evan Esar
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Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:59 pm
kaonna says...

Its quite informative since I'm a beginner writer too! I really really needed this advice

THANK YOU!!! ^_______^
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Sat Jan 03, 2009 1:14 am
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Confused.pirate says...

the dialogue part helped :) thanks!
"The differences in life are what create the challenges which open the door to discovery."

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Thu May 21, 2009 5:03 pm
*writewatiwant* says...

Great, Snoink. Much helpful. I really have problems with the dialogue between lovers. As if I make every situation awkward...
Anyway, thanks! :D

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