Thursday, October 9, 2008

How to Write a Romance Novel, Part IV

If romance novel characters knew what was good for them, they'd stay in bed. They would just keep fucking each other until they didn't care if one used to be a child prostitute or a great big jerk. Once the sex is over, the real trouble begins. Just when the reader thinks the lead characters have found love, the author adds a twist to make you doubt the Happily Ever After.

It's a good idea to throw something into your novel that ties in with the original problem. If the man was afraid of fatherhood, create a pregnancy scare. If the woman had a broken heart, make her even more vulnerable. If the man was a scarred recluse, have a mob of villagers storm his castle with pitchforks and trebuchets and flaming cows.

Example: Damian walked into a bar to meet with his best friend, Jim Beam. His balls shriveled in horror when he spied Angeline and his brother Nickolai in an intimate booth. "Nicolai!" Damian shouted, suspicion and rage boiling to the surface.
"Damian!" Nickolai replied!
"Angeline!" Damian exclaimed!
"I knew it! I knew women couldn't be trusted! Women I love always leave me for Nickolai!"
"It's not like that! When you pushed me away, I had to find someone who knew about your past! I need to save you before we can be together!"
"Angeline didn't come here for me, Damian, she came here for information about you! Though I have been slipping her date-rape drugs!"
"You lie! You both lie! I hate you all! I'm never going near another woman!" With that, Damian ran off, crying like a little bitch.

You have to really convince the reader that this could be the end, or they'll notice the twenty pages remaining and the jig is totally up. So ramp up the suspense, already!

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