How Old Were Girls Who Started Courting In Regency England If You Can Read Romance, You Can Write Romance

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If You Can Read Romance, You Can Write Romance

I fell in love with romance novels when I was a teenager. Connie Mason introduced me to a world of strong, handsome men tortured by life’s cruelty and strong, beautiful women who loved them and made them whole again. Over time I developed certain criteria for what I was looking for in a story. First, they had to be set in the past, preferably in Europe. The men had to be tall, muscular and dark-haired with some past tragedy haunting them. Women had to be petite, fair and wild. I was also always looking for stories involving a child. I think the effect of a child on two lovers is the pinnacle of romance. A man discovering that he is going to be a father, the fragility of living in the distant past causing the realization that his beloved can be lost so easily, I can hardly stand it. In any case, I found myself spending ours in the bookstore going through the later pages of the novels on the shelf, trying to see if my criteria were met without ruining the story before I read it. To make a long story short, I decided to write my own stories. What I would like to do here is give you an idea of ​​how I do it so you can do it too. Who knows, you might actually make money out of it.

1. Read, read and read! You have to read to get a real feel for how the stories are structured. Many famous authors you love have spent years traveling and researching the places they write about and the times their characters live in. Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the funds to travel the world, nor do I have the hours to do detailed research; I have a day job and three kids. If you read enough, you will notice the similarities. For example, novels set in the Regency England time frame almost always revolve around a set of rules that society followed at the time. A man in the aristocracy couldn’t marry just anyone, just like a young lady. Stories often defy these rules, or two people who were forced to marry find a love they never dreamed possible. So I’ll say again, read what you want to write and note the threads that run through each story.

2. Develop your plot or story outline. What is your story about? The viscount’s daughter falls in love with the baronet’s second son, so she seduces him into compromising her, knowing that her father would be forced to demand a marriage between them. The young husband feels inferior to his bride, which creates a gap between them. She hatches a plan with an old boyfriend to make him jealous in hopes of returning his attention to her, but he returns and nearly tears them apart. At that point it’s up to you what you like.

3. Research. Yes, I know I said I don’t have time, but a small amount of period research is necessary and doesn’t take that much time. I’m not a fan of 500 page historical novels that spend more time on the conflicts going on in society than the conflicts going on with the two star-crossed lovers. I tend to find myself skimming the boring parts. That being said, it’s fairly easy to research the basics like names for your characters that fit your setting. You can go to most baby name sites and they have ways to look up what names have been popular in past years. Also, if you are like me and love the Jane Austen era, there is a great website (http://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/) that has links to hundreds of pages of information about the period. Google is your friend. For example, I needed to understand the hierarchy of titles in England (they call it “peerage”), I typed in “hierarchy of titles in England” and several sites were listed that gave me exactly what I needed.

4. Start writing. Many books have been written about fully plotting a story before writing. I tried it but it doesn’t work for me. Apparently I have the attention span of a flea. By the time I got to the middle, I was bored of the gourd. I just have to write as I go. I have my general idea of ​​what happens from step 2. What I do is I use my Gmail account to write so I can write wherever I am. If I have a 10-minute break at work, I’ll open my Gmail account and email myself a section. That way, I can contribute to it whenever I’m at a computer with internet access. At home, I copy the excerpts and paste them into Word. By emailing it to myself, I always have the option to read it over and over at work or on my iPhone while waiting at a restaurant. Some people just carry a journal and write in it, but I don’t like having to physically write and then go back and write it. It’s the law of least effort for me.

5. Have someone read it. Often when you write something, when you read it you will see what you want to see. If you have a friend or family member who loves romance, have them read it for mistakes. Believe it or not, my mom reads my stories. Hey, it was her Harlequin romances I stole that got me into all this!

My path may not be what the experts suggest, but we are not all the same, everyone has different ways to get to the same end. I hope the article helps those of you who don’t have the time but dream of writing that perfect romance.

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