Romancing the Beat

Story Structure for Romance Novels

by Gwen Hayes

Oh, the joys of learning about writing. I honestly didn’t know what a story ARC was until this book and I didn’t really know how to outline my romance novel. I outlined like I outlined my notes for my master’s thesis and it worked kind of. I just am still not sure it worked completely. My editor will tell me in July how well what I did worked or didn’t work. I did work shop my novel and my critique partners seemed to think I did well enough. But we didn’t discuss story ARCs. So, when Hayes could show me and I could understand so clearly the ARC of my story and the mid-point, I was overjoyed. I learned something new.

Gwen explains so clearly you can’t help but understand the story ARC all of it. She makes it as easy as following a recipe to bake a cake. And she taught me to outline according to my story ARC how’s that for a brilliant plan. Follow her instructions and everything just falls into place if you’re writing a romance novel. These are the things she covers Beet Sheets, Phase One: The Set Up, Introducing Main Character 1 and Main Character 2, Meet Cute, No Way, Adhesion, Phase two: falling in love, No way no #2, The Inkling, Deepening Desire, Maybe This Time, Mid-point of Love, Phase Three; Retreating from Love, Inkling of Doubt, Deepening Doubt, Retreat! Retreat! Shields Up, Break Up, Phase Four: Fighting for Love, Dark Night of The Soul, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, Grand Gesture, Whole-Hearted.

Realizing that I have studied communication and writing at the graduate level. I have never understood the structure of the story explained to me. My professors would just say write and I would write and it would be good or bad. I read enormous amounts and that helped on a subconscious level, but I could not explain why I did certain things in my writing. My writing has always been kind of magical. It just kind of happened. Now I understand how it should happen and why it happens when it happens correctly.

I cannot express the enjoyment of Hayes writing, it is clear and a joy to read. I read the book in one sitting and then could use the beat sheets she provides. I give this technical writing book 5 stars out of 5 stars.

What books do you use to improve your writing skills let me know in the comment box below? Like this blog if you found this blog helpful, it helps me know what kind of material enjoy and don’t forget to subscribe so you won’t miss a post. Thanks for spending time with me.

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