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.
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