Hiya, WordWrangler readers! We're excited to welcome Jill Kemerer to the blog today; Jill is a new author with Harlequin's Love Inspired line. She's going to tell us about the writing rules we should break. BREAK THE RULES?!?!? Our minds are boggled! Jill, take it away!
Years ago after my first book was rejected, I scoured blogs, learned how to write a synopsis and took every piece of advice to heart. I also studied over thirty books on the craft of writing. Imagine my surprise when I continued to get rejections. I’d been applying the “rules.” What was I doing wrong?
Most writing tips are useful, but not every fiction rule fits the romance genre.
Here are my top 3 rules to break when writing romance:
Writing Rule #1: Minimize introspection to keep a tight pace.
Romance readers need to connect with the characters. While pace is important—we don’t want our readers bored!—emotion is too. Your goal is to allow the reader to feel the pain, joy, exhilaration and attraction your characters are experiencing. This means readers need to understand why the characters are acting the way they are. Introspection, doled out within a scene, is necessary in romance novels.
Writing Rule #2: Make sure there is plenty of conflict.
This isn’t so much a rule to break as a rule to understand. Romance readers do NOT want the hero and heroine bickering and fighting every three pages. They also don’t want a soap opera with cliff hangers that make little sense.
What they do want? Reasons the hero and heroine won’t take a chance on love. Obstacles to their goals. A rising tension. The nagging question, How will these two, who obviously are perfect for each other, ever get their happily-ever-after?
If the conflicts you’ve introduced result in endless arguing or unreasonable actions by the hero or heroine, rework them.
Writing Rule #3: Write what you know.
I’m not a veterinarian technician. Have never trained for an IRONMAN competition. I don’t take care of a mother who has multiple sclerosis. But I’ve written characters who do all these things. Write whatever the story calls you to write. The key to successful fiction is making the reader believe what’s on the page is possible. It’s your job to research what you don’t know.
What writing rules do you break?
Thank you very much, Word Wranglers, for hosting me today!
It's our pleasure, Jill, thanks for being here! And, readers, keep going, Jill is going to share a little about her debut book, Small Town Bachelor:
Small-Town Bachelor ~
A Place to Call Home
When Reed Hamilton arrives in Lake Endwell for a family wedding, he expects to do his part as best man then head back to the big city. But when a tornado postpones the wedding, the town is in shambles and Reed is injured. Thankfully maid of honor Claire Sheffield offers him one of her cottages to recuperate in.
Dedicated to her family and her dream job at the zoo, Claire is all about roots. She's this city slicker's opposite, yet as they help the town rebuild, Reed is captivated by her stunning looks and caring ways. He can't ask Claire to leave the life she loves for him, but he also can't imagine ever leaving her behind…
Interested in buying Small-Town Bachelor? Click here for links to purchase!
Jill Kemerer writes inspirational romance novels with love, humor and faith. A full time writer and homemaker, she relies on coffee and chocolate to keep up with her kids’ busy schedules.
Besides spoiling her mini-dachshund, Jill adores magazines, M&MS, fluffy animals and long nature walks. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Jill loves connecting with readers, so please visit her Website and find her on Facebook and Twitter.