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Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels (How to Write Kissing Books Book 1) 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
- ASIN : B01DSJSURY
- Publisher : Gwen Hayes; 1st edition (19 April 2016)
- Language : English
- File size : 1017 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 94 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 11,452 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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I'd recommend it for all beginners or would-be romance writers. Maybe it's not quite so good as taking a class in writing, but it is an excellent start.
Top reviews from other countries
This is quite a short book at a little over 10,000 words, and told in a casual, joking style, but don’t let that fool you. Hayes has obviously studied a lot of romance stories and boiled them down to the essence of everything which must be included to make a satisfying story which has “the feels”.
Most writers will at least have heard of “The Hero’s Journey”, often positioned as the archetypal story structure which underlies thousands of years of tales. This is all good, and for many stories the hero’s journey is an invaluable aid, but for romance stories it’s not such a good fit. The hero’s journey works best when there is a single protagonist, with some form of identifiable antagonist to struggle against. An enjoyable romance story, on the other hand, usually has two protagonists, each of whom has their own journey and their own obstacles to overcome. The familiar structure of a romance story has evolved over many years to be a different kind of tale. Hayes has picked this archetypal romance story apart and laid out the constituent blocks ready for us to put them back together again with our characters, settings, challenges and, ultimately, our own kind of “happy ever after.”
Some people object to these kinds of structural books, pointing out that they can be limiting, and exclude multiple types of story which don’t fit neatly into the plan. While that is true, it’s not really applicable in this case. As Hayes points out, you are free to tell any story you like, in any way you like, but if you wish to position your story as a romance, then readers will have a certain set of expectations. As much as anything, it is these expectations that Hayes lays bare for us here, so that we can make sure that the story we tell gives readers what they want, and lives up to the promise of the cover.
I found this book to be hugely practical, and all the way through I was mentally applying the approach that Hayes describes both to the romance stories I have read and enjoyed (and the ones I didn’t enjoy so much), and to my own stories. I have tried a few times to write romance, either as a standalone story or as part of something else, such as a detective story, and never been fully happy with the results. Reading this book was like chatting to a skilled mechanic about problems with my car.
I am determined to revisit some of my unsatisfactory stories, armed with the checklist from this book, and get them running as smoothly as I know they should. I will also be recommending this book to other would-be romance writers.
I love the concept of a beat sheet, am totally addicted to Scrivener (a tool I had never come across) and am convinced this book will help me achieve my dream of being a published author. The recommended reading Gwen puts out there has also been invaluable, particularly GMC by Debra Dixon. I can't watch a film/TV program, or read a book without having the characters GMC screaming out at me! :-)
Thanks for such an awesome book Gwen!
Whilst I don’t doubt the author at hand, this felt aimed towards those who fast publish and write commercial romance. I had also liked it to have been a little bit more in depth to justify the pricing for such a short read, that could have been written as a pdf and read for free or as a newsletter goodie.
However I did learn some things that I had not given much thought to when writing prior and that the author did well at reiterating important lessons or facts.
Whilst this didn’t work for me, I know it will work for others.
It would have been great if it explained how to weave in an external plot arc.
It also could have been more concise. The inclusion of humour added unnecessary words which you have to filter through when going back to check information.