Cover image for You can write a romance
You can write a romance
Estrada, Rita Clay.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Cincinnati, Ohio : Writer's Digest Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
120 pages ; 23 cm
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN3377.5.L68 E88 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PN3377.5.L68 E88 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PN3377.5.L68 E88 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Write the romance of your dreams and capture the hearts of readers everywhere. This complete guide shows you how.

"You Can Write a Romance" combines the skills of award-winning author Rita Clay Estrada and renowned instructor Rita Gallagher, the esteemed "First Ladies" of the Romance Writers of America. Together, they'll show you how to take your story from idea to completed manuscript to signed book deal - even if you've never tried to write a novel before.

You'll learn the genre's special categories, what romance editors are looking for, and how stories are accepted. There's also in-depth instruction on the craft of romance writing, from creating lively heroines to developing plots that are fresh and compelling.

Create a novel your readers won't forget. With "You Can Write a Romance," you can begin today

Author Notes

Rita Clay Estrada is a founding member of the Romance Writers of America and the organization's first president. She has published more than 30 romance novels and RWA's coveted Rita Award is so named in her honor
Rita Gallagher is a widely respected teacher of novel writing and writing workshops

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

As the romance genre changes and evolves, there continues to be a need for new handbooks on writing within the genre. Estrada, founding member of Romance Writers of America, and coauthor Gallagher have written an up-to-date handbook for writing romances in the `90s. In a conversational style that occasionally rambles, they take the reader through the process of not only writing a romance and submitting it to publishers but also the production phase of book publishing. They discuss what an agent can do for a beginning writer and how to find one, and the craft of creating strong characters, plot, conflict, and resolution. They also list writers' organizations and publications of interest to fiction writers. Sprinkled liberally with quotes from well-known romance writers, this handbook will be of interest and use to all aspiring romance writers. --Ann Bouricius

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. iv
1 The Basics of Romancep. 1
What Is Romance?
What Is Not a Romance?
Category--The Heart of Romance
Basic Plot of Romance
A Romance Novel Is
From Root Ideas to Character Growth
Writing a Story With Purpose
Premise Is the First Step to Plotting
The Rules of Sexual Awareness/Tension
Characters Make the Conflict
Expressing Character Through Point of View
Prevailing Over Conflict
What Is Character Growth?
Giving Your Characters Goals and Motivations
Read, Read, Read
2 Differences in Romance Novelsp. 14
Category Romance
Mainstream Romance
What is Not a Historical Romance
Christian Romances
Paperback vs. Hardback
3 The Business Side of Romancep. 21
Follow Your Book Through the Publishing House
Meet the Editors
What Happens to an Eye-Catching Manuscript?
If They Buy the Book
The Marketing Department
The Art Department
Final Steps to Becoming a Book
Getting the Call, Getting the Money
The Distributor
The Bookseller
What About Agents?
What Can an Agent Do for You?
4 Getting Ready to Writep. 34
Finding Information
Formatting Your Manuscript
Page Headers and First Pages
Cover Pages
Make the Print Readable
Why is This Stuff Important?
Planning Novel Length
How To Submit Your Work
Sending the Manuscript
5 'Dem Bones, 'Dem Bones: The Skeleton of the Storyp. 43
The Story's Backbone
Show Goal Through Action
Why Action Is Important
Action Creates Conflict
The Two Types of Conflict
The Narrative Hook
Examples of a Narrative Hook in a Romance Novel
Putting The Pieces Together
Reader Orientation and Reader Satisfaction
Reader Orientation
Reader Satisfaction
Character Traits Lead to Reader Satisfaction
Connecting Characters and Subplot to the Backbone
Sub-characters and Subplots in Long Romance
Connecting Main Characters to the Backbone
Pacing and Characters in the Short Romance
Research: Another Part of the Backbone
Research and Copyright Infringement
Appropriate Feminine Sensibilities
Appropriate Masculine Sensibilities
Research Ensures Historical Accuracy
Researching the Historical Novel
Save Your Research
6 Getting 'Em Motivatedp. 65
Know Your Characters' Inner Worlds
Motivations From the Past
Internal Motivation
External Motivation
Strength of Purpose
Motivating the Adversary
7 The Hero and the Heroinep. 75
The Hero
So Bad, He's Good
Real vs. Fantasy
The Heroine
The Worthy Adversary
Heroine as Adversary
The Fatal-Flaw Theory
Character Appearance
The Back Story
8 He Said, She Saidp. 85
Speak, Don't Preach
Keep It Conversational
Dialogue Reveals Information
Dialogue Builds Tension
Showing Your Character's Character
Dialogue Moves the Story
Less Is More
Knowing When to Cut
9 Beginnings, Sagging Middles and Endsp. 94
Scenes and Sequels
Story Goal and Scene Goal
Sagging Middles
Finding the Story
Love Scenes
Defending Love Scenes
10 Finishing Touchesp. 104
Cut Out The Chaff
Create a Time Line
The End
The Wind Up
Story Checklist
11 Resourcesp. 112
Romance Writers of America
The Price of Success
Where to Turn for Help
Writers Organizations
Writers Publications