Cover image for The complete idiot's guide to getting your romance published
The complete idiot's guide to getting your romance published
Beard, Julie.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Indianapolis, IN : Alpha Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
xxviii, 380 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN3377.5.L68 B43 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Building on the success of the Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Published, Julie Beard's guide focuses on the specifics of writing and publishing romances aimed particularly at a female readership.

Author Notes

Julie Beard is a best-selling, award-winning author of five historical novels. She is a former television journalist who has a Master's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She lives with her family in the Midwest.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Falling in Love with Love: Understanding the Magic of Romancesp. 1
1 The Power of Lovep. 3
Love Is in the Airp. 4
Love Sellsp. 4
Look Who's Reading!p. 6
Scoping Out the Competitionp. 6
First Things First: What Is a Romance Novel?p. 8
You Gotta Love It (to Write It)p. 10
For Love or Moneyp. 11
Signs of Successp. 13
Aspiring Romance Writer's Checklistp. 13
2 Love Is Here to Stayp. 15
Rules to Write Byp. 16
Empowering Messagep. 17
New Spin on Classic Charactersp. 18
Enduring Romance Fantasiesp. 19
You've Come a Long Way, Babyp. 23
The New Millenniump. 24
3 Love Is a Many Splendored Thingp. 27
Periscope Down: Plumbing the Depths of Subgenresp. 28
Historical Romancesp. 28
Contemporary Romancesp. 34
Women's Fiction ... Bigger and Better Than Everp. 36
Characters of Colorp. 37
Beyond Reality (and Other Nifty New Trends)p. 38
Phew!!!!p. 39
4 Match Made in Heavenp. 41
Read, Read, Read!p. 42
Appearing in a Bookstore Near Youp. 43
Narrowing the Choicesp. 45
Making a Decisionp. 45
Have Some Spine!p. 46
Ten Signs of a Great Romancep. 46
Creating a World of Your Ownp. 47
Picture Thisp. 49
Putting It All Togetherp. 49
Testing the Creative Watersp. 49
If the Shoe Doesn't Fitp. 50
Oops! There Goes Another Trendp. 52
Hardcover, Here I Come!p. 53
Cinderella ... and the Rest of Usp. 54
5 Lover's Leapp. 57
Got Ideas?p. 58
The First Date (with Your Computer)p. 62
Romancing Your Calendarp. 65
Can the Criticp. 67
Make a Commitment--I Dare You!p. 69
Part 2 Seven Aspects of Highly Affecting Romancesp. 71
6 Plotting: Fresh Take on an Age-Old Storyp. 73
Boy Meets Girlp. 74
The Plot Thickensp. 74
Between the First Kiss and "I Do!"p. 75
Analyzing Your Favorite Plotsp. 77
A Plotting Lesson from Jane Austenp. 78
A Romance's Greatest Challengep. 79
Flimsy as a Negligeep. 80
No Can Dop. 81
Classic Romance Plotlinesp. 82
Writer's Road Map Versus Spontaneous Constructionp. 84
7 Characterization: Heroes to Die for and Heroines to Cry Forp. 87
The Heart of a Romancep. 87
Tea and Sympathyp. 88
Just Like You and Mep. 88
Respect Your Charactersp. 89
Heroes We Lovep. 89
Heroines We Relate Top. 91
A Case Study: Scarlett O'Hara Versus Melanie Wilkesp. 91
Nobody's Perfect (at Least They Shouldn't Be!)p. 92
Every Story Needs a Herop. 92
Motivation: The Saving Gracep. 94
Consistently Consistentp. 95
Ready, Set, Goal!p. 96
Interview with a Characterp. 97
Second Fiddlesp. 97
Type Out Stereotypesp. 98
Character Checklistp. 98
8 Pacing: Timing Is Everythingp. 101
Pacing at the Speed of Lightp. 101
The Big-Bang Theoryp. 102
Back Story on the Back Burnerp. 104
The Time Bombp. 105
Warning! Warning!p. 106
The Mary Higgins Clark Chapterp. 107
Scenes Within a Chapterp. 107
The Long and Short of Sentencesp. 108
Tightening Your Prosep. 110
Be Your Own Guinea Pigp. 110
Pacing Checklistp. 111
9 Voice: Yours and Your Characters'p. 113
The Alchemy of "Voice"p. 114
Writing on the Wallp. 116
Distinctive Dialoguep. 117
The Narrator's Voicep. 119
Voice Checklistp. 122
10 Conflict: The Magic Ingredientp. 125
"I Couldn't Put It Down"p. 125
Creating Suspensep. 126
Pothole on the Yellow Brick Roadp. 126
Turn Up the Heatp. 126
The Shortest Story Ever Toldp. 127
It Takes Two Conflicts to Tangop. 129
The Crossroad Collisionp. 131
The Black Momentp. 132
Move Over, Freudp. 133
Don't Leave 'Em Hangingp. 134
Beginners Beware!p. 135
Conflict Checklistp. 136
11 Emotion: Tugging at the Heartstringsp. 139
Finally! Men Who Talk About Their Feelingsp. 139
Heroines Just Like Youp. 140
Action and Reaction: Putting Feelings Before Plotp. 141
Show, Don't Tellp. 142
Reading Between the Linesp. 143
High Dramap. 146
Powerful Prosep. 147
Empathetic Environmentp. 149
Good Diversionsp. 149
Emotion Checklistp. 150
12 Under the Covers: Sex and the Single (or Married) Romance Writerp. 151
Love Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry for a Sex Scenep. 151
The Curse of the Bodice Ripperp. 152
Was It Good for You?p. 153
The Writer's Comfort Zonep. 154
Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Sex?p. 156
Sensuality Versus Sexualityp. 158
Do Your Homework!p. 160
Sensuality Checklistp. 160
Part 3 After the Romance: Bringing Up Babyp. 161
13 Research Recapp. 163
Understanding Your Subjectp. 163
The Three Faces of Historicalsp. 165
How Much Research Should You Do?p. 166
The Path of Least Resistancep. 166
Delving Beneath the Surfacep. 167
The Research Pyramidp. 171
The Intentional Researcherp. 172
Research Checklistp. 175
14 Polish Until It Shinesp. 177
It Ain't over 'Til It's Overp. 177
The Three "Rs"p. 180
Something's Wrong, but I Don't Know Whatp. 182
Resetting Your Settingp. 183
Cut!p. 184
How Do You Spell "Duh"?p. 184
Tips from a Top-Notch Talentp. 185
Revision Checklistp. 186
15 Feedback: It Hurts So Goodp. 189
Oh, That's What You Meant to Say!p. 190
Mother Doesn't Know Bestp. 191
Good Sources of Feedbackp. 191
The Good, the Bad, and the Uglyp. 194
Give as Good as You Getp. 196
Editorial Feedbackp. 198
Review This!p. 198
The Ultimate Feedbackp. 200
Feedback Checklistp. 200
16 Hiring an Agentp. 203
Do I Need an Agent?p. 204
Four Reasons to Hire an Agentp. 205
One Reason Not to Hire an Agentp. 206
I'd Rather Do It Myself!p. 208
Great Expectationsp. 208
The Perils of Pauline's Bad Agentp. 210
You're the Bossp. 211
The Vision Thingp. 211
Where Do You Find One?p. 212
Hot-Shot Agentsp. 214
Which Comes First: Agent or Editor?p. 214
The Last Word on Agentsp. 215
Agent Checklistp. 216
17 Finding an Editorp. 217
A Powerful Mentorp. 218
Do Your Homework!p. 219
Eenie, Meenie, Minie Editorp. 219
She Wants You!p. 222
What an Editor Is Really Looking Forp. 222
How Do Editors Edit?p. 224
Power Shiftp. 225
Editor Checklistp. 226
18 Submissions: Laying Your Heart on the Linep. 227
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!p. 228
How to Avoid the Trash Heapp. 228
"How-To" Know-Howp. 228
The Importance of Being Queriedp. 232
To Multiple Submit or Not to Multiple Submit--That Is the Questionp. 236
Follow Up? Who? Me?p. 238
When All Is Said and Donep. 239
Submissions Checklistp. 239
Part 4 The Writing Bizp. 241
19 You're Published, Now What?p. 243
Hurry Up and Waitp. 244
Gentlemen, Start Your Next Bookp. 245
Second-Book Syndromep. 245
The Honeymoon Periodp. 246
An Exclusive Clubp. 246
The Price of Successp. 247
The Hazingp. 247
You're in the Army Nowp. 248
The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Multi-Book Contractsp. 249
New York Times, Here I Come!p. 250
What It Means to Be a Professionalp. 253
I Wanna Hold Your Handp. 254
Editorial Supportp. 255
20 Advances and Royaltiesp. 257
The Cold Hard Realities of Cold Hard Cashp. 258
Money Mattersp. 260
Taxation Terrorp. 263
Is the *%!#! Check in the Mail Yet!?p. 264
Reasons to Keep Your Day Jobp. 265
When Do I Get a Raise?p. 265
Making the Mostp. 266
21 Acting Like a Professionalp. 269
On Becoming a Prop. 270
Signs of a Professional Writerp. 270
What Makes a Pro a Pro?p. 270
Write Like a Prop. 271
Professional Affiliationsp. 272
Code of Conductp. 273
Open for Businessp. 278
The Big Picturep. 279
You Can Get There from Herep. 281
Understand Your Strengthsp. 281
22 Promotion Tipsp. 283
Books, Books, Everywherep. 284
Reasons Readers Buyp. 284
The Promotion Pyramidp. 284
What Works? What Doesn't?p. 286
May I Have Your Autograph?p. 289
The Publisher's Rolep. 292
23 Nuts and Bolts of the Bizp. 297
Advantages of the A-Teamp. 298
Mid-List Bluesp. 299
The Harlequin Machinep. 300
Sell-Throughsp. 300
Gotcha Coveredp. 302
What's in a Title?p. 303
Love's Raging Titlesp. 304
Changing Marketplacep. 304
Alternative Marketsp. 305
24 Romancing the Industryp. 311
The Good Newsp. 311
Because Writers Are Weirdp. 313
Brave New Worldp. 314
The Conference Connectionp. 316
It's Not What You Knowp. 321
Can I Quote You on That?p. 321
Networking Checklistp. 321
25 The Last Word (Or Why You Really Can Do This)p. 323
How Bad Do You Want This?p. 324
Meant for Bigger Thingsp. 325
Take Risksp. 325
Bouncing Backp. 326
Pacing Yourselfp. 326
Long-Range Goalsp. 327
Dare to Dreamp. 328
Writers Are Made, Not Bornp. 328
Happy Ending, Happy Writing!p. 330
A Glossaryp. 333
B Romance Publishersp. 339
Electronic Publishersp. 343
C Writing Resource Booksp. 345
D Romance Reviewers and Publicationsp. 349
E Writing- and Publishing-Related Organizationsp. 353
F Press Releasesp. 355
Indexp. 359