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How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance

How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance

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How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance

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  1. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance So You Think You’re Writing a Romance? Welcome! I cannot TELL you how many writers email me with the following query: “Hello. I’m writing a ROMANCE NOVEL. It keeps getting rejected. Can you help?” So I look at the manuscript . . . And guess what? The book isn’t a COMMERCIAL ROMANCE NOVEL at all. The writer hasn’t done his/her homework to LEARN WHAT ROMANCE PUBLISHERS ARE SEEKING. Throwing SEX into a novel does not make it Romance. Throwing a LOVE AFFAIR into a novel does not necessarily make it a Romance. Killing off a lover at the end (Hint: Nicholas Sparks) WILL NOT GET YOU PUBLISHED BY A COMMERCIAL ROMANCE PUBLISHER. So let’s look at how publishers define a COMMERCIAL ROMANCE NOVEL.

  2. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance Overview • In this Lesson, we shall discuss: • The Difference between Commercial Fiction, Mainstream Fiction, and Literary Fiction • The 10 Sub Genres of Romance (with Sample Authors) • The advantages of writing commercial Romance

  3. Oscar Wilde said: "The good end happily, the bad unhappily: That is what fiction means.“ Quote excerpted from http://quotationsbook.com/quote/15031

  4. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance Understand Terms Used in Publishing 2 Types of Fiction in the Marketplace: • Literary Fiction: • The fiction of ideas: primary purpose is to evoke thought • Writer’s goal is self-expression; consideration of reader • tastes secondary • Storyline often full of angst; ending is not always happy • Has no statistically loyal reading audience • Language differentiates it from Commercial Fiction • The writer’s beautiful, poetic “voice” is as crucial to Literary • Fiction as plot or characterization • Writers include William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway • The spine of a literary novel is often labeled, “Fiction.”

  5. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance Understand Terms Used in Publishing 2 Types of Fiction in the Marketplace (cont): • Commercial Fiction: • The fiction of emotion • Primary purpose is to evoke feelings • Writer’s goal is to entertain the reader; consideration of • self-expression is secondary • Writer’s style appeals to the common man; and thus, a • broader range of readers • Two types of commercial fiction exist in the marketplace

  6. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance Understand Terms Used in Publishing Commercial Fiction (cont): • Mainstream Fiction: • Does not meet the specific publishing criteria for Genre or • “Category” Fiction • Has no statistically loyal reading audience • Storylines sometimes blur, featuring elements of several • types of Category Fiction (example: a mystery with a strong • love story; an alien invasion set in the Old West) • The spine of a mainstream novel is often labeled, “Fiction.”

  7. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance Understand Terms Used in Publishing Commercial Fiction (cont): • Category or “Genre” Fiction: • 7 Primary Categories of Commercial Fiction: • Romance • Mystery • Science Fiction • Fantasy • Thrillers • Westerns • Horror

  8. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance Understand Terms Used in Publishing Commercial Fiction (cont): • Category or “Genre” Fiction: • Meets specific publishing criteria • Storylines cannot waver far from their Category theme • Each genre has a statistically loyal reading audience • Multiple sub-genres exist within each category • Adrienne deWolfe’s website, “Writing Novels that Sell” focuses on commercial fiction

  9. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance Understand Terms Used in Publishing Commercial Fiction (cont): • Other Terms to Know in Fiction: • Cross-Over Novel • A “Mainstream” written by a popular Genre author • The storyline “crosses over” the accepted boundaries of • the primary genre • Difficult to break into publishing with a cross-over • Success typically reserved for well-established, • bestselling genre authors because they can carry their • fans with them into the Mainstream Market

  10. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance Understand Terms Used in Publishing Cross-Over Novel (cont): • Examples of Cross-Over Authors in the Romance industry: • Maeve Binchy • RosamundePilcher • Nora Roberts • Tami Hoag “Break-out Novel”: Defined as the 1st Mainstream “cross-over” written by a Genre author

  11. Jo Beverly said: “Romantic fiction validates the belief that men and women can have meaningful relationships that are strengthening and healthy.” Quote excerpted from “News Flash! All Authors Take Note!” PANdora’s Box. May-June Issue, 1995, pg. 26.

  12. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance Sub-Genres of Category Fiction 2 Primary Categories of Romance • Category Romance • Approximately 200 pages (55,000 words) • Harlequin / Mills & Boon largest publisher • (sells 4 books per second, ½ internationally) • Designed around specific themes called “lines” • Examples: Harlequin Presents, Silhouette Candlelight • Romance, Harlequin Desire, etc. • A specific number of books is released each month • These books may be sequentially numbered • They remain in bookstores for two to three weeks

  13. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance Sub-Genres of Category Fiction 2 Primary Categories of Romance • Single Title Romance • 350 to 450 pages in length • Typically “stand alone,” not released as part of a • publisher's category • Some Single Title novels evolve into spin-offs • (Example: Adrienne deWolfe’s bestselling Wild Texas Nights series) • Single Title authors write 1.5 novels per year • “Shelf life” depends entirely upon the bookseller

  14. Wayne Jordan said: “I’m comfortable with who I am… Some people find it strange that I write Romance, and yes, (male writers are) rare, but I’ve never allowed that to worry me.” Quote excerpted from, “Writers on Writing: Featuring Wayne Jordan,” by Eileen Putman, Romance Writers Report, Nov. 2008, V. 28, No. 1, pg. 35

  15. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance Sub-Genres of Category Fiction 10 Sub-Genres of Romance • Contemporary Romance • Most popular • Set in the present-day; reflect morals of the era. • Protagonists deal with topical issues: aging parents, • childcare, divorce, corporate mergers, job loss, traffic • congestion, global warming, etc. • Authors: • Carol Grace • Donna Fasano • Nora Roberts • Jayne Ann Krentz

  16. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance Sub-Genres of Category Fiction 10 Sub-Genres of Romance • Historical Romance (prior to World War II) • Typically set in America (or its territories), Great Britain • (or its colonies), and Australia • Perennial favorites: medieval stories set in Britain; • stories set in the Scottish Highlands; the American Civil • War; the American West (especially for eBook • audiences); and pirate tales. • Authors: • Christina Dodd • Amanda Quick • Stephanie Laurens • Julia Quinn

  17. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance Sub-Genres of Category Fiction 10 Sub-Genres of Romance • Regency Romance • Set in the Regency Period of Great Britain • The tone of the writing is key. (Julia Quinn isn’t • considered a Regency Romance writer.) • Must be clever, frothy, light-hearted (no dark, brooding • heroes) • Readers expect liberal use of period slang, spunky • heroine, English gentry / “Ton”; smuggling, Napoleonic • Conspiracies. • Authors: Mary Balough, Cheryl Bolen, Cynthia Wickland

  18. How To Write Novels that Sell Class #1 Sub-Genres of Category Fiction 10 Sub-Genres of Romance • Paranormal Romance • Blend real life with fantasy and / or science fiction. • Themes may include vampires, demons, werewolves, • and ghosts; psychic abilities, magic, witchcraft; time- • travel, extraterrestrials, alternate worlds, and futuristic • settings. • Authors: • Gena Showalter • Jeaniene Frost • Susan Krinard • Dara Joy

  19. How To Write Novels that Sell Class #1 Sub-Genres of Category Fiction 10 Sub-Genres of Romance • Romantic Suspense • Romance blended with Suspense / Mystery elements • Usually involve contemporary settings, but historical • periods have gained popularity • Authors: • Carla Neggers • Lisa Gardner • Linda Howard • Catherine Coulter’s FBI Series

  20. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance Sub-Genres of Category Fiction 10 Sub-Genres of Romance • Gothic Romance • Typically written in the First Person viewpoint • Involve historical settings (usually Britain) • Storylines often feature dark, brooding, aristocratic • heroes; chaperone or governess heroines who are in • jeopardy; sinister or suspicious secondary characters; • and an eerie manor house or castle. • Authors: • Victoria Holt • Mary Stewart

  21. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance Sub-Genres of Category Fiction 10 Sub-Genres of Romance • Inspirational Romance • Characterized by explicit, Christian themes • The courtship is chaste • Courtship often involves a pivotal moment that tests • the protagonists’ faith in God • Common themes include fidelity, honesty, forgiveness • Authors: • Francine Rivers • Janet Oke • Janice Thompson • Tracie Peterson

  22. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance Sub-Genres of Category Fiction 10 Sub-Genres of Romance • Ethnic Romance • Typically Contemporary Settings • 2 Sub-Genres: • African-American Romance • Latina/Latino Romance • Authors: • EboniSnoe & Wayne Jordan • (African-American Sub-Genre) • Berta Platas Fuller (Latina Sub-Genre)

  23. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance Sub-Genres of Category Fiction 10 Sub-Genres of Romance • Young Adult Romance • Romances featuring high-school-age characters • and their youthful problems • Intimacy is typically more “sweet” than adult romance • Authors: • Michelle Madow • Lauren DeStefano • Richelle Mead • Maggie Stiefvater

  24. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance Why Write Commercial Romance? • Sure, you like to read Romance novels. But are there any advantages to writing them? • Absolutely! Here are just a few: • For more than 35 years, Romance novels have dominated publishing sales in a worldwide market. • Romance novels comprise more than 50% of all commercial Fiction that gets published each year.

  25. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance Why Write Commercial Romance? • More Romance authors appear on bestseller lists (Ex. New York Times) than writers in any other commercial category of Fiction. • Because more readers read Romance, publishers buy more Romance manuscripts each month/year than any other type of commercial fiction. • If you’re looking for your niche as a published author, commercial Romance is a good place to break into publishing for all of the reasons discussed above.

  26. Kelly Moran said: "I can take two people, throw a world of obstacles at them, defy the odds, and still give them a happily-ever-after. Together. I am a romance author. What's your superpower?" Quote excerpted from http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/romance-author

  27. How To Write Novels that Sell Recognize Romance So You Think You’re Writing a Romance? So how do you get started toward your publication goal? I recommend that you start reading! If you haven’t read AT LEAST 30 commercial Romance Novels that have been published in the last 2 years, then you are not up to speed with current market trends. Keep in mind that whatever you are reading was bought between 6 months and 18 months ago. That is why publishers can’t tell you what the next “hot trend” will be. You may be writing Vampires now, but guess what? In 18 months, Vampire novels may be out of favor with the readers – which makes Vampire novels out of favor with publishers. So write what you love! Follow publisher guidelines. And stay focused on your publication dream. Remember: 100% of the books that don’t get written, don’t get published! 