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Monday, November 25, 2013


From windswept moors and lowering skies to crumbling castles and madwomen in the attic, there is much to draw upon when writing Gothic fiction. There are three key factors to consider before writing and plotting your Gothic tale: setting, character and the influence of the supernatural. Many modern writers, such as Margaret Atwood and Susan Hill, use Gothic elements in their novels, inspired by its rich heritage.
"The Castle of Otranto" by Walpole is considered to be the first Gothic novel. It set the blueprint for all Gothic fiction that came after it, in its premise that the external world should mirror the tormented inner lives of its characters. Emily Bronte built on this with the desolate moors of "Wuthering Heights". The setting for a Gothic tale should be bleak and oppressive, such as a ruined castle or sinister and remote village. The setting should also contain hidden spaces and secrets.

A tale would not be Gothic if it did not feature some supernatural action. A vengeful ghost can haunt the serpentine hallways and rattle the heroine's bedroom door. Paintings can come alive and rusted suits of armor creak into life. With a Gothic tale, your imagination can come alive and there is no limit to your fervid imaginings. To really grip the reader, the ghostly aspect should be unexplained and the story should leave plenty of loose ends.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

How to Write Romance Novel Excerpts

People write scenes for a romance novel for different reasons: Perhaps you're writing excerpts to see if you can write an entire romance novel, or perhaps you're fine tuning parts from a novel you've already written. Alternatively, if you've published books in other genres, you may need to show excerpts of a romance novel to an interested publisher, showcasing what your writing style is like in this type of fiction. Regardless of your reason, there are concrete things you can do to make your excerpts stronger.
 1 Decide what your boundaries are and what you do or do not feel comfortable writing. Some romance novels are simply very romantic, others are far more erotic. Figure out where your own personal tastes and level of comfort lie.
 2 Flesh out your characters and make them detailed, nuanced people in your fictional world. Decide what their goals and desires are and why the hero and heroine are so perfect for each other.
 3 Decide whose point of view you will write from, the hero's or the heroine's. Writing from both can give the reader a jarring experience.
 4 Build tension in the details and dialogue. Set the stage carefully for the romance and/or eroticism that is to come.
 5 Write love scenes that are real and believable as opposed to clichés filled with trite phrases. The excerpts from your romance novel should distinguish themselves from run-of-the-mill romantic fiction.
 6 Give your readers what they expect; don't disappoint. If you build up sexual tension for an extremely erotic scene, then you should eventually have your characters get to that point. If you set the stage for a sweetly romantic physical scene, then don't shock your readers by giving them something too dirty or pornographic.

How to Write Hot Love Scenes in Romance Novels

Everyone's giggled over a romance novel a time or two--paged through it, picked out the love scenes, and snorted. Since the 1970's when popular romance writers such as Kathleen Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey and Rosemary Rogers pushed the spiciness envelope of historical romances, love scenes --or sex scenes, as they're sometimes called-- in romance novels have become an essential part of the genre. Some writers find hot love scenes easy to write, others find them a challenge. Here's how you write the hot love scenes romance readers will love to read...and kids will love to giggle at.  
Write the appropriate love scenes for the subgenre you're writing for. Educate yourself by reading. Learn that category romances vary widely in the types of love scenes they feature; Harlequin Romances are sweet, while Harlequin Blaze are hot and spicy, and Harlequin Spice are really, really spicy. "Romantics" is a genre that blends hot romance and erotica, and some consider it within the purview of the romance genre. Learn the conventions of contemporary romances, historical romances, and futuristic, fantasy, and paranormal romances. Read publishers' guidelines to find out how hot they're buying romance books these days.  
Write love scenes consistent with your writer's voice. Many new writers of romance novels assume that to write a hot love scene, they must indulge in purple prose like, "Her voluptuous bosom heaved with torpid passion." Uh-uh. Write about the sex and lovemaking in your natural style of writing.  
Think quality over quantity. One hotter-than-hot love scene at the end of the novel can sell a book faster than five love scenes that are yawners, written without real passion. Gratuitous love scenes put in for filler only disenchant your reader.  
Situate love scenes where they fit best in the story. This isn't as easy as it sounds, and it takes some intuition. Novels have a rhythm; action builds and then peaks and then eases off; same with tension and pacing. Romance novels feature an escalating series of such peaks, culminating in the big climax at the end. Your love scenes will go right at the top of some of those peaks. Puns intended...  
When you write your love scenes, make sure your characters act in character. Letting them act out of character just so they can display the expected lust for a love scene is part of what brings on those juvenile giggles. Think about your characters' personalities and have them behave only slightly more outrageously than they would if they were real people...exaggerating just enough for fiction.  
Write passionately. Well-written, sensual love scenes are not about body part a being inserted into body part B, but are about the senses and thoughts and feelings of the characters. A touch of the wrist can be achingly sexy to read about; so can oral sex; so, in fact, can a description of a man's fingers. But avoid mechanical descriptions of sex; your reader could have consulted a sex manual if that's what she wanted. Concentrate on describing the feelings and sensations involved.
Avoid falling back on overused clichés in writing love scenes. Though it's nearly impossible to eliminate all clichés in a romance novel, try to make every phrase as original as you can. Your jaded readers, who are likely to have read hundreds, if not thousands of love scenes by the time they pick up your book, will thank you. Know that far too many things tend to swell, throb, pulse, ache, writhe, flush, and pant in a romance novel, so try to come at what's happening at a new angle that your reader's not expecting. Yes, you'll be describing certain basics: kissing, touching, foreplay, sex. But remember there are an infinite number of ways to describe everything from a gentle kiss to sexual intercourse. The obvious advice applies here: be creative.   
Become an expert. If you don't have a lot of direct experience with the kind of sex that you're writing about, then do your research. There are plenty of books on sex and lovemaking available. Write love scenes that convince your reader you know more than they do about lovemaking. Love scenes are part of a romance writer's repertoire.   
If I've left out any steps that would help you, tell me in the comment's section and I'll add them. Good luck with your romance book!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

How to Write a Romance Novel

Romance novels are the biggest selling type of fiction in North America and are popular all over the world. It's considered less challenging to write a romance novel than many other types of fiction because there is a basic, set formula for this type of fiction.
·  Come up with a strong, interesting heroine and an alpha-male hero. These characters are standard in romance novels, though the degree to which these traits are present will vary. Some people portray the heroine as shy or weaker than the standard romance novel heroine, but she must be a character that will stand up for herself. This is what will make female readers root for her. The hero must be strong and worthy of devotion and respect.
Think up a reason that these two characters can't be together. The plot of a romance novel is generally the problems that keep the two main characters apart and how they overcome them. Depending on the theme of your romance novel, you may create legal problems or a crime drama that keeps the couple apart. If the tone is lighter, it might be simple mistrust or another suitor that is getting in the way. For serious drama, throw in cultural differences that make the relationship seem too difficult in the beginning of the relationship.
Write a romance novel story in which these problems keep the couple apart for most of the book, but allow them to get together near the end of the book. Romance novels always have a happy ending with the couple joined together and in love. The problems should have been resolved so that there is nothing to keep the couple apart any longer

How to Write a Teen Fiction Novel

Writing a teen fiction novel is not the most difficult type of novel to write. However, without guidance and direction this task can be very difficult. There are many ways to write a teen fiction novel but there are major keys to success with this genre. Below are some of the most important steps you will need to follow to write a teen fiction novel.
·  Write about a topic that interest teenagers. Topics like politics, government, and cooking are probably not the best subjects to write about when trying to interest teenagers. On the other hand, ghost stories, murder mysteries, and paranormal romance, vampires, werewolfs stories are of interest to most teenagers.
Use small paragraphs. This is necessary to keep the attention of your young audience. Long, drawn out paragraphs will immediately turn them off of the book. Writing in this manner also allows you to use more space with fewer words.
Describe your characters in great detail. Teenage readers will become very interested in your book if they can visualize who they are reading about.
Incorporate popular teen slang. Make certain you understand the context and usage of these terms before you begin using them. A good idea is to speak with teenagers in your area or visit a local junior high school so you can fully understand how teenagers speak and associate with their peers.
Exhibit ethical behavior. If one of your characters breaks the law or misbehaves, make sure they get caught or punished. This will exhibit to the parents that you do not condone this behavior, and to the readers that all bad habits and behavior will eventually be punished.