I thought I’d do a series on how to write a good romance novel, or any novel really, by avoiding some common pitfalls.
#1: It all starts at the end …
In any novel, the most important sentence is the first sentence. The most important paragraph is the first paragraph, and the most important page, the first page. However, romance novels are all about the ending.
In a book that’s main theme is the relationship between two people, the resolution of their conflicts and consequent “happy ending” are of paramount importance. It’s not like a mystery where if the mystery is solved, the reader is satisfied or a crime where the murderer is finally revealed in the last few pages. The end of a good romance story, in many ways, is the beginning of the story of their lives together, which therefore begs the question, where do you stop the story.
- Do you stop at the kiss where they finally declare their love for each other?
- Do you stop after a proposal or wedding?
- Do you give a glimpse into what the coming years will bring them?
That’s really a question of personal story telling style. But really, every good love story should end in a spot that leaves the reader satisfied that they weren’t left with lingering questions about what happened next, and by this I mean in a bad way. Remember, you want a reader to love the ending so much they want to buy every book you’ve ever written. If, as a reader, I’m cheated of a good ending, I promise you, I won’t be reading anymore of that writer’s books.
Lesson: Consider how emotionally satisfying your ending is.
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