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 How to write a Romance Novel.

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PostSubject: How to write a Romance Novel.   Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:08 pm

1. Pick a name for your heroine. Anything like the name of a flower or a gemstone will do. Her character should be pure and bit naive.
Your herione should also be poor.
2. Pick your main hunk. Make sure he is taller than than your heroine and is rich. He could be prince of a land no one has heard of. If he is a bit of an ass, it helps with the plot.
3. Pick an exotic location than no normal person could ever afford to visit.
4. set up a conflict of some sort with heroine and the hero. She should be attracted to him for some reason but be repeled by his character of being an ass. She could be his maid or his secretary. If you make her pregnant, it helps.
5. Have some sort of nasty woman play "the other woman" part. You can also give the heroine another hunk to admire.
6. Have the main guy show off his money somehow.

7. stir well and add in a misunderstanding or two.
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PostSubject: Re: How to write a Romance Novel.   Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:43 pm

lol!

If you were trying to write the typical cliched romance novel...

For #1, she's pure, but still sexy in this subtle way that only he notices beneath the dirty cover of her poor status in life - a beautiful flower (rose) that needs some polish and shine before she reveals her true natural beauty. Truly more beautiful than any other woman.

For #2, you forgot to mention that he's the handsome thing on God's green earth, equivalent to a god in terms of wealth, prestige and good looks. And therefore the most arrogant man around who could have his pick of any woman he wanted. (He just has to appear and women will automatically throw themselves at him in hopes to gain his attention.) Oh, and that he's usually got some fancy unpronounceable foreign name XD

For #4, it's because it's "forbidden" for some reason - mainly because she spurns him for one reason or another (typically cuz he's such an ass) and that infuriates and intrigues him, because "No woman ever, EVER rejects me! NEVER! She WILL succumb to my amazingness!" And the pregnancy thing... I HATE how overused that is, but it's so true... (At least in how often it's used, and not realistically speaking... haha~)

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PostSubject: Re: How to write a Romance Novel.   Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:19 pm

I forgot about the forbidden part....Maybe a step brother or some other forbidden romance.
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PostSubject: Re: How to write a Romance Novel.   Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:52 pm

Yeah!! That or the whole "star-crossed lovers" thing where they're falling in love even if they're enemies for some reason. Families are at odds or something like that.

Or the guy has done something to hurt the girl's brother/father/uncle (some male relative) and she's going to get revenge on him... But we all know what happens from there...

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PostSubject: Re: How to write a Romance Novel.   Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:07 pm

you should have some side characters too..like a girlfriend or ex wife or boyfriend or ex husband etc etc Very Happy
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PostSubject: Straight from the 'Harlequins' mouth....   Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:51 am

http://www.harlequin.com/articlepage.html?articleId=538&chapter=0

This link goes to a portion of Harlequin's own site regarding the topics around the HOW TO's of becoming a HQ author. If for no other reason check it out for larks! Each type of story (ie Blaze, Passion, Presents.... etc.) has it's own mini guideline ^^. And it is almost as chiche'd as Algernon's lol!
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PostSubject: Re: How to write a Romance Novel.   Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:24 am

Laughing Should have known something like this would have existed... I'll have to check it out in more detail when I get a chance! XD

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PostSubject: Re: How to write a Romance Novel.   Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:22 am

Tiku wrote:
http://www.harlequin.com/articlepage.html?articleId=538&chapter=0

This link goes to a portion of Harlequin's own site regarding the topics around the HOW TO's of becoming a HQ author. If for no other reason check it out for larks! Each type of story (ie Blaze, Passion, Presents.... etc.) has it's own mini guideline ^^. And it is almost as chiche'd as Algernon's lol!

I didn't know that such a article existed ! I have to check it out... maybe I will try to write something with that as my guide ^^

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PostSubject: Re: How to write a Romance Novel.   Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:02 am

NEVER FORGET THE HAPPY ENDING! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: How to write a Romance Novel.   Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:57 pm

swedesamurai wrote:
NEVER FORGET THE HAPPY ENDING! Very Happy

Agree. It's not a romance novel without the happy ending
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PostSubject: Re: How to write a Romance Novel.   Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:14 am

silvery wrote:
swedesamurai wrote:
NEVER FORGET THE HAPPY ENDING! Very Happy

Agree. It's not a romance novel without the happy ending

Sometimes I think the heroine is too stupid or vain to deserve a happy ending......
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PostSubject: Re: How to write a Romance Novel.   Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:44 am

Algenon wrote:
silvery wrote:
swedesamurai wrote:
NEVER FORGET THE HAPPY ENDING! Very Happy

Agree. It's not a romance novel without the happy ending

Sometimes I think the heroine is too stupid or vain to deserve a happy ending......

I also agree to that, but I usually don't finish the story if I can't "click" with the characters. So when the story was written also determines the kind of characters you will get. I find the heroines written in the 80's are more conservative and less likely to think highly of themselves. They rely more on the plot than the characters to push the story along.
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PostSubject: How to write a Romance Novel   Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:32 pm

silvery wrote:
Algenon wrote:
silvery wrote:
swedesamurai wrote:
NEVER FORGET THE HAPPY ENDING! Very Happy

Agree. It's not a romance novel without the happy ending

Sometimes I think the heroine is too stupid or vain to deserve a happy ending......

I also agree to that, but I usually don't finish the story if I can't "click" with the characters. So when the story was written also determines the kind of characters you will get. I find the heroines written in the 80's are more conservative and less likely to think highly of themselves. They rely more on the plot than the characters to push the story along.

Most Harlequin Males at least those in the HQ Presents and Desire Series tend to be real Alpha Males that just naturally and often time brutally dominate those around them. If I find that the Male Character is too Dominating across from a Submissive Female I'll toss the book. But if the Female protagonist is feisty, self assured, and stands up for herself I will read the book to the end.

Two books that come to mind are:
Deserving of His Diamonds by Melanie Milburne(Mills & Boon Jan 2012)
Synopsis:
His not-so-perfect fiancée…
Emilio Andreoni’s goal is perfection: a corporate king and Italy’s most eligible bachelor, he craves only one more thing to complete his phenomenally successful life - the perfect woman! Once he thought that woman was shy Gisele Carter - until her scandalous goings-on became headline news and he called off their seemingly perfect engagement.
But now Emilio is faced with proof of Gisele’s innocence! He’s determined to win back the only woman who ever truly satisfied him, but first he must persuade Gisele she’s worthy of wearing his diamonds again…
Don’t miss this first installment in Melanie Milburne’s The Outrageous Sisters duet!

and

Secret Son, Convenient Wife by Maxine Sullivan(Harlequin Desire Jan 2011)
Synopsis:
She's Back In His Life...With Something Extra
Tate Chandler had never wanted a woman as much as he'd wanted Gemma Watkins -- until the day she'd betrayed him. Yet when he learned they had a son, he demanded Gemma marry him, or he'd fight for custody. Tate was a man of honor -- he'd create a family for his heir, even if it meant marrying a woman he couldn't trust.
Their marriage was about duty, nothing more. But Gemma's beauty tempted him to make her his wife in every way. Could he lure her back into his bed without letting her back into his heart?

The lead Female Characters in these stories are tough and go through a lot but typically in HQ style the have their Happy ending-but not before they've gone through hell that shows the quality of their character.
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PostSubject: Re: How to write a Romance Novel.   Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:25 pm

swedesamurai wrote:
Most Harlequin Males at least those in the HQ Presents and Desire Series tend to be real Alpha Males that just naturally and often time brutally dominate those around them. If I find that the Male Character is too Dominating across from a Submissive Female I'll toss the book. But if the Female protagonist is feisty, self assured, and stands up for herself I will read the book to the end.

That's why in general, I find Harlequin/Mills&Boon romances to be super cliched.Can't stomach them. For the most part, they follow the same cookie-cutter pattern. Yes, for sure every romance deserves a happy ending or else it wouldn't be one. Definitely agreed on that point. But just how it's always the same type of male falling for the same type of female in a similar setting...

Rich, handsome, powerful male... Submissive, obedient female... Who somehow tames the male (through what process I don't understand)... Rolling Eyes

So yeah, it's definitely more interesting to have an independent, self-confident woman as the heroine!

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PostSubject: Re: How to write a Romance Novel.   Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:02 pm

aerysa wrote:
swedesamurai wrote:
Most Harlequin Males at least those in the HQ Presents and Desire Series tend to be real Alpha Males that just naturally and often time brutally dominate those around them. If I find that the Male Character is too Dominating across from a Submissive Female I'll toss the book. But if the Female protagonist is feisty, self assured, and stands up for herself I will read the book to the end.

That's why in general, I find Harlequin/Mills&Boon romances to be super cliched.Can't stomach them. For the most part, they follow the same cookie-cutter pattern. Yes, for sure every romance deserves a happy ending or else it wouldn't be one. Definitely agreed on that point. But just how it's always the same type of male falling for the same type of female in a similar setting...

Rich, handsome, powerful male... Submissive, obedient female... Who somehow tames the male (through what process I don't understand)... Rolling Eyes

So yeah, it's definitely more interesting to have an independent, self-confident woman as the heroine!

That's so true! I don't understand the so called taming process so I really can't click with some of the stories...
Maybe it's because I'm rather independent myself but I find those "I love her because she's so vulnerable and I have to protect her!" type of stories a little hard to stomach. My brother says that's because I like the tsundere types more... maybe...
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PostSubject: Re: How to write a Romance Novel.   Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:57 pm

AHAHA! Your brother is funny XD I wouldn't say that I like tsundere types in particular, but they can be adorable. You just have to get to the point where you get over their outer harshness and dig deeper.

I don't know if I have a favorite "type" of hero, but I just don't get the whole "treated like trash and take it because I love him" idea that some of those stories seem to promote. Like NO. The man is just terrible! Evil or Very Mad

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PostSubject: How to write a Romance Novel.   Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:03 am

aerysa wrote:
swedesamurai wrote:
Most Harlequin Males at least those in the HQ Presents and Desire Series tend to be real Alpha Males that just naturally and often time brutally dominate those around them. If I find that the Male Character is too Dominating across from a Submissive Female I'll toss the book. But if the Female protagonist is feisty, self assured, and stands up for herself I will read the book to the end.

That's why in general, I find Harlequin/Mills&Boon romances to be super cliched.Can't stomach them. For the most part, they follow the same cookie-cutter pattern. Yes, for sure every romance deserves a happy ending or else it wouldn't be one. Definitely agreed on that point. But just how it's always the same type of male falling for the same type of female in a similar setting...

Rich, handsome, powerful male... Submissive, obedient female... Who somehow tames the male (through what process I don't understand)... Rolling Eyes

So yeah, it's definitely more interesting to have an independent, self-confident woman as the heroine!

silvery wrote:
aerysa wrote:
swedesamurai wrote:
Most Harlequin Males at least those in the HQ Presents and Desire Series tend to be real Alpha Males that just naturally and often time brutally dominate those around them. If I find that the Male Character is too Dominating across from a Submissive Female I'll toss the book. But if the Female protagonist is feisty, self assured, and stands up for herself I will read the book to the end.

That's why in general, I find Harlequin/Mills&Boon romances to be super cliched.Can't stomach them. For the most part, they follow the same cookie-cutter pattern. Yes, for sure every romance deserves a happy ending or else it wouldn't be one. Definitely agreed on that point. But just how it's always the same type of male falling for the same type of female in a similar setting...

Rich, handsome, powerful male... Submissive, obedient female... Who somehow tames the male (through what process I don't understand)... Rolling Eyes

So yeah, it's definitely more interesting to have an independent, self-confident woman as the heroine!

That's so true! I don't understand the so called taming process so I really can't click with some of the stories...
Maybe it's because I'm rather independent myself but I find those "I love her because she's so vulnerable and I have to protect her!" type of stories a little hard to stomach. My brother says that's because I like the tsundere types more... maybe...

I can only speak from the male side but the taming process is aways the fun part in a new relationship. I am alway attracted to strong willed women. I think they are more attractive than mousy submissive types. They think for themselves and it adds a dimension of quality that does not exist with submissive females. A lot of men that I know and some of my friends have commented that all the women that I have pursued have always been "high maintenance" in their eyes but oh is life more fun with such women. Especially when you win. and prove them to be Tsunderes' in the end!

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a womanizer (Not anymore). When I speak of the chase above it's about my search for my perfect partner....It took me over 30 years to find her...but a feister, more open, warm, forthright Tsundere you could never find on earth. The taming process just lead to the best of relationships possible and was it ever fun!
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PostSubject: Re: How to write a Romance Novel.   Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:13 am

swedesamurai wrote:
I can only speak from the male side but the taming process is aways the fun part in a new relationship. I am alway attracted to strong willed women. I think they are more attractive than mousy submissive types. They think for themselves and it adds a dimension of quality that does not exist with submissive females. A lot of men that I know and some of my friends have commented that all the women that I have pursued have always been "high maintenance" in their eyes but oh is life more fun with such women. Especially when you win. and prove them to be Tsunderes' in the end!

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a womanizer (Not anymore). When I speak of the chase above it's about my search for my perfect partner....It took me over 30 years to find her...but a feister, more open, warm, forthright Tsundere you could never find on earth. The taming process just lead to the best of relationships possible and was it ever fun!
I understand that from your point of view since the woman represents a challenge. But it seems like it's always this mousy quiet woman who ends up taming the alpha male in these Harlequin stories... My question is HOW?! As you already said, that extra dimension just doesn't exist in that type of female, so I don't see the challenge in a "alpha male vs submissive female" setup.

I'm loathed to even call it "taming process" because it's something usually associated with (wild) animals. In your case, I think it's more about getting to know the various facets of the other person and she just happens to be tsundere, which present a greater challenge at the beginning. (The way it should be in any relationship.)

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PostSubject: Re: How to write a Romance Novel.   Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:23 pm

aerysa wrote:
swedesamurai wrote:
I can only speak from the male side but the taming process is aways the fun part in a new relationship. I am alway attracted to strong willed women. I think they are more attractive than mousy submissive types. They think for themselves and it adds a dimension of quality that does not exist with submissive females. A lot of men that I know and some of my friends have commented that all the women that I have pursued have always been "high maintenance" in their eyes but oh is life more fun with such women. Especially when you win. and prove them to be Tsunderes' in the end!

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a womanizer (Not anymore). When I speak of the chase above it's about my search for my perfect partner....It took me over 30 years to find her...but a feister, more open, warm, forthright Tsundere you could never find on earth. The taming process just lead to the best of relationships possible and was it ever fun!
I understand that from your point of view since the woman represents a challenge. But it seems like it's always this mousy quiet woman who ends up taming the alpha male in these Harlequin stories... My question is HOW?! As you already said, that extra dimension just doesn't exist in that type of female, so I don't see the challenge in a "alpha male vs submissive female" setup.

I'm loathed to even call it "taming process" because it's something usually associated with (wild) animals. In your case, I think it's more about getting to know the various facets of the other person and she just happens to be tsundere, which present a greater challenge at the beginning. (The way it should be in any relationship.)

I agree. It's not so much a taming than a "I'll be patient with you because someone has to be the adult here. But when I get mad, do not blame me when your head gets bitten off" kind of process to me. After all, in real life, those kinds of pairings tend to end up with the woman being broken down/ not having a personality (presence)/ or in some cases turning violent. Alpha male vs submissive female is usually a recipe for disaster in real life, so I don't get how it all works out "happily ever after" in the books...
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PostSubject: Re: How to write a Romance Novel.   Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:16 pm

silvery wrote:
aerysa wrote:
swedesamurai wrote:
I can only speak from the male side but the taming process is aways the fun part in a new relationship. I am alway attracted to strong willed women. I think they are more attractive than mousy submissive types. They think for themselves and it adds a dimension of quality that does not exist with submissive females. A lot of men that I know and some of my friends have commented that all the women that I have pursued have always been "high maintenance" in their eyes but oh is life more fun with such women. Especially when you win. and prove them to be Tsunderes' in the end!

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a womanizer (Not anymore). When I speak of the chase above it's about my search for my perfect partner....It took me over 30 years to find her...but a feister, more open, warm, forthright Tsundere you could never find on earth. The taming process just lead to the best of relationships possible and was it ever fun!
I understand that from your point of view since the woman represents a challenge. But it seems like it's always this mousy quiet woman who ends up taming the alpha male in these Harlequin stories... My question is HOW?! As you already said, that extra dimension just doesn't exist in that type of female, so I don't see the challenge in a "alpha male vs submissive female" setup.

I'm loathed to even call it "taming process" because it's something usually associated with (wild) animals. In your case, I think it's more about getting to know the various facets of the other person and she just happens to be tsundere, which present a greater challenge at the beginning. (The way it should be in any relationship.)

I agree. It's not so much a taming than a "I'll be patient with you because someone has to be the adult here. But when I get mad, do not blame me when your head gets bitten off" kind of process to me. After all, in real life, those kinds of pairings tend to end up with the woman being broken down/ not having a personality (presence)/ or in some cases turning violent. Alpha male vs submissive female is usually a recipe for disaster in real life, so I don't get how it all works out "happily ever after" in the books...

What I mean by "taming process" has nothing to do with breaking a womans spirt. I would never do that but a spirited woman would never want a man that wasn't a challenge. Strong peronalities I find compliment each other only men who are insecure will try to break a woman, thoise are the sickos that always give us other men a bad rep. A man who is strong willed always does better if he has a strong willed woman. Never once in my varied relationships have I ever made a woman submit...I've always lead them to meet me half way (This is what a real Alpha does).. the relationship is always better when both partners meet and adjust to that dance with free will and passion. The relationship should always spark the partners to want to enhance it as it develops...this can only happen if both partners are strong enough-open enough-and caring enough to help bring out the best in their partner.

You see a strong willed woman will try to dominate and subdue her partner-with rules, restrictions, limits, it's just natural and endemic to that type of personality. The male must exert his will as to how far she can push-this test of wills is recipociated by the female. This is a constant dance that keeps the relationship forever fresh. This has nothing to do do with the submission of the heart.....This should have already happened to both partners before hand. This to me is the true beazty of a relationship. See I've seen relationships with meek women (My Japanese Mother was so Old School I sometimes thought she came out of the EDO period) One of the reasons that I've made my home in Germany is that I find most German women to be very strong willed, out-spoken, forthright, tough, logical(as far as we men understand women to be at least) and able to stand up to just about any male. I could never live with a cutesy meek subservient woman....How could a man have a relationship with a shadow?

There are men who like women who are subservient or at least compliant-It depends on the personality of the man. Me I've had girl friends, women friends, I guess you could call some of them mistresses, and finally a wife (And in that order too!) And the circa 20 women that I had relationships with the only ones that lasted and are memorable were with strong willed women---This is what I meant by that added dimension in a relationship. And when both partners are strong if they are not compatible; they, even with the pain that a failed relationship, retain enough strength to continue on. I've met some of my previous significant others years later and because of who and how they are(strong willed women) we can still enjoy each others company and the most pain any one of us will ever feel is a nostalgic "what if?"
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PostSubject: Re: How to write a Romance Novel.   Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:24 pm

What you speak of is all very true in reality, where I agree with everything you said, but the fact of the matter is that a lot of these popular Harlequin novels have the exact pairing/scenario that silvery and I were discussing. That somehow a relationship with an (abusive) Alpha male and a meek subservient female equates to "true love"... Somehow!

But yeah, in reality for a relationship to last it's about meeting halfway. Not just in a romantic-based relationship, but in any relationship. It's important that there's respect for the other, yet an ability to be flexible about things at the same time. I wouldn't want someone to give up/ignore their core values, but for other things, like trying something you don't like, or just going along once in a while... That sort of thing.

I know most guys loathe shopping, but I think it's super cute that you'll see couples shopping together anyways. It's almost always the woman who's browsing around while the man hangs around close by. Or vice versa - like a woman not enjoying a sporting event, yet going along because her boyfriend/husband enjoys it. There has to be a give and take, but how "equal" it is is dependent on the couples themselves.

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PostSubject: Re: How to write a Romance Novel.   Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:01 pm

I agree. If both parties can meet halfway, then there is a very good chance that the relationship will last. Because meeting each other halfway also implies that your views are important to the other party, and there is also a sense of respect for each other.

What aerysa said is true. We don't want to give up our core values or change what we believe in for our boyfriends, so we can't ask them to do the same. It's about finding a middle ground where we're comfortable with each other but at the same time having some separate interests that we're ok with. While I enjoy being around friends and family, I kind of treasure my alone time which I really don't want to give up entirely.
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PostSubject: Back to the Start; IRL? & Written   Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:29 am

As this topic wander-wandered off where-to it maybe actually wanted to reach... it has reminded me of some things too.

There is this Soviet-invented Jung-based structuralistic theory of personality types called socionics (not MBTI but MBTI also has Jung as the base). Its most interesting part is its symmetric "table" of inter-type relationships with descriptions. Most of the system revolves around the potential saving existence of one´s dual (who has all the mental potential to hassle-freely support you and it would be mutual).
Anyway, socionics has its idea about romantic styles too (even two, maybe). Again, they consider there to be "natural pairs". Maybe you should have a look; there might be some truth in it. http://www.the16types.info/vbulletin/content.php/101-Erotic-Attitudes

I once read around on TvTropes just to find their guide on writing a love-story (supposedly a good one). What caught my eye enough to remember it was that Mary Sues have their own place/role in romantic stories (and maybe it´s the only opportunity for them to be acceptable). But the most important thing was that it should be shown why those two ppl need each other and how they make each other better. (It was noted that HP´s Ron & Hermione fail that very important criterion of bringing out the good in each other.) Maybe the authors of the site have changed their opinions since then but find the link only if it´s OK with you that you would be standing on the verge of an opening to a maze. You´re warned or reminded!
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PostSubject: Re: How to write a Romance Novel.   Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:55 pm

I can't believe there's a topic in this! I read the first page while lol-ing to myself :O

I agree, most romance novel's male lead are partially jerks. And the female lead is drawn, mostly because of sexuality or something. They always use this particular sentence: she never knew what drawn her to him. Cliiiiche~

Then the second page, just like what nykti-eoikws said, wandered off a looong way from the topic.
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PostSubject: to Veramonte   Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:02 pm

But it´s still really-really interesting despite the wandering, isn´t it?
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How to write a Romance Novel.
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