Monday, April 27, 2015

Make The Romance The Story Arc

Cross genre writing is a term a lot of authors have been using recently. This is, actually, a concept that has been around for a while, especially in the romance genre. Paranormal romance, romantic suspense, inspirational romance and historical romance are all versions of cross genre writing. The key to this writing is to somehow blend the two styles together to offer a unique new twist to something we have seen before.

I wanted to talk about this today and really focus on the romance - XX genre. In other words, genres that are emphasizing the romance and blending it with some other genre. What I have seen lately are authors who do attempt this, but simply end up missing out on the romance element. I actually see this most in those romantic suspense, romantic mystery and romantic thrillers. Essentially the suspense plot becomes so invasive, that the romance becomes almost a second thought.

This is actually easy to spot. Readers know, going in, that the story is supposed to be a romantic something but they get really involved with the plot. We have to find out "who did it" or "what is hidden in that attic." At this point, there is really nothing wrong, until the author realizes he or she forgot to add in the romance. Next thing we know, we are in the middle of a stake out and the hero and heroine decide, now, out of all of the times possible, would be a good time to "get it on." Wrong!

Writing these blended genres is really not that hard, if you are a plotter. Remember the key to the romance genre is to watch the building romance. So, plan that out first and then use the external plot, whether it is a psycho demon, or historical uprising, as the backdrop for the relationship.

I do want to stress something. In no way am I saying that your story has to make the romance the central focus. It is perfectly fine to have a story be a mystery and then have the characters maybe find a romance. But, if you want to market it as a romance, the put the romance as the central story arc.

It's all about what you put in the spotlight.

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