Keeping The Romance Fresh
Just like in real life, it takes work to keep romance fresh in novels. Authors who write constantly are challenged to find ways to vary ideas, plots, and characters while still staying within the parameters of the romance genre or sub-genres. Even though I’m still new to the business, with only three novellas and one full-length novel published, I’m working on several other projects and by now I’m having to work just a little bit harder to make sure my work doesn’t fall into the trap of repetition. I’ve got to keep it fresh.
The first trick I’ve learned to keep my work unique is to be very careful in my plotting. Plots are already an issue--most people will tell you that there are only about seven different plots in existence. Therefore, it’s all in the way you use your plot points, your characters, your language that sets your work apart from others.
If I stand back and look at the tropes used in writing romance, I find that I’ve had a tendency to use the “arranged marriage” trope a fair share of the time. I’ve currently got three works either published or awaiting publication that use this conflict as the core of the book. Are these books just three cookie-cutter versions of one plot device? No. I believe that people who have read these three works (and there are several who have read them all) would deny that they were similar at all.
So how did I use one trope and come up with three distinct, unique works? Variety within the framework. Each one of these books is set in a different time period: Only Scandal Will Do is set in Georgian England; As Long As You’re Mine is set in Victorian England and America, and Time Enough to Love is set in medieval England and France. Therefore, each book will have a different flavor, different settings, different descriptions, different social customs under which the characters must operate.
The characters in each of these books are all very different physically, emotionally, and mentally. Scandal’s hero is a marquess with golden brown hair and dark eyes, an arrogant nobleman who is emotionally damaged. The hero of As Long As You’re Mine has dark hair and eyes also, but is an American architect with strong family ties and a jealous nature. And Geoffrey, of Time Enough to Love, has dark hair and blue eyes, is a towering knight schooled in the sword and the joust who proves a gentle giant to his lady fair. The heroines vary even wider: copper hair with a feisty nature and a wicked shoulder cut; blond hair and gray eyes with a determined nature that won’t take no for an answer; black hair and crystal blue eyes, a gentle woman who overcomes adversity through a sweet personality and sharp intelligence. Playing with combinations of heroes and heroines is an excellent way of keeping the romance between them crisp and the reader just a little off balance.
And a final trick to keeping your writing cutting edge is to continue to perfect your craft. If you, the author, stop growing as a writer, your books will cease to grow along with you. You can take formal writing classes at university, you can take any number of online classes on the craft, you can critique others work and have them critique yours, attend workshops at conferences. The key is to work at your writing. As you evolve as a writer, you will bring new insights to plot, setting, characters, dialogue. Your work will remain fresh and vibrant because you push yourself to make it so.
Buy your copy today!
Buy your copy today!
He has the woman of his dreams, but what price will he have to pay to win her heart?
Kidnapped and sold at auction in a London brothel, Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam squelches an undeniable attraction to the masked stranger who purchased her, pits her wits against him, and escapes him and the scandal that would ruin her life.
Unable to resist temptation in a London brothel, Duncan Ferrers, Marquess of Dalbury, purchases a fiery beauty. She claims she's a lady, but how can she be?
No lady of his acquaintance in polite society is anything like her. Then he discovers she is who she says, and that this latest romp has compromised her reputation. He knows how that is. One more scandal and he'll be cast out of London society, but he needs a wife who'll provide an heir to carry on his illustrious family's name. He seeks out Katarina, intending only to scotch the scandal, but instead finds his heart ensnared. He's betting their future he'll capture her heart, but does he have what it
takes to win the wager?