On Writing Romance: How to Craft a
Novel That Sells
By Leigh Michaels
Reviewed By Victoria Kennedy
Copyright © 2007 by Victoria Kennedy, All Rights Reserved
If you're interested in writing romance and need some advice and
direction, try reading On Writing Romance: How to Craft a Novel That
Sells by Leigh Michaels. I enjoyed the author's comprehensive
coverage of the subject. New writers wanting to try their hand at
romance would do them themselves a favor by reading the book and
following its directions.
The author starts out by telling you to read and study books that you
like. This is good advice because you're more apt to write stories
similar to those you like to read. As an example, erotic books are big
sellers, but I don't personally care for them. I would be wasting my
time to try to write erotica. Your heart has to be in what you write.
You can't evoke feelings that aren't there. All editors worth their
salt will catch this and won't buy your story. Even if they did, the
readers would throw your book down and walk away.
Read several romance books until you find what works for you and go from
there. It may seem like a slow start, but your research will pay off.
Then the author walks you through the process of writing a romance novel
from starting it to submitting the final product. Ms Michaels provides
you with a plan for success as a romance writer.
There are other books out there geared to help improve your writing.
You must remember that all any book can do is guide you in the mechanics
of good writing; it's up to you to put that information to use. Get
over your fears and self-doubt and just do it ... sit down and write.
Sure you're not going to get it perfect the first time; no one does.
You'll have to go back to correct and make changes, but once you start
writing, you're beginning to learn your craft. It can be slow and
painful at first, but don't give up. Every piece of writing you see
belongs to a writer just like you who struggled and worked their way to
At some point you will have what I call an "ah ha" moment where
everything becomes clear to you and writing isn't as mysterious or scary
as it used to be. It doesn't happen overnight; don't be afraid to put
yourself out there and send in those submissions. What's the worst that
can happen? So what if you get rejections; use them as a motivation to
do better. Rejections are not a writer's favorite correspondence, but
all of us get them, if you let them defeat you, it will quash your goal
of being a published author.
Remember, every writer has their own method and what works for another
may not work for you. It's all right to develop your own way of
writing. Don't be afraid to experiment; it's how we learn our craft.
Who knows you may start a new fad. After all someone has to do it, why
not you? Leigh Michaels offers one approach that can help get you
started before you figure out what works best for you.
On Writing Romance,
Leigh Michaels, Writers Digest Books, ISBN-10: 1-58297-436-5