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Book Review:

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 success.

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