Summer is a special time of the year, with lovely sunshine, and we make lots of plans to get away from our everyday life. These are days when we hope to make memories that will last a lifetime. Those special moments are made better when they are shared with a special someone. What could make that experience more memorable than a chance meeting with an interesting someone to wile away the days exploring the sites, romping on the beach, or trying new foods? Everything seems brighter and more beautiful when viewed through the eyes of love.
By definition, summer love is just a fleeting thing, but magical in its own special way. Expectations don’t hamper these passing flings because, just like a book, we know there is an end. We just enjoy it while we are in it. But it can leave us with fond remembrances that last a lifetime.
This summer I’m diving into all kinds of romance; reading romance novels and books on how to write it. I’m working on what I hope will be the final draft of my WIP, Roses & Rebels, and I want to get that romance part of the book right.
To begin, I thought it important to understand the structure for writing a romance novel, as I figure that these same principles will apply to the love story portion of my book. I found a great little how-to book called HOW TO WRITE A SWOON-WORTHY SWEET ROMANCE NOVEL. Part of this book is a novella with notations about what should happen at specific points in the story and the appropriate level of attraction at each juncture.
I hate to admit it, but in this genre, I really feel like I need a lot of handholdings, so I turned to another how-to book called ROMANCING THE BEAT. This craft book provides an outline for a romance story structure—what type of scene I should have at each stage and what it should accomplish. Then, for good measure, I got a book called ROMANCE TROPES & HOOKS. Whew, with all of this help, I’m hoping that I can hit it out of the ballpark.
The heroine in my romance is no wilting flower. She’s based on an actual person who was brave and fearless. Having those two characteristics, I’d venture to guess that she was outspoken as well. For my inspiration, I choose the Bareknuckle Bastard Series.
I love how Sarah MacLean writes confident and competent women. Her women are bold and colorful, not to be intimidated, and sensual. I like a woman who knows what she wants and goes after it. And MacLean’s setting descriptions are marvelous as well.
I’ve already read THE BRIDE by Julie Garwood, and plan to toss a novella, THE GOVERNESS AFFAIR, by Courtney Milan, into that mix for some variety. Mix it all up, and I hope to bring my lady to life in all her glory.
Then for good measure, I’ll be adding some humor. What is a relationship without a bit of fun? And what is harder to write than humor. I’m hoping to learn some tricks for sprinkling in some delightfully funny scenes by checking out a couple of comedic offerings; A ROGUE OF HER OWN by Evie Dunmore and RIDICULOUS by D. L. Carter.
While my summer reading may technically be research, I’m expecting to have a rollicking good time doing it. Perchance I may even find some new characters to add to my list of dreamy leading men to fall in love with. Although I’m not sure I’ll be ready to say, “Move over, Mr. Darcy.”
C.V. Lee writes historical biographical fiction featuring forgotten heroes and heroines of the past. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Alli, and a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers. You can find her on Facebook @cvlee.histficwriter and on Instagram @cvleewriter.