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How To Write A Love Story With A Twist?

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Today I had a highly inspiring guest post from Coraline Corsette, author of First Fret One: The Road We Traveled!

First Fret One is a beautifully written, highly emotional contemporary romance novel released in November 2022, and a great page turner!

In this guest post, you will learn all about there is to know about writing a fun romance novel.

Coraline will be sharing her insights on what it takes to write a love story with a twist, how to build characters, what writers should avoid when writing romance, how many scenes should a romance novel have and much more.

What makes for a good science fiction story?

I don’t read a lot of novels where romance is the whole point and find them satisfying. The best romances have context, like war, revolution, or some type of other struggle. They push the boundaries, beyond single race, heterosexual, cisgendered, monogamous, vanilla relationships, so we are both given, and given to honoring, new experiences.

And the best romance novels do this authentically, because they are by people writing what they know. So you really get a peek into what another kind of love looks and feels like, even if the only difference is the way external forces shape and put pressure on it.

Oh, and female characters who have more to their character than a sexuality.

How do you start writing a romance novel?

You fall in love several times, realize you are never going to get it just right, and decide to try and write a better solution to your problem on paper and show your work. Heartbreak will teach you more about how a romance should go than a happily ever after.

Then you just start, and refuse to stop until you’ve built something that walks the line between feeling honest, conflict wise, and feeling like something you could sink yourself into to escape the mediocrity of so many real world relationships.

You learn to write by reading a lot, and then by doing it, doggedly, until you salvage something you can bear to let others read. In writing a romance novel, you’re probably also letting people into your head about how you think and have experienced your own sexuality as well.

Both my youth and adult pastors know about my book, my parents’ coworkers from over the years, my mother’s hair dresser – and I had to get okay with them reading both great and the most terrible sex possible, both drawing from my personal knowledge of what sex can be like. It’s something to think about, if you want to write romance and share it with the people you care about.

What should a writer avoid when romance?

Making any character exist just for their sexuality or as a foil for another character’s sexuality. Involving minors – Romeo and Juliet has certainly had it’s time in the spot light but thank God, that wouldn’t fly now. Falling into stereotypes.

As for the amount of scenes a romance novel should have, my book is very slow burn, and really breaks down into a “before they were together,’ and an “after they get together,” but that certainly will not work for everyone.

Make sure that a story has a good mix of dialogue and action. Read your book aloud and see where it drags. Ask everyone you know to beta read for you. Cut mercilessly.

Do romance novels have two protagonists?

The good ones seem to. As I’ve said a few times, both characters (if the book is about monogamous characters) need to be as fleshed out as much as possible, not be there to be sexy or for how they make the other main character look next to them.

Whether they be the sex-kitten sexual encounter or the rich, strong, devoted boyfriend, when a love interest exists just to tell us something about the other protagonist, it takes from the richness of the story.

What are some characteristics of romance novel protagonists?

They are often stunted from prior emotional traumas, to keep things interesting. They often have a lot of their life figured out but are lacking something to tie it all together. Sometimes they are desperate or courageous enough to take risks in this time of their life, though Semolina isn’t. Michael is.

While I don’t believe my characters have any agency of their own, human fall in love with fictional characters all the time. It’s even easier when you stitched them together yourself.

Have you enjoyed this guest post on writing a romance novel with Coraline? Let me know in the comments below! ❤️