Write A Romance Novel In Three Months

By incorporating innovative and creative methods of writing, anyone can learn how to write and complete a romance novel in a short time period.

Anyone can write a book within a three-month time slot. The key is to have the motivation to write the book in the first place, be focused enough to stick to your game plan, and have the confidence to know you can do whatever you set your mind to.

Motivation is the reason you get up in the morning, the reason you exercise, the reason you go to work, the reason you write a book. Motivation drives the heart and soul, and is very important.

Focus, another key word in this endeavor, is probably the hardest part. Focus means being able to continue writing when the sun is shining and you want to be out-of-doors, or being able to tell your sister or best friend that you can't talk on the phone right now because you're in the middle of a great scene. It's not always easy! Focus means keeping your train of thought while making dinner for the kids, shopping for school clothes, and/or rushing through the grocery store. If a good twist for the book comes to you while in these situations, keep your focus active by either jotting the idea down, or running it through your head enough times to memorize it. Common sense says jotting it down is the easiest method, but, alas, there are times when pen and paper aren't handy. However, no book is worth losing total contact with your family. Do not forget them entirely, even if it's only for three months. Spread yourself around.

Finally, confidence is a must. If a writer doesn't have confidence in their ability, they won't get past the first page. It's good to hear someone else say they have confidence in you, but ultimately, the confidence must come from within. If you don't think you have what it takes, you won't be able to finish.

Once you have your motivation, focus, and confidence in order, you can begin. Lay out an outline. It doesn't matter if you deviate from that outline somewhat or a lot as the book progresses, that's okay. But in the beginning, you need guidelines, so get the outline down on paper. Name your characters, you can change the names later if they don't seem to fit. The important thing is to get started. Don't dwell on the outline. Let your imagination flow. Name the characters, describe them and give them reasons for being in the book. Example: Your heroine, Lyza, is a young lady, blonde, blue-eyed and rebellious. She knows nothing about the relationship between a man and a woman but is anxious to find out. (That will give you an idea that Lyza is at that age where she's understandably curious...might that curiosity get her in trouble? Maybe not, maybe it'll bring her in contact with the hero?) Do the same for each character. Make them well-rounded, but not totally perfect. No one loves a perfect hero or heroine. Make them believable, give each of them some kind of flaw. Is she spoiled? Is he a player? Let the characters develop as the book moves along.

The plot doesn't need to be tangled, but it does need to have conflict of some sort. Something to keep the hero and heroine away from each other. Maybe through someone's else's fault they are unable to get to each other--a bad guy, perhaps? It can be very simple. The plot is secondary to the interaction between the hero and heroine in the novel. Remember, it's a romance. It's nice to have several sub-plots going on at the same time, but, again, it doesn't have to be earthshaking news, it just has to be believable.

If you're planning a historical romance novel, research is paramount. Get on the Internet and begin searching. Do not over-do it, though. Not too many people are reading a romance to find out exactly what happened, word-for-word, in the Civil War. They want enough description and information to know there is a war going on, but their attention is riveted on the romance.

If it's a contemporary romance, it's best to set the stage in a place you know. Otherwise, again, you'll need to rely on much research to make the story believable. The last thing you want is someone who lives in Missouri to dispute your description of Missouri. I would limit research to no more than a week. Then, as you need information, return to the research table. Many novel writers get bogged down in research and finally abandon their idea all together due to frustration.

After the first couple of weeks, you should have your outline, characters, plot and research in good order. Again, you will definitely have to move back into research mode from time to time, change characters attitudes and names, and retouch the plot. That's fine. This is your first draft, treat it accordingly. Turn your computer on and begin writing. Also remember that all of today's editors expect manuscripts to look professional. Do not hand-write, unless you plan on typing it later, which makes for a lot of unnecessary work. If at all possible, put it into a computer or typewriter the first time around.

Now as you get into the story line, pace yourself and your action. Dialogue that gives the reader information and moves the storyline along, is necessary; any other dialogue should be eliminated. At the same time, pages and pages without dialogue can be boring. If you plan on incorporating pages or chapters from time to time without dialogue there must be a good reason for it. Hero is reflecting on his past? See if you can pop in a few phrases...maybe something his father said or something that influenced him. Perhaps the heroine is held captive and her mouth is bound. She still is thinking, in fact, her mind is running at 100 mph. How can she escape? Will the hero come for her? Why did this happen to her? What about a few lines from her captors? Can she overhear them from where she is?

The last chapter is where everything culminates. Keep some fireworks for the ending.

Set a goal of say, at least five pages per day. If you keep to that goal, within 10 weeks you will have finished about 375 pages. Don't worry that it didn't end exactly the way you wanted, or that you rushed through some parts and need to polish. The entire manuscript will need polishing, but that's what you do the second time around.

Take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back. You just finished a novel from cover to cover. That's an accomplishment that no one can understand until they've done it themselves. Take a short break-if you can, the adrenaline will be flowing-and celebrate. Then print out the entire manuscript and start proofreading. I find it's easier to spot mistakes on the hard copy.

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