As we’ve discussed previously Romance Tropes Readers Love Part 1 and Part 2, romance readers have certain expectations when they pick up a romance novel. It doesn’t matter if they’ve read the same premise before, they’re reading the book to satisfy that expectation. The question for the author is how to keep the reader returning when there are several million other books out there telling the same story.
Readers of Other Genres
This doesn’t just apply to romance readers. Mystery readers, thriller readers, name your genre, also have expectations. They read these genres because they know that in those books they will have a satisfying read.
Editors, agents, and the other experts tell authors they can write the same story authors before them have written, but that they must write the story fresh. FRESH? What does that mean? Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer to that question. When I hear the word fresh, I think of farm eggs. Not quite the same thing as writing a romance novel.
Study Your Favorite Author
The best way I found to learn fresh writing was to study the authors I enjoyed reading. Authors can no longer read for pleasure. At least, I can’t. When I pick up a book, I’m analyzing the style, the characters and the different stages of the plot. Studying other authors isn’t an easy task, but writing isn’t just writing, though I wish it were that simple. Authors need to know their craft thoroughly, and it isn’t a few weeks of study. It’s a lifetime endeavor.
I’m sure you’ve heard the more you write, the better you write, which is true with any skill. I’ve heard that authors will publish their first book after they’ve written 1,000,000 words, and that isn’t just books. It’s everything you write. Even before you begin to write the manuscript, you’ve already written down ideas, character information. And for the truly industrious, which I’m trying to be but have a way to go, you’re outlining. All these processes count toward your 1,000,000 words, which isn’t carved in stone. For some, it may be less, for others (ME!), it may be more.
Understand Your Craft
Getting back studying other authors, find a book that you loved. Maybe you’ve read it more than once, and really analyze how that author put the book together. If this book has a premise that you’ve read in other books, determine how this author wrote that premise in a satisfying and memorable way. This may take a while, but you must be willing to put in the work to really understand your craft.
I’ll continue analyzing other tropes romance readers love in future blogs.
I hope you have a wonderful week filled with lots of fun and exciting things for you. I pray God’s blessings for you and your loved ones!