Ooh. I’m not a good rule breaker. So this one is going to be a toughie for me. Yes, I’m one of ‘those’ annoying people who see the world as black and white. With writing, especially with romance, there’s a formula you have to follow, some serious rules you have to follow to make a book be a GOOD book. Like a cake. You can’t skip the baking powder in the recipe. It will be BAD.
A romance book needs internal conflict, something that the characters in your book struggle with and possibly resolve by the end of the book. Besides that, there’s an external conflict, the plot conflict, that is the story arc, the path that takes you through the book. Without the plot, it wouldn’t be a story! I know we’ve all picked up a book or two without a strong plot and it was BAD.
When writing a book, some people are ‘plotters’ and some people are ‘pantsers’. Yes, that’s a real word. Some people plan their plot up-front, get the entire story arc planned out so when they start writing, they know where they’re going. Some are pantsers, people who write by the seat of their pants, no planning involved.
are perfectly fine, as long as the plot gets written in, and written in well. As you can imagine from my inability to break a rule, I’m a plotter. I need to know what my characters are going to do before I start writing, otherwise instead of my book Liar, Liar, Hearts On Fire taking place in Alaska, they might end up in Arkansas.
So, to the topic of this post—Breaking The Rules. For me, writing a story pantser-style, where I don’t know where my characters are going as I write would be a HUGE rule breaker for me. I’d love to do this. To let the characters write their own story. Maybe someday I’ll try this, but for now, I’m keeping tight control over my feisty heroines and hot heroes.
My new book, Liar, Liar, Hearts On Fire, comes out on Thursday 1/16. It’s the fourth book in my romantic comedy series. While I may have had control of the characters as I wrote it, the hero and heroine—Mike and Violet—have absolutely no control over their fake relationship. Join them for many adventures—and misadventures—in the wilds of Alaska.
Check out the pre-release reviews on Goodreads: https://www.g
Hearts On Fire blurb:
Violet Miller is a teacher savoring her summer break until she’s been called in as emergency reinforcements—of the dating kind. She volunteers to help an old flame by pretending to be his girlfriend. In Alaska. At a family reunion. Since the guy is a handsome, lumberjack-sized doctor she’s never quite forgotten, faking a relationship won’t be hard work.
Mike Ostranski is a desperate man on vacation. His mother wants grandchildren and sees a crazy Alaskan woman as a candidate for daughter-in-law. Mike needs Violet by his side to deflect the lady’s advances.
A week in Alaska as boyfriend and girlfriend should be easy for them. They grew up together, even had a brief fling. What could go wrong?
About Jennifer Zane:
I love to hear from readers! firstname.lastname@example.org Zane has lived all over the country–from Georgia to Maryland, New York to Colorado, including an exciting five years in Montana. Her time in Big Sky country was the basis for this book. When she’s not writing, she savors the insanity of raising two boys, is figuring out how many meals she can make with a pressure cooker, and teaches a pretty mean karate class. She currently lives with her family in Colorado.
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