Here’s a Sunday treat for all of you out there thinking about writing romance. One of my favourite romance authors is taking over my blog today – Zoe Allison. Her last book was so good that on my book review I developed an obsession with the 🔥 emoji because her character was so hot.
Here are my tips for new romance writers Tips:
I consider myself new to this game. I only began writing around six years ago, in my late 30s (I’m not trying to hide my age by being vague, I’m just so old that I can’t remember!). My first book was published in 2020 and my latest book, Sun, Sea and Summer Vibes, is my third novel of 2021. I don’t consider myself an expert by any manner or means. I’m a doctor by trade and I have no qualifications in English or writing except for my trusty GCSEs in English Literature and English Language (yes, GCSEs. That’s how old I am). However, there are some things I’ve found helpful, which I can share.
- Firstly, the post important thing is to write. Get your ideas down on paper. It doesn’t matter that it’s unpolished and rubbish to start with, practice makes perfect.
- Read craft books. I had never written anything substantial before, so to start with I read a book about writing romance and another one about writing dialogue, because that was the area where I felt least confident. What’s a beat? What’s a tag? How do you separate different characters’ speech?
- Don’t start off a book with description. It’s doesn’t capture the reader’s attention. Start with action or dialogue. Enter the story as it’s underway.
- Don’t include stuff about the non-central characters unless it’s driving the main characters’ stories forward. Otherwise it can make the story drag and the reader gets bored.
- Show don’t tell. Don’t explain things to the reader as the narrator, show them how someone feels or what their backstory is through action and dialogue.
- Read your work out loud. When it comes to self-editing, you catch so many more repeated words, missing words or errors of flow if you read out loud. An editor recommended this to me and I’ve found it invaluable.
- Whatever path you want to take for your romance book, I’d recommend trying to get a place on the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme. The RNA website tells you more, but at the start of each year you can apply for a place on the scheme which has many benefits and a mahoosive one is the opportunity to submit a manuscript once per year to be read and critiqued by a professional writer. This is a big deal in order to improve your writing in general and also to a publishable standard (no matter what sort of publishing path you want to go for).
- Get a copy of The Writers’ and Artists’ yearbook. This is a helpful resource for writers, and contains information on how to go about getting an agent and getting published. An up to date one comes out every year.
- Get on social media. Join the writing community on Twitter. There’s a lot of mutual support out there and getting to know other writers virtually helps you along the way. I’m mainly active on Twitter and now also TikTok, which is video based. I’m also on Instagram and Facebook but don’t find those quite as much fun, however there are many choices and you can delve in to see which suits you best.
- Make a website. This s a good idea no matter what stage you’re at, you have control over the content and you can use it to display your brand and pop a link on your social media to direct people to it.
- There is no one path! If you ask one hundred different writers you will not find two stories which are the same. Everybody’s journey is different and there isn’t one more valid than the other.
Now get writing!
Growing up, Zoe Allison loved stories about falling in love. But rather than being rescued by a knight in shining armour, she imagined herself fighting dragons alongside him, battling supervillains as heroic allies, or teaming up to dive into perilous waters in order to save a loved one from drowning. Once Zoe did grow up, she became a doctor. But as time went on, she craved a creative outlet to counter the soul sapping burnout that her career inflicted upon her, and also to achieve those happy endings that were so often lacking in the real world. She wanted heroes who truly love and value women, who find their true love inspiring, are fascinated by her, want to connect with her as a soulmate and fully open themselves to her on an emotional level. And so, Zoe began to write her romances.
A Zoe Allison novel promises a heroine who is not only her hero’s equal in ability and intellect, but whose hero equals her in emotional intelligence. Her characters overcome conflict infused with spine tingling sexual tension to forge a deep connection as soul mates as well as lovers, and ultimately, they both rescue each other emotionally. Even if they might begin their journey as enemies…
Zoe has a new book out which sounds fabulous. Click here to find out more.