Things To Consider When Writing Second Chance Romance #amwriting

This blog post is going to help my writer brain focus on one of my current projects. I do hope someone else out there writing a second chance romance finds it useful.

Second chance romance is one of my favourite romance tropes. I could read these stories all day.

One of my current projects focuses on a second chance romance so I could really do with going back to basics with the trope in order to revise my story.

Below I have come up with a list of all the things to consider when writing a second chance romance.

As I am madly in love with this particular artwork on Canva I am going to use it to pose the questions which I need to answer when writing this trope.

How did they initially connect? Were they childhood sweethearts? Maybe they met at work? The secret here is readers need to see and feel how good that connection was between these two beautiful characters. This breathtaking romance has to be unforgettable for both readers and the characters.

Why did they split up? What made them walk away from each other? Were they too young? Was it a case of bad timing or did one hurt the other? What broke them? Readers need to understand what made these characters go blubber into a box of Kleenex, wedge chocolate into their mouth and go for long solitary walks in the rain.

What personal growth have they experienced? What has life taught them in the years they were apart? What did other relationships teach them? Have they thought about why they have never connected with anyone on the same romantic level as they did with each other?

What made them want to give their relationship another chance? Why can’t they disentangle from each other’s lives? What has made them come together again? Why salvage a broken relationship? The reader must understand and agree with these decisions. There must also be that old connection and the chemistry.

What stuff have they overcome? Have they resolved the old conflict? Readers need to see how these two characters might have had different priorities that caused their breakup. But now that those priorities have changed, so, maybe there is still a chance for them to work it out. It could also be a case of these two characters making mistakes and generally causing an emotional mess. The reader needs to believe these two have changed for the better.

I feel better now.

Do you have any things I should add to my list of considerations?

The Writing Competition That Changed My World In Unexpected Ways #AmWriting

If you follow me on twitter you will know of my pinned tweet. It is about how I got through to the final round of the Penguin Michael Joseph Christmas Love Story Competition and my strong urges to cartwheel with joy on zoom calls at work.

According to the competition FAQs last week was when the winner was going to be notified. At the start of last week I knew of just 4 other writers who, like me, had got through to the next round. I wasn’t looking forward to a tense, nail biting and lonely week which would mostly be spent watching my email with hawk-like eyes, jumping everytime my phone rang, eating far too many penquin biscuits and overthinking every possible competition outcome.

Well, my week did include all of the above (especially the penguin biscuit binge) but it wasn’t a lonely week and it did change my writing world in unexpected ways.

I think it was Audrey Niven, on Twitter who kickstarted things at the start of the week. She tweeted about wishing all the Penquin finalists lots of luck. Then the magic started. Fellow finalists joined in by liking her tweet and by the end of Monday there was a small gang of us on Twitter all sharing writer love and support with each other. By Tuesday our gang had grown some more as a few more finalists had found us. We all started tweeting funny snippets from our days and what we were doing to distract ourselves from the competition waiting game. By Wednesday we had grown from a small gang to a collective and this was when ideas were shared on what we could call ouselves. Bettina Hunt suggested the Penguin Collective and a Twitter list was created by Amy Gaffney. Everytime another finalist made their way onto Twitter and found us we’d all welcome them in.

It was a very different writing competition experience for me. We all tweeted and laughed our way through the week talking about the anxious wait, how we felt like we were in the Big Brother House (Lily Joseph), how some of us had turned to playing Europe’s pop classic, The Final Countdown (Jake G Godfrey) to get through, how some of us were busy ordering Penguin biscuits (Sarah Shard) how we were all looking forward to cracking open the wine on Friday at 6pm and how lucky we were to find each other. There were so many funny tweets over the course of the week, from Jenny Bromham’s thought provoking GIF ‘one more dawn’, Donna Dobbs’s hiring of a geeky IT student, Joanna Knowles Author’s tweet about how she was starting to waddle like a penguin, Rebecca Duval’s obsessive email refreshes, Hayley-Jenifer’s Benedict Cumberbatch’s GIF and Jackie Morrison’s caravan holiday which was spent checking for a phone signal. As you can imagine when Sarah Louise Robinson started a Facebook group for us we all flapped our penguin wings and waddled over there too. It wasn’t just laughter, there were also ideas from Kimberly Adams, Sarah Shard and Amy Gaffney on how we could work together in the future.

There were other finalists still joining the Pengin Collective on Friday; A Novel, tweet by tweet, Writtenbymisshm, Tallie Samuels, Helen Hawkins, Katy George.

The end of the story is that no one we knew about heard from Penguin Michael Joseph on Friday. Someone probaby has heard and we wish them the best of luck. I also hope they come on my blog and talk about their new book in the future.

For me, that’s okay. I got WAY more from this writing competition than I ever imagined; a story idea validated by Penguin Michael Joseph (which is now at 23k), new romance writer friends in the Penguin Collective group and a lot of happy twitter memories from last week.

As Breea Keenan said, ‘this chat has made my week’ and I couldn’t agree more.

Writing competitions which give you so much more than you expected are priceless.

How To Come Terms With…Your Book Is Not Going To Write Itself 😧 #AmWriting

This is a tough one and can take some writers several years to come to terms with.

You have an unfinished draft novel, sat in a drawer or lounging on top of your writing desk or loitering in your writing file on your computer and the thought of finishing it gives you an uncomfortable gut sensation and you have to reach for another chocolate biscuit to make it go away.

Or, maybe you are like me and are taking part in NaNoWriMo2020 and book writing momentum has sadly left your writer body. After a day off you have fallen behind and the thought of putting in the effort to catch up makes you want to binge watch The Crown on Netflix while flipping oreo biscuits into the air and catching them in your mouth.

The thought of sitting down and ploughing on for another thirty thousand words will not be an appealing one.

It’s at this stage you start to consider the possibility of the following happening:

  • Magical elves scurrying in during the small hours and writing the rest of your book.
  • Waking up one morning to find its all been a bad dream and your completed manuscript is lying on your bedside table.
  • A famous best-selling author with time on their hands replying to your ‘my #unfinishednovel is making me sad’ tweet with ‘let’s meet for coffee over Zoom and I might be able to help you finish it!’
  • Planting ‘magical book seeds’ in your vegetable patch with the belief you will be able to dig up your finished novel in a few weeks time.
  • Being visited by your ‘writer fairy godmother’ in the night who waves a magical wand and transforms your unfinished manuscript into a completed one, edited and with no typos.
  • A white book stork flying over your house with its own version of a new baby in its beak – a finished manuscript.
  • Walking along a beach and finding a bottle washed up on the shore with the rest of your manuscript inside it.
  • Your unfinished book writing itself.

So, how do you come to terms with your book is not going to write itself?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but your unfinished novel will stay unfinished if you carry on spending time in fantasy land.

There are no literary elves, magical book seeds, book storks or writer fairy godmothers. Best selling authors have better things to do with their time.

Your book is not going to write itself.

It’s time to wake up and drag your lazy writer self over to your chair and write the rest of your novel.

Get to work writer – only you can make the literary dream happen.

Have a fabulous day!

PS: I have written this post in the hope it gives me a kick up the writer ass.


Psst…if anyone does know of some efficient and reliable literary elves, send them my way 😊

10 Thoughts on First Kisses in Romance Books #firstkisses #AmReadingRomance

The first kiss between a romance book’s main characters is a huge turning point for a romance story. Up until this point both the hero and heroine will have been denying their true feelings, casting smouldering looks and giving each other weird tingling sensations.

It won’t have been easy for the characters as the author will have been busy chucking a myriad of life obstacles at their characters, designed to keep them apart and to keep the reader guessing about when they will get their romance fix.

However, there will come a point in the story where the hero and heroine will suddenly find themselves in close proximity of each other. Hearts will start to gallop, hopes will get raised, temperatures will rise and you, the reader, will be standing on their sofa, book in hand, screaming “JUST KISS HER!”

Here are ten thoughts on the first kisses in romance books:

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