Session 1: You and Your Protagonists – We’ll begin exploring the wide range of sub-genres in romance fiction and pinpoint where you feel comfortable as a writer. Then we’ll look at how bestselling authors create compelling, unique, multi-layered and believably flawed protagonists. Try your hand at creating a new couple, or introduce a couple from a novel in progress, working on how they relate to each other both sexually and emotionally. Your tutor will feedback on your protagonists.
Session 2: The Big Idea and First Meetings – Setting up an idea and how to engineer a couple’s first meeting to hook the reader into the story. We’ll focus on how to introduce the dynamic between protagonists and you will write a first meeting scene. You’ll also work on ways to hone your unique author voice and position it within the romance sub-genres. Your tutor will feedback on your first meeting scene.
Session 3: Plotting a Romance Novel – We’ll look at how to develop a whole story arc in the romance genre. Explore the relationship between your characters’ internal and external conflicts and understand the importance of emotional turning points when developing a story arc for your novel. You’ll practise creating powerful emotional turning points to power your plot. Your tutor will feedback on your emotional turning point.
Session 4: Crafting Effective Dialogue – Learn how to craft believable yet engaging dialogue exchanges between your characters. We’ll pay particular attention to the subtext revealed by point of view, and look at ways to use both physical and emotional cues. You’ll devote time to writing a dialogue scene that fundamentally changes the dynamic between your main characters. Your tutor will feedback on your use of dialogue.
Session 5: Compelling Love Scenes – First we’ll at the different heat levels available to you as a writer in the romance area, and at publishing conventions. We’ll focus on the art and craft of building sexual tension within a scene. You’ll explore your own comfort zone as an author and within the genre, while writing an initimate encounter between your characters. Your tutor will feedback on your scene.
Session 6: Publishing and Pitching – How the publishing and submission process works in romance, how to target your work to position yourself for success. Preparing a pitch, with a sample query letter and synopsis. There will be a live Q&A session with an industry professional. Your tutor will feedback on your synopsis.
Session 7: Quiet Writing Time – The final session is quieter, to give you time to work on your finished synopsis, your partial draft and query letters, and share drafts for peer feedback. At the end of the course, your tutor will provide feedback on your work (up to 3,000 words), including next steps.