On Writing Romance by Leigh Michaels

Here is something a little different than the normal fiction review. Since all three of us posting on this blog are writers, I'm sure we have all read a couple of books on the craft. And there is a new Friday romance writers blog hop going on, so this book may come in handy for other writers. I didn't buy this book for myself. My older stepsister bought it for me for Christmas over a year ago because she knew I was interested in writing.

About the book: "According to the Romance Writers Association, more than 50 percent of paperback fiction read and sold in the United States is romance, and more romance titles are published every year than in any other genre. Many writers try writing romance first because demand for the genre is so much greater than any other. For those new to the genre and/or to writing, this book provides a starting point for developing the skill set essential to writing a best-selling romance novel.

On Writing Romance is a thorough reference that will provide readers with detailed descriptions of more than 20 subcategories within the romance genre, tips for avoiding clich├ęs, specific instruction for creating the perfect romantic couple, guidelines for drafting those all-important love scenes, submission information for breaking into the genre, and much, much more."

While I don't consider myself a romance writer, per say, I did find this book interesting and somewhat informative. It all depends on what type of writing you do because it is geared towards the general, m/f romance novels. While, in general, the book refers to romance as a story between two people, the main focus of every chapter is on a romance story between a man and a woman. She does mention on a regular basis that there are exceptions such as gay romance. Which is what I write when I write in the genre: m/m romance.

Layout - This writing book has a decent layout with different sections that divide between "getting ready to write," "framework," "writing the novel," and "submitting." The very beginning provides a good introduction to the genre, general requirements along with a discussion on picking/researching a story. Every section has a wealth of information for the romance writer and I did learn new things with each section, though I did actually know quite a bit of it from the years of learning about writing in general.

Audience - The obvious audience for this book is suggested by the title. Romance writers, especially newer romance writers, will find this book useful. But even those who don't write romance as the main storyline can get some useful information in reading about methods for books in the genre because often times the romance will be a subplot in many different genres. Readers should just remember that the book is focused on writing romance novels, which have their own specific requirements (like happily ever after endings) that the author focused on, for good reason.

Overall Thoughts - Not a bad read. I've read a number of books on writing, mostly for fiction books in general. While this isn't a book I would have thought to purchase myself, I am kind of glad my stepsister gave it to me. It's one of the few books I've been given as a present by siblings that I have managed to finish reading over the last 5 years. Solid, useful book for romance elements in writing and easy enough to read. I would recommend other writers, and romance in particular, at least consider checking it out.

Dawn's Verdict: 8/10



L'Aussie said...

Hi Dawn. This is great. Yes, the RomanticFridayWriters would do well to read this. Thanks for the review. I'm always reading books on writing generally, but have read a couple that are romance-specific. There are definite formulas depending on which publisher you are aiming for.

Just reminding you that I'll be away for my next post but I have 2 pre-scheduled. They often don't work on this site so if my next one doesn't publish when it should, would you do it for me? Don' want to feel I went to the trouble of writing them if they don't get used, ha ha ha.


Dawn Embers said...

Denise - Thanks for the reminder. I'll watch and if they don't go as scheduled I will make sure they get posted. Would never dream of your wonder reviews going to waste for all the effort you put into them.

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