Romancing the Beat – How to Write Kissing Books, Book 1
Themes & Genres: Writing Guide
What makes a romance novel a romance? How do you write a kissing book?
Writing a well-structured romance isn’t the same as writing any other genre—something the popular novel and screenwriting guides don’t address. The romance arc is made up of its own story beats, and the external plot and theme need to be braided to the romance arc—not the other way around.
Told in conversational (and often irreverent) prose, Romancing the Beat can be read like you are sitting down to coffee with romance editor and author Gwen Hayes while she explains story structure. The way she does with her clients. Some of whom are regular inhabitants of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.
Romancing the Beat is a recipe, not a rigid system. The beats don’t care if you plot or outline before you write, or if you pants your way through the drafts and do a “beat check” when you’re revising. Pantsers and plotters are both welcome. So sit down, grab a cuppa, and let’s talk about kissing books.
What I think of the book:
This is a short book and I’m going to give it a very short review. Probably my shortest yet.
To sum it up: it’s good. And by “good”, I mean “useful”.
It’s written in a very accessible language, with an easy going tone, yet that doesn’t take away from the lessons. On the contrary: it feels like you are chatting with a friend or colleague you’ve known for a while and who you actually enjoy speaking with.
The advice is simple, but the “Why didn’t I think of this?” type of simple and at the same time it’s helpful. This happens to be my favorite combo when I’m reading guidebooks, by the way: short, to the point, presented in layman terms and in a conversational tone. It helps me relax and remember what I’ve read. Even so, I took notes and I’d advise you to do the same.
Who would I recommend this book to? I’d recommend Romancing the Beat to everyone who writes Romances (or, as Gwen calls them, “kissing books”), regardless of whether you are just starting out or you’ve already published a few books.
My rating: (5 out of 5 kissing couples)
Would I re-read this book? I took notes, but I’m still going to re-read it.
Am I interested in other books by this author? The advice was good, so I’m interested in the second (and third, and fourth, and so on, until we run out of them) book in the How to Write Kissing Books series.
Where can you buy the book?
- amazon.com (link takes you straight to the book)
There’s a FREE beat sheet that goes with the book; you can download it here.
Add Romancing the Beat to your Goodreads shelf (link takes you straight to the book)
Have you read Romancing the Beat?
Did you find it useful?
Share in the comments!