So you want to write a romance. If that is all you think about then you are already a romance writer. Now, you need to work on perfecting your craft one day at a time. Today, identify some things that you are doing wrong and learn to avoid them at all costs. We are talking about your Romance writing habits.
Bad habits are bad habits. It takes about two weeks to create a habit so it takes about the same length of time to break one. You’ll feel awkward and strange at first, going against the grain, but you’ll soon come to like it.
Bad Habit #1: Writing inconsistently
A romance writer writes. If you want to get better, then it is going to have to take some priority in your life. You’d probably be surprised to know that many of the most prolific romance writers wrote all the time before they became well-known.
Think of it like losing weight. If you only exercise or eat right occasionally, you may make progress but it will all be swallowed up during the times when you don’t follow your regimen. Writing doesn’t have to be super strict. Dedicating yourself to writing a certain number of words a day or for a certain amount of time can form the writing habit that you need to become successful.
Bad habit #2: Shifting viewpoints
This is the one thing that many editors and observant readers notice right off the bat. Point of view refers to how you choose to convey the story to your readers.
Here’s an example. In Agatha Christie’s The Big Four, Capt. Hastings is telling about an adventure experienced by him and Hercule Poirot. As the narrator, he only knows what he felt throughout and what he observes in his companion. If, at some point, he decided to tell us how deeply Poirot was wounded by a comment made by another character, then the viewpoint shifts. How can an observer know definitely what someone else is thinking?
Many writers either use first person narrative or third-person narrative. With first person, it is just like Capt. Hastings. One narrator who knows his mind but not the mind of other characters, only what he witnesses. With third person, the story can be told by an omniscient narrator who sees the minds and actions of all characters or a third person narrator who tells the story from the viewpoint of only one character.
Bad habit #3: Telling but not showing
If someone gives you directions, they are telling you where to go. If they showed you, then they would get in and drive your car to the destination. You wouldn’t want someone else in the driver’s seat and neither does the reader. They want to make their own inferences based on what they read and not how you want them to think. It is the dialogue and actions of the characters what move the story along without spoon feeding the reader at every turn.
Bad habits are hard to break, but well worth it. thIt could mean the difference between seeing your name in print and finding it in the circular file. To eliminate these habits or to prevent them from ever surfacing, consider taking a quality romance writing course.