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A really simple tip for making any romance novel better


It’s all too easy, in any relationship, to see everything from your own point of view. It’s only human to put your own needs and desires first and overlook what the other person might be thinking or feeling. Guess what? the same can happen when writing romance. It’s easy to identify with your hero/heroine to the extent that you start to treat the love interest like a cipher – just there to turn up at the appropriate moment bearing flowers or a grovelling apology.

So we overlook the fact that the love interest is a person in his/her own right, with his own agency, past, agenda, hangups. Surprise; this does not make for gripping stories. So now, once I’m stuck into the story I try writing it out, start to finish, from the hero/love interest’s point of view. It’s one of those blindingly obvious things that it’s really easy to overlook, and amazingly effective in showing me things I’ve overlooked, giving me new ideas or revealing possible plot holes.

I imagine this would work in other genres – no doubt crime writers write synopses from their villain’s point of view too. Simple, but very helpful once it occurred to me. And works quite well in real life also.

If anyone else has a blindingly obvious tip I would love to hear it!

Also: if you are interested in the art of writing a synopsis, check out my day-long course on just that at City Lit, on Saturday June 24th. 

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