Writing Romance 101––Part III

Crafting the Heroine. The heroine is the key to any romance. Yes, we women also want a great guy for her to end up with, and we’ll talk about crafting him, too, at a later date. The romantic heroine is the reader’s alter ego. She controls everything the reader feels. Click to Tweet #amwriting #writingromance101 #craftingtheheroine

The great majority of readers of the romance genre are women. The reader identifies with the heroine, and in a sense, becomes the heroine. Readers cheer her on and rejoice in her victories, gets irritated when she gets angry, and we feel her frustration with herself or others when things go wrong.

So, how do we craft a heroine your readers will love? Let’s craft a heroine named Susie.

First, Susie must be “real.” It doesn’t mean she’ll be anyone that could be recognized. All it means is that there are reference points which the reader can slip into Susie’s role, and be able to essentially think like she thinks, and feel as she feels. She’s not perfect, she’ll have flaws, foibles, and insecurities, like we all do.

Realistic responses. Susie is going to be dealing with things most women never will. She still has to be identifiable, and the readers must be able to identify with her. They won’t necessarily be able to say, “That happened to me.” But you need to get the reader to go along with you. The best way to do this is to have Susie respond the way the reader would. How would you respond to any given situation? That would give you a bit of a clue as to how Susie will?

Conflict. All romance, up until almost the last page, is the sparks flying between the heroine and the man she ends up with. What emotional inner conflicts can you give your heroine that will create chemistry with the hero? What fear does Susie have that could potentially keep her from ending up with her hero? Deciding that is a beginning. Let’s say Susie fears rejection, because several boys dumped her in high school for the head cheerleader. That’s kept her from entering the dating game, so she doesn’t have much experience in dating “etiquette.” What scenes could that bring to mind?

We’ll be adding to Susie next week. Crafting a heroine is the most important element to any romance. The heroine must be likable, identifiable, yet human and engaging. Click to Tweet #amwriting #romancewriting101 #craftingtheheroine

How many romances have you read? Leave a comment and let me know.

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