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What people are saying...



"A fantastic newbie guide to writing romance with clear jargon-free advice and examples from published works to back it up. This will be regularly called upon for my writing, of that I have no doubt!"


...Amazon Reviews



"There are thousands of books that profess to teach us how to write successfully. But it’s a little like learning how to drive. Eventually you have to stop reading, put the car in gear and hit the gas. And that’s what I like about Liz’s book. You’re encouraged to develop your own work whilst learning. And even better, I would suggest her book could be re-read to reinforce her tips and check you’re on track."


...Helen Baggot



As an aspiring romance author this is exactly what I needed to kick-start my current manuscript. Liz Fielding has the knack of telling all you need to know, in an easy read, with excellent examples of her own work to make her point. Wish I had found this gem years ago.


...5 stars at Smashwords





This little book is a primer, an entry level aid for the writer who has a story to tell, but is struggling to get it out of her head and onto paper. To quote the theme song for the movie of Erich Segal’s bestselling book Love Story, “How do you begin…”

I know how that feels, I’ve been there and I have written the book I wish I’d had when I was starting out.

My purpose is to explain, in the simplest terms — no jargon! — and using examples from my own work, how to make the transition from the story in your head to words on paper. How to write a compelling opening, deepen conflict, write honest emotion, hopefully with a touch of humour to leaven the mix. How to write crisp dialogue, develop the romance, add a little sizzle.

    It will be useful to anyone who wants to write popular fiction but, before we get down to the nitty-gritty, I’d like to say a few words about romantic fiction in particular. Why readers love it and come back for more.

The primary purpose of a romance novel is to elicit a positive emotional experience for the reader. Make her smile, make her cry, make her sigh with pleasure. To put it in a nutshell, give her a good time.

To achieve that, you must give her characters she will root for, characters who are pursuing a heartfelt passion, a compelling goal, something that really matters.

It might be her career that is driving your heroine, or the protection of her family, or something as basic as survival, but it will be a goal that the reader understands, that she will empathise with, that she will care about.

You must give her characters with whom she’s happy to share hours of her precious time, characters who, no matter what their faults may be — and perfection is so dull — are likeable.

Give your reader a hero and heroine who had a life before your book begins, who are meant to be together — who don’t just fall in love because you put them together in a book — and who your reader can imagine having a life after the last line.

Real people, taking the journey of their lives.




A hero has to be strong, tender, a man who would never let down the woman he loves. But he has to be flawed. If he were perfect there would be no story.

— Mollie Blake’s Writing Workshop Notes from Secret Wedding by Liz Fielding


Romantic fiction is character led.

A plot, a story is important, but unlike a thriller, where the hero or heroine responds to outside events, romance is driven by emotion, feelings, internal fears and longings and it is the character of your hero and heroine that will dictate how the plot of a romance develops.

Consider the great characters in literature, characters in the books you love. What made them memorable? What made you care about them?

They won’t have been perfect; no one wants to read about someone who is perfect, but they will have been determined, wilful, well motivated. Excellent examples include Jane Austen’s Emma, Scarlet O’Hara in Gone With the Wind and Vanity Fair’s Becky Sharpe.

Readers are looking for a heroine they can identify with, connect with, even if she sometimes gets things wrong.

Imagine you were in a lift, stuck between floors, and there was only one other occupant. Would you want to be confined with a moaning man, a whining woman, someone of either sex having hysterics? Or would you want to be with someone calm and practical, someone who would amuse you, who would make the time pass quickly?

Ask yourself if your hero and heroine have the “lift factor”.




·   Is she sympathetic, likeable, fun? Is she real? We all have flaws — your heroine should not be perfect! Why would a reader care about her?

·   What does she long for? What is her driving passion? What choices would she make under pressure? Does she want to be the boss or is she content to be the secretary?

·   What is she afraid of? What emotional armour is she wearing?

·   Who, what — if she found the courage of break free of the protective front she wears — does she have the potential to become?

·   Would your reader want to spend precious hours in her company? Would she want her as her best friend?




·  What demon is driving him?

·  Is his motivation clear and believable?

·  What are his most admirable qualities, his strengths?

·  What is his weakness? What emotional scars does he carry?

·  Who, or what, would he die for?

·  Will your reader fall in love with him?



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(c) Liz Fielding 2012