The art of writing romance novels:

The romance heroine, though possessed of heart, intelligence and beauty, is at the mercy of her own self-criticism most of the time. As the story begins, she is scared and isolated, poor, or abandoned, or lonely. Not infrequently, the book opens with her having just suffered some terrible loss; her husband has just died in a plane crash, or her parents or beloved guardians have died, and now she is forced to work as a paid companion to a rich and disagreeable widow, maybe, or she’s just come to Australia from England to live with her grandfather, who is mean as a snake. Then she runs into an unusual and interesting man who openly demonstrates his dislike for her, or else pretty much ignores her entirely.

Difficulties will multiply. And almost always, as the tension builds, the heroine is beset with doubts about her own competence, attractiveness and worth.

That’s just how I feel! the reader cries inwardly.

“Romance Novels, The Last Great Bastion Of Underground Writing.” — Maria Bustillos, The Awl

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