Purple Prose + writerly books

On My Writerly Bookshelf: Writing Love

If you write straight romances or novels with a romantic subplot, you’ll want to check out Writing Love: Screenwriting Tricks for Authors by Alexandra Sokoloff. I’ve read a few books on writing romance, but this is the best one I’ve seen.

Unlike other books that deal with the topic of romance, Alexandra focuses on what she’s known best for: story structure. If you haven’t read her first book (Screenwriting Tricks for Authors), you might want to do that first. But for $2.99, it’s worth it. Alexandra assumes you’ve already read the book before reading Writing Love. If you’re familiar with story structure, it’s not as big a deal if you want to skip on.

One of my favorite parts of Writing Love, which is worth the money alone, is the chapter on ‘love story’ elements. In it, Alejandra talks about scene and story setups that you will find in romance. These include: call to adventure (when the protagonist first notices her future love interest), the reluctant heroine, mistaken identity, handcuff the couple together (not necessarily literally).

Another thing I loved is that she took ten well-known romance movies (e.g. Four Weddings and a Funeral, Sense and Sensibility, While You Were Sleeping) and analyzed them according to their romantic storylines. This includes how the various ‘love story’ elements were used to drive the story. She also discussed how the rules of fairy-tale structure can be applied to your book.

Overall, I highly recommend Writing Love for all writers who include romance in their stories.
Do you write stories that have romance as their main story line, or are they usually subplots?

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On My Writerly Bookshelf: Writing Love + writerly books