Studying the Craft of Romance Writing
When I decided to give writing romance a go again and realized how much I didn't know about penning fiction, I started studying the craft. I read books and articles and signed up for online courses.
Writing classes have come a long way since I took one through the local community college in the early nineties.
I took an ed2go course in the summer of 2021. The class was, and still is, led by Priscilla Oliveras, a contemporary romance author with a Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. If I remember correctly, it was a six-week course. Ms. Oliveras, who is a fantastic instructor, had videos and articles, as well as assigned homework for each week. We had twelve lessons in everything from the elements of a romance to finding an agent. Although the classes weren't live, we had an interactive discussion board to post our lesson responses and get feedback from the instructor and classmates. It was an excellent class for someone just starting.
From there, I read many of the books recommended in the ed2go class and others I found interesting. Some of the most helpful are, I've come to learn, standard readings for any romance author:
The two books I go back to frequently are the first three.
I've read more books than those listed above and taken additional online courses. I've found that the simpler the concept, the better. If the book or instructor listed too many acronyms or pieces to their "formula," I would get overwhelmed and put it aside. Several were popular and highly recommended, but it was too much for me to take in.
Learning the craft as I did can be pretty costly. None of the above suggestions are free. However, some wonderful websites have plenty of free articles for writers. The ones I go back to often include:
I still pick up craft books that sound interesting, and I've recently signed up for an online class on plotting. I have a feeling that being a writer is a constant learning experience.