The winter month are upon us and its the perfect weather to cozy up and get some writing done. I read a book recently called Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes and it has completely changed the way I have been writing lately.
I wanted to share some of the things I picked up with other writer and tell you how it has changed my writing process. Every genre has certain elements(also called Beats) that are expected in order for it to fit into that genre. For example in romance there has to be a happy ending, if there is not a happy ending then it is not a romance.
This book really dives into what beats need to be in every romance novel to really be considered a romance. This book is also helpful for anyone writing a love story within other book genre’s. For example a YA fantasy novel with a romantic element. Romance readers, read like crazy. There is a reason why romance is one of the most popular genre. But if you have ever read romance you will find that there is a certain flow to every story. You expect there to be some tension in the middle of the book where you think all hope is lost and then there is a grand gesture where one of the characters comes to their senses and realizes they can’t live without the other one. Readers expect these beats in a romance book and the consistency is what keep them coming back. So how has this book changed how I write?
This book has taught me how to write in Acts. I’ve always been curious to how some writers organize their book while they are writing. I’m a pantser and I just kind of write from beginning to end and fix everything later on in the editing process. This book has made me change my process a little bit. Now I have started to write in four acts and after each act I go back and make sure I am hitting all the necessary beats that are suppose to be in that act. If I miss a beat I’ll write it in. Then I got on to the next act and repeat the process until my entire book is done. This has made my rough draft so much cleaner. I always dread the editing process because I feel like it is such a big mountain to climb. At least this way I feel like I am hitting all my beats and I won’t have to do any big re-writes or story constructions. I believe it will also make my editing process go a lot faster. If you would like to check out the book Romancing the Beat it is on Amazon. Also if you google Romancing the Beat there is a blog where you can print off a template that will help you with your story structure. I’ve been keeping this next to my desk every time I write. Don’t forget for updates on book release and blog post make sure to follow my newsletter http://eepurl.com/dF1a0D .