Friday, January 28, 2011

Mapping out my story

I'm feeling like a bit of a fake at the moment. I call myself a writer, and yet I have shown no visible signs of writing for the past few weeks.

That, dear reader, is visible signs. It's all been whirling around my head like crazy, surfacing at odd moments so that I bring up characters at awkward moments.

What I have been doing has interested the geographically challenged part of my brain. Essentially I have been plotting out my story, step-by-step, through drawing up a map of the fantasy world, and making notes next to places where major events happen in my story. I can now visualise exactly how far my heroine has to travel before she meets the hero, exactly where a vicious battle scene takes place etc.

Image taken from

Has anyone else found this an effective way to plot out a story? It really seems to work for me.

Oh, and I've been reading a lot of historical romance novels (thankyou Jean Plaidy!!!) for supposed research, although secretly I think I have an addiction to these stories.

I have also started a new job, which is a very exciting new phase of my life. Things are really good right now :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Need a little help with romance...

Perhaps I shouldn't really be making such a public confession, but the truth is I've never really had much romance in my life. I guess I've never really wanted it. I have a wonderful boyfriend who does so many lovely things for me, but it's not really romance-novel-worthy. While I'm very happy and wouldn't change a thing, it kinda makes writing a romantic love interest into my new story a little challenging.

The question is: What do women want. Not what they want in real life, but what they want to daydream about when it comes to romantic heroes. Not being overly fond of romance novels myself, I am really struggling to create a believable love interest that my female audience would want the heroine to fall in love with, but who also won't make the male audience vomit. I've always loved Gilbert Blythe and Mr Darcy, but I'm not sure they are modern enough.

This is where I need your help. Do any of you have any good romance novels that you can recommend I read for research? I honestly don't know where to start, so would love to hear your suggestions.