I enjoy browsing through bookstores for engaging books. The more obscure the title the better. Recently, I found a book, The Rules by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, which I just had to purchase.
“Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right” screamed buy me. Having a romantic side and being a romance writer I was curious to see what information could be found inside the dusty treasure. And with the guarantee of time-tested secrets-what did I have to lose for .25 cents. (I’ve found my Mr. Right, but I’m always on the hunt for more knowledge about love).
I read the book and found some pearls. Actions for real life, and then I thought why can’t I use this information to help me with my own heroine’s ‘problems’ during writing?
I picked Rules 1-5 this week to demonstrate.
Rule #1. Be a “Creature Unlike Any Other”.
Looks really don’t matter, when you intrigue your audience with a heroine’s confidence and intelligence. She has to be unique, confident, alluring, kind and optimistic. Wait-she’s perfect you’re thinking, well…not exactly be-but she has to act like she is. Inside she can have the consistency of hot chocolate, but as long as she conquers her fears and acts as if things are smooth, we’ll root for her happy ending.
Rule #2. Don’t Talk to a Man First.
This rule is tough because books are all about conflict and conversation. The hero has to go to the heroine first can be tricky, but I get the whole ‘he likes to be the hunter-not be the hunted’ line so making him approach her is a good sign he’s interested. No matter how independent women are today, men should take the lead (in this aspect).
Rule #3. Don’t Stare at Men or Talk Too Much.
Chemistry is found in the first eye contact, but too much gawking and the hero knows the heroine is really into him. The intrigue of guessing her level of interest will help build sexual tension in the story. Alas, the heroine must speak over 50% of the story, but make what she says matter!
Rule #4. Don’t Meet Him Halfway or go Dutch on a Date.
This rule is all about giving him a challenge. And makes for great conflict in the story! Making the hero work hard for her attention is good for him. He likes the chase because remember he is the hunter.
Rule #5. Don’t Call Him and Rarely Return his Calls.
Now this rule in writing is difficult. She has to be in touch with the hero most of the time and rarely are they separated once the main incident is shown to the reader. I take this rule for keeping him interest by not giving him too much too soon in the novel.
Next week I’ll dive into comparing Rules 6-10. In the meantime, I’d like to hear if you think these rules really would help in your writing…or in your personal life.
And if you’ve stumbled across any great books, please share because I’d love to read them! Until then, have a great week!