How to Outline a Romance Novel: Fiction Writing Skills for Romance Authors (How to Write Romance) - Paperback
Strong outlines create strong stories.
How to Outline a Romance Novel takes a complex topic and breaks it down into an easy-to-use outline framework. This simple-to-follow book introduces concepts in a straightforward manner so you spend less time being overwhelmed.
In How to Outline a Romance Novel, you will learn:
- What makes a romance novel different from other fiction.
- Why we get overwhelmed trying to learn story structure and outlining.
- What is the difference between outlining and plotting, and why do we often use them interchangeably.
- Why most story-structure frameworks don’t work for a romance novel.
- How to frame your story without beating your head against a brick wall.
- The basics of the romance outline broken down into a framework upon which to build a romance novel.
Are you bogged down while trying to outline your romance novel? Has learning story structure for romance novels left your head spinning? How can you know romance readers’ expectations, and how best to incorporate them so readers want to devour every word you write? A multitude of resources teach how to structure romance novels, but most of the resources are complex and confusing.
Bestselling, multi-genre novelist Julie L. Spencer shares her method for building simple, yet solid, outlines as the framework for every romance novel you write.
Build solid outlines—and take your stories to the next level!
Joel’s college football career is earning him more than a degree in sports medicine, a winning season, and recruiters from the NFL. He’s captured the attention of a prima ballerina.
Winnie’s majoring in performing arts and specializing in modern ballet. After a minor knee injury sends her to the training room, a serendipitous moment lands Winnie in the arms of the handsome defensive cornerback.
He falls for the elegant dancer not realizing she is teetering on the edge of anorexia.
A whirlwind romance filled with family holidays, baggy sweaters, and a trip to the Rose Bowl hides what should have been obvious to Joel. His promise to love and cherish through sickness and health is tried and tested when he realizes the extent of Winnie’s illness.
Will death do us part come sooner than expected? Or can the healing power of his love save her?
A Million Bucks - Paperback
Can best friends fall in love with the same woman?
Six years and two master’s degrees after Buck stands up to bullies on behalf of his freshman roommate, he and Milton are still best friends—until they meet Leanne.
As Millie, Leanne, and Buck joke around at a comedy club while waiting for open mic night, they realize that, run together, their names sound like “a million bucks,” giving them the idea to start the comedy trio known as A Million Bucks. With Milton on stage as Millie, and he and Buck brewing tension with Leanne, their Minneapolis comedy act quickly becomes a hit.
Through their performances and time together, they never thought they’d fall in love, and strange things can happen when stranded in a snowstorm and forced to share close quarters. What starts as an experiment quickly grows into something much more serious. And none of them want to let go.
Author’s Note: A Million Bucks is a clean but mature love story with no swearing or vulgarity but includes multiple discussions and references to closed-door romance.
Matching You with Love: All's Fair in Love and Sports Series
Taylor’s new life is perfect. His best friend and next-door neighbor, Gracie has no idea his family is hiding a secret, and no idea he has a huge crush on her. Until his twin brother, Kade is released from juvenile detention center and wants to rock his world. He also wants to be matched up with Gracie.
When Gracie is introduced to the guy she thinks is Taylor’s cousin, she is smitten. Kade’s smoldering eyes, so similar to Taylor’s, hide secrets behind disheveled brown curls, a tattoo and a rock star T-shirt.
But does Gracie like Kade because he’s dangerous and exciting? Or because he looks just like Taylor? When she finally admits her real crush is on her best friend, she thinks she’s made the perfect match.
Until she learns the truth about Taylor’s family.
How can Taylor convince Gracie to be his girlfriend when each truth she learns reveals another of his lies?
Road Trip - Paperback
A schoolteacher navigating a midlife crisis, a romance author with an inferiority complex, and a seventy-hour road trip across the United States. What could possibly go wrong?
Although not autobiographical, I wrote this little romantic comedy sitting in my Subaru Outback beside my best friend and eternal companion, Clayton as we drove from Michigan to Las Vegas and back.
We brainstormed together, drew upon everything we loved about each other, and everything that annoyed us about each other. We even stole tons of moments from our actual experiences while travelling. Which parts of the story actually happened? And which are made up? That’s up for the reader’s imagination.
I will tell you this: no Corvettes were destroyed in the creation of this book!
The Refusal: Christian Romance
A Mormon girl and a Mennonite guy walk into a hardware store. Wait… what?
Melissa Dalton is tired of being coveted for her beauty and has given up on men who can’t value her feisty independence. She’s content with her new job in a new town far away from her college sweetheart and the proposal she refused.
Troy Weller just wants to work his land, feed his chickens and finish building his new house. He doesn’t want his father, the Brethren, and the cute little brunette at church to choose who gets to sew curtains for the kitchen windows.
When Troy comes to Melissa’s rescue at work, he assumes she’ll appreciate his help. Instead, he finds himself confronted by a headstrong woman he’s instantly drawn to.
But she’s too independent for his conservative religion, and he’ll be excommunicated if he marries her. They’re not supposed to fall in love, but they can’t seem to stay apart.
Can they find a way to stay on the same page even if they’re reading from a different book?
Take Me to the Winter Games - Paperback
Pairs figure-skating partners, Lara Trahan and Jordan Basney are on a path to the Winter Games, and nothing will stand in their way to winning an Olympic gold medal.
Except all the guys vying for Lara’s attention. Jordan can’t fight them off quickly enough. He wants Lara to realize she’s in love with him, but snowboarders and speed skaters keep getting in the way.
Lara doesn’t seem to recognize how perfect they are together until Jordan is forced to step in and save her reputation.
But will putting himself in harm’s way destroy the foundation of their partnership?
Will Lara’s tendency to flirt with other guys ruin her chance at winning a gold medal with Jordan? Or will their love for each other be the key to reaching the top of the podium?
Ride the Halfpipe with Me - Paperback
“That was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my life.”
Olympic gold medalist, Gil Snider, learns the hard way that it’s lonely at the top. If the other snowboarders at the Park City Mountain weren’t jealous before he returned from China, they were green with envy after he started dating the hottest girl around, champion snowboarder, Veronika Forster.
Veronika lived a very different life before moving from Austria to Park City, Utah. She left behind her family, her carefree lifestyle, and her long-time boyfriend. Meeting the most famous snowboarder in the world was such a rush that she got caught up in the moment and crossed a line she didn’t realize had been drawn.
Gil’s rejection stung, and Veronika vowed to keep her chin up like the confident woman she thought herself to be. Until the day she was no longer strong and she needed Gil’s love more than ever.
Only later did Gil learn that his biggest mistake may be the key to saving his own life.
Combustion - Paperback
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Combustion is also available on Kindle through Amazon.com.
Sometimes she's not the only victim...
Kaelen is the perfect boyfriend. Smart, athletic, attentive, and willing to keep their secret.
Abigail is the only girl at his high school smarter than him. With his 165 IQ, he can talk to her about anything; science, math, social issues… chemistry. He just can’t date her. Until the day he gives up trying to pretend he isn’t in love and the chemical equation that burns between them gets too hot to ignore. Kaelen learns the hard way what happens when you play with fire, and Abigail pays the price. But she isn’t the only victim that night.
Devastated that he hurt the girl he loves, Kaelen pleads guilty and faces the punishment he feels he deserves. Five years and one prison sentence later, Kaelen and Abigail can’t ignore the evidence of that one tragic night, and they can’t ignore the fire that still threatens all their plans for a future together.
Cheer for Me - Paperback
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Running to You: All's Fair in Love and Sports is also available on Kindle through Amazon.com.
Doug refuses to join the cheer team, no matter how badly they need him or how talented he is. As the best wide receiver on the Buccaneers’ football team, his Friday nights are full.
But when his next-door neighbor and best friend, Emma, asks him to help her teach the new kid, Preston, how to perform stunts, Doug can’t refuse. Especially now that he realizes he has feelings for Emma.
Emma has been practicing cheer stunts with Doug since they were kids. When she sees that Preston needs a guy to demonstrate the correct way to lift a cheerleader, she pulls Doug off the football field and onto the sidelines.
His growing attraction to Emma, and his obvious talent as a cheerleader, forces him to choose sides. Does he abandon the football team to join with the cheerleaders? Or stay and give them something to cheer for?
Writing Romance is Not About Sex… or is it?: How Far is too Far in Clean Romance?
Do you struggle to keep your clean romance clean?
- Do you worry about offending your readers? Or disappointing them?
- What is clean romance?
- Where do you cross the line between sweet and steamy romance?
- How much heat can you include in your romance?
- How many kissing scenes should you have in clean romance?
- How much sex can be in a clean romance?
- What is the difference between sweet romance, clean romance, clean and wholesome romance, and spicy romance?
- How can you position your book according to market trends and expectations?
- How can you make it clear to your reader what the heat level is before they even open the book?
- How can sex be used (or strategically not used) to add depth to your story?
- How can you influence society using romance stories?
- What are the genre expectations of clean romance?
- What is the difference between a romance novel, a love story, women’s fiction, multi-genre romance, and romantic subplots?
Writing Romance Is Not About Sex… or is it? will answer these questions and so much more!
- In this book, you’ll read real-world examples of how authors are doing this well, and some that are not.
- You’ll learn marketing techniques to ensure your readers know what to expect in your story.
- You’ll explore literary techniques for including sex in young adult novels, mainstream romance, religious stories, cross-genre romance books, etc.
- Topics of discussion include writing about teen pregnancy and safety, marriage and kids, sex before marriage, how to handle rape and abuse, how to include alternative lifestyles in clean romance, bullying and peer pressure, how illness and death affect a love story, the sanctity of marriage and how to handle the wedding night, how to use sex by strategically avoiding sex.
Writing Romance Is Not About Sex… or is it? will help you understand and write better clean romance, keep your readers happy, and sell more books to the correct readers!
Strike Three, You're Mine - Paperback
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Running to You: All's Fair in Love and Sports is also available on Kindle through Amazon.com.
Amberlyn didn’t realize her boyfriend was spending more time with her best friend than with her. Betrayed and publicly humiliated, she needed a box of tissues and a shoulder to cry on.
Aiden was happy to supply them. Having a crush on Amberlyn for years, he was secretly glad her boyfriend had dumped her. He may even have participated in the events that caused the breakup.
But he couldn’t focus on that when he needed to train for the upcoming baseball season.
With Amberlyn still crying over her ex-boyfriend, scouts vying for Aiden’s attention, and betrayals coming out of left field, they have so many strikes against them, they may never hit a home run.
Coaching - Once Weekly
Once weekly virtual meetings for $500 / month (includes unlimited emails back and forth).
Coaching - Once Monthly
Once monthly virtual meetings for $200 / month (includes emails back and forth limited to once / week).