{Headdesk Moments} Planning a Romance Novel

Every so often I have these “Aha!” or “Eureka!” moment. Although since watching the TV show Eureka I don’t shout eureka! any more. It just seems too weird and I’m afraid that I find myself sucked into the show and unlike Jack I have no special skills that would allow me to stay. How sad would that be to end up in that awesome town and get kicked out.

Opps! Now I’m going off topic. So back to my “Aha!” moment, although it was really more of a “head meet desk, desk meet head” moment.

This morning I decided to implement my new writing method. Part of the process comes from First Draft in 30 Days by Karen S. Wiesner. I love her Character Sketch and Plot Sketch, and I’m partial to her Story Evolution and Formatted Outline Worksheets, although I’ve since modified them for my use. Everything else in the book is just too much planning and paperwork for me.

For those who are curious, there are 18 worksheets and 4 goal planning worksheets. If I do them, I not only lose interest in the process and the book, but I also never look at the sheets again. Really, sometime planning a book is just too much plotting. Unless you’re a plotter and that’s your thing. Then working through a book without a plan would be more stressful.

So I took what I needed and modified them to work with three other processes that I found recently. I’ve always been partial to a Murder Board, like the ones you’ll find in detective/crime shows and I found an article online by a writer that has adopted the process. She’s a panster, so she uses it at the end of her writing process which isn’t me so I combined the murder board with a plot board and modified it to fit what I needed. For those unfamiliar with a plot board, I found a really good article here.

My board allows me to have an overview of my story which I’m hoping to use to plot a few chapters ahead, no more than five or I’ll get bored writing the story. Also it will give me an overview of what has happened in the story and behind the scenes look at plot threads and characters that I have to keep track of.

Is it surprising to anyone else that the bad guys spend so much of their time sitting around waiting for the perfect moment in the story plot line to appear? WTH are they doing with all that time? Anyone?

Sorry, back to the point of this post and the headdesk moment in planning this romance novel.

I started this morning by looking over my notes on Death’s Lover. I have things like the Story Goal, Romance Thread, Subplots, events to up the Plot and Romance/Sexual Tension in the book, the Release, Black Moment, Resolution and the Aftereffects of the Resolution. These are the main points of the story and every book I’ve written I’ve used the method of planning. It’s basic and it makes sure I have all the parts I need. Some of this is filled in to start, others while I write. I added to some ideas to these notes this morning too.

Being the dork that I am, I’m having this hard time figure out the story goal and the romance thread which keep getting intertwined and driving me nuts. If you are missing what’s wrong with this picture, don’t feel bad. It took me five years to make the realization. If you caught on to what is wrong, awe-some-sauciness to you. Why weren’t you here earlier to point it out to me? Really! I could have used the help. 🙂

So what is wrong, some of you might ask. Umm…being a romance writer, the story goal is the romance. Everything else that enhances the story is subplot. Yep, not sure how I missed that for so long. Guess I won’t be getting that gold star this week. Damnit! LOL

Anyone else have those headdesk moments? Want to share? Because I would love to learn from your mistakes. 😉

2 thoughts on “{Headdesk Moments} Planning a Romance Novel

  1. All that plotting would make me lose interest in the story, too. I do outline at the very end. The last 3-4 chapters, but by then, I get a burst of energy that keeps me going.

    I like to think the bad guys are sleeping in and enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee while they’re waiting to make their appearance. 😀

    Sometimes the romance is a subtle part of the romance, esp. if it’s not riddled with misunderstandings between the couples. It can be hard to point out.

    I have had headdesk moments, but right now my mind is blank. LOL


    • LOL I like to plot a story but not in so much detail that I have everything figured out. I need to write to how they got there. As for the story goal and romance thread, I was trying to make both important and to be a romance it is the romance that is important and the story supports it all. Though without some story to it I wouldn’t read it. I think it was more me relying on my fiction writing days and making the romance less important, which would make it a fiction with a romance subplot.


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