I'm up to my eyebrows in copyedits for my very first indie release--an NA rom-com. I'm not new to a book with romantic elements; PLAYING HURT, a YA romance, released in '11. Maybe because I've walked this territory before, it seems incredibly easy to rely on repetitious descriptions. After all, love stories are in and of themselves somewhat repetitious by nature.

But the somewhat pre-established pattern of falling in love doesn't make a romance easier--it's more challenging. Like pop songs. NOTHING should be easier to write than a pop song--in theory, anyway. You go into it knowing it's going to be about a relationship, that it's going to have three major chords, that the pattern will be: verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus. So much of a pop song is predetermined, it seems like it should be simple. Add four rhyming words and shake! Pow! Pop song completed.

Anyone who's tried writing songs knows that it ain't easy. To find a way to say something new? To make anyone who listens to the song feel the same emotion? To make it catchy? Have a hook you can instantly hum along to? Seriously tough stuff. (It's surely why we have so many one-hit wonders.)

Romance novels are every bit as much work. But the payoff is that when a romance is written right, it has the ability to be every bit as moving and infectious as a pop song...


  1. It's so true Holly! I was having the same trouble with my latest YA, which is definitely more romance than the others. It's so hard to find new and fresh ways to describe a rapidly beating heart. You wrote some great scenes in PLAYING HURT. Can't wait to read your NA!

  2. This is so true! I've actually found it true for other emotions like depression, anxiety and grief (since I'm such an upbeat writer...) as well. It is hard to nail those descriptions, but man when you do... I know you will nail this romance and I can't wait to read it and get it in my head like a great pop song!

  3. Thanks, guys! I'm so anxious to get this one out there!


Post a Comment