1. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    How should I start my romance novel?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by architectus, Mar 4, 2009.

    I have a question for how to start my romance novel.

    I am almost finished with my third novel, Agija of Agukas, and I have been planning my next novel for a little while.

    It will be a romance and it includes time travel; although, the time travel is only used as a mechanism to explore the novels theme and title, Age For Love.

    There are two beginnings I have been debating. Perhaps you can let me know which one you like or think works better.

    Beginning one: The prestigious school for singing just agreed to let her try out. Excited she tries to tell her boyfriend of three years. He is acting weird and doesn’t seem to give a crap. He leaves her. She has no where to go, and she refuses to go to her mother who verbally abused her growing up. She becomes homeless, and decides she will make her appointment with the school no matter what.

    Beginning two: She is under a bridge and running late to be at her appointment with the school. She struggles to look her best, such as going into a public bathroom and using the sink to wash up. Beginning one will be told through flashbacks and narration. On the way she sees Mr. Drop Dead Gorgeous, Mr. if she ever had him as a boyfriend, she would want to keep him in the house so a super model doesn't snatch him up.

    Second question: If you are writing in the simple past and you flashback, you can write the flashback in the simple past as well, right? I have seen it done, but I wan to be sure it is the norm. It would suck to have a short scene of a few paragraphs written in the perfect past. All the had words would get annoying.
     
  2. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    No one has any ideas? :(
     
  3. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    The first one sounds way too dramatic, and weird. The second one interested me until it got to the DDG. He ruined it. I want to hear more about her struggling to prepare for her audition--sounds interesting and may be good for comedy. I guess it depends on how DDG enters picture?

    I would say yes to your 2nd Q.
     
  4. laciemn
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    laciemn Senior Member

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    Well, I like the second idea better. The first beginning sounds too angsty to begin with. I don't like reading a lot of that because it seems like whining unless you already sympathize with the character's motivation.

    As your second question, I think I know what you mean and I would think that yeah, you can write the flashbacks that way as well.
     
  5. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Marina, did the DDG ruin it because of his title?

    I don't think she is going to call him drop dead gorgeous, hehe.

    Thanks, guys. I wanted to start with the second beginning, but I was unsure how people would react to a young MC starting off homeless. She will be around 22, I think. More importantly, I was worried with how readers of romances would react to her starting off homeless. That is why I was tempted to start off showing how she became homeless. Either way, it will be explained right away.
     
  6. laciemn
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    laciemn Senior Member

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    Well, I'm not much interested in the romance genre, but I would be more interested to read a romance novel with a homeless MC because it would set her apart as someone who had to struggle, or who had some bad luck, or that lives a hard life. That is more appealing to me than the typical envisioned heroine of romance. I'm not sure what that is, except someone incapable and helpless and in need of rescue. The fact that she is homeless immediately makes me think it might be interesting because she will obviously have to resolve this situation, find shelter and food, or something like that.
     
  7. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Lacimen, and she will be self conscious and embarrassed when this guy notices her. She will want to get her life together before even considering letting a male get close. If she agrees to go on a date, how will she find the right clothes, perfume, a shower, and everything? And when he wants to drop her off?

    I am hoping it all works out.
     
  8. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, I just don't get the purpose of his character. His hotness factor shouldn't be a factor...it should be an after-the-fact. :p

    I like the idea of her being homeless and still struggling to live her dreams. Although, 22 sounds a little old for starting college...or you call it a prestigious singing school, and I don't understand what that would be. Music colleges I can understand, though.
     
  9. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I was thinking about the SF Conservatory of Music.

    I need something that is hard to get into, and that is why it took her until age 22 to get the chance to try out. She didn't want to settle for less, and she figured the boyfriend she lived with would take care of her until she got accepted.

    If she didn't get accepted soon she would try other schools. I might make her 21 or 20. I need her to be old enough that falling for a 14-15-year-old is strange, and young enough that falling for a 30-40-year-old is strange.

    The guys role is the hero of course. I will be introducing him early in the story. The first chapter in fact, but only as someone she sees and for some odd reason looks familiar to him. Naturally, she finds him attractive.

    I am trying to figure out what you mean by his hotness shouldn't be a factor until after the fact. Do you mean that you don't think she should notice he is good looking when she first sees him?
     
  10. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    If he's fine, that's fine, but her attraction to him and his value shouldn't be about his fine-ness, or else the story will be cheesy. It should be (re-wording it: I prefer it to be) something about his character that is attractive--maybe he plays bass and she's always had a thing for bass players or something. :)

    Also, I would prefer for once to see the heroine do the saving of the hero, rather than the girl always needing to be rescued by the guy. Like maybe he's got everything she doesn't have, but there are problems for him as well. So maybe in the end they rescue each other, or kill each other in a fit of passion, or something different anyway, ha.
     
  11. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Yeah, she only notices that he is good looking. It is not why she ends up liking him. Interesting enough she does save him, hehe. But he also helps her. The time travel bit plays an interesting role in the Age For Love.
     
  12. silverfrost
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    silverfrost Member

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    If you want to go with a more "conventional" time line, then auditioning for a graduate performance degree at age 22 would be appropriate. Maybe for a MM (Master of Music). For example, she might have endured undergrad as a vocal performance major and relied on her boyfriend after she graduated so that she could search for a job. Then she'd have to consider paying back loans, etc.

    As you said, she doesn't settle for just anything, so you could line up several conservatories (including no "safety schools," as people tend to call them, in that list) and subtly hint how challenging it is to earn a spot at these institutions. Auditioning at the graduate level would certainly make things even tougher.

    But, yeah, plenty of people enter undergrad in their early twenties too. The grad school thing is just a suggestion.

    Also, if she does end up getting in, I would be careful when describing the life of a conservatory student, unless you were/are one yourself. Taking on a music major puts a student in a completely different world. I would do a fair bit of research, asking conservatory students what's required of them, what they do in their so-called "spare time," how stressful academic and performance classes are in music, etc. There seems to be a great deal of misunderstanding when it comes to these things--not that I'm assuming you wouldn't research it properly, though. Besides, I understand the romance will be the key plot element, and I'm not sure how many details about being a music student you're going to include, so... :)

    I like the second idea for a beginning better than the first.

    As for your second question, simple past works for flashbacks.

    Good luck with this project!
     
  13. Natalia
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    Natalia Member

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    I agree with Marina.A lot of stories the male is the hero who comes out to save the woman.It would be even more interesting if she barely noticed him as she was getting ready as she was too wrapped up and focused on her own dreams and it was something completly small that made her notice him but meant a lot.Or she did notice him but dismissed it as another typical hot guy.It would be nice to be original but realistic.Just some of my thoughts though I believe it has promise :)
     

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