Love doctors

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, it’s time for some good old-fashioned love advice. Six romance novelists spill their quick and dirty secrets.
Published: January 1, 2014


iStock_000018906449Small_1Without a firm grasp of character and pacing, a love story can easily slip into a tragedy. With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, it’s time for some good old-fashioned love advice. Six romance novelists spill their quick and dirty secrets.

“Have your hero and heroine connect in such a way that makes the readers believe they are soul mates, and together they can get over any hurdle that tries to block their paths.”
 —Brenda Jackson, The Westmorelands series

“The secret to writing a good romance: Don’t give the reader everything (relationship, love, sex) too early, but in such a way that they don’t feel they’re waiting at all.”
—Jamie McGuire, Beautiful Disaster

“Build romantic tension by bringing your hero and heroine together early and often. Avoid plots, settings and living situations that keep them apart for extended periods.”
—Julie Klassen, The Tutor’s Daughter

“Every romance has to have a black moment when the hero and heroine (and therefore the reader) believe that love is absolutely impossible. The deeper, darker and blacker this moment, the more satisfying the ultimate happily-ever-after ending.”
—Hope Ramsay, Last Chance series

“Conflict. If the couple has no reason to remain apart, if they face no obstacles, then you have no love story. Conflict is best when it comes in layers. As the story progresses, the couple can peel back one layer of conflict, only to discover another.”
—Becky Wade, Undeniably Yours 

“Romances are about connecting. Friends, lovers, family. The most essential element of a romance isn’t just going through the motions; it’s about believing that people are better off when they’re part of a community. If you don’t get it in life, you won’t be able to put it on the page.”
—Susan Mallery, Fool’s Gold series