Romantic suspense author, Lee Christine, is joining us now with her new release (January 1st) of IN SAFE ARMS!
Three things I keep in mind when writing romantic suspense
With dystopian, fantasy or paranormal, the author can allow their imagination to run wild, creating worlds and creatures where anything and everything can happen. But in romantic suspense, a genre with its feet firmly planted in the real world, push the realms of possibility too far, and it all becomes a bit silly.
This is when a romantic suspense author is in danger of losing readers. I’ve cast aside many novels because, while I love a heart thumping, page turning read, I lose interest if the plot becomes implausible. With romantic suspense, it is vital for the reader to feel that what’s happening in the story could actually happen in real life. Maybe, even to them.
I don’t like using novels as examples, so I’ll use the television drama ‘Homeland’ as an example. Homeland is grounded in reality. A heart thumping thriller, it’s the story of a brilliant bi-polar CIA Agent, Carrie, and a ‘has he been turned or hasn’t he’ marine and former POW, Nicholas Brodie. For a devotee like myself, there’s never been an episode where I’ve thought, ‘Ah, that could never happen.’ Kudos to the writers for producing a super exciting and nail biting script.
So when I’m writing my novel, I’m always checking and double checking that the story’s grounded in reality—that it could happen to any one of us.
The second thing I like to keep in mind is:-
Never let the plot overshadow the romance
Writing romantic suspense is difficult because it requires the author to construct a double barrelled plot where the romance occurs concurrently with the developing mystery or thriller. I go about it like I’m balancing a ledger. Add mystery to one side of the ledger, then balance it up with romance until both sides are equal.
According to Wikipedia:-
“Like all romances, romantic suspense novels must place the development of a relationship between the protagonists at the heart of the story. The relationship must impact each decision they make and increase the tension of the suspense as it propels the story. In turn, the events of suspense must also directly affect the relationship and move the story forward."
The above quotation speaks of propelling the story, and this brings me to the third thing I like to keep in mind when writing romantic suspense:-
Keep the story moving
With romantic suspense, especially with a ‘women in jeopardy’ story which I’m particularly fond of writing, there has to be a sense of real danger looming behind every scene, and that danger must remain present throughout the entire book. Every chapter, and if possible every scene, should end on a hook that drives the story forward and keeps the reader turning the pages. That’s not to say it has to be all suspense action though, it can be romantic action as well.
Authors use many tools when writing romantic suspense, but keeping the story grounded in reality, balancing up the romance and suspense so one doesn’t overshadow the other and keeping the story moving (whether through romantic action or suspense action) are three of the most important.
Escape Publishing is giving away one ebook of In Safe Arms to one reader. To enter, just leave a comment on this post for the author and then fill out the rafflecopter below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway