Alas! The demands and requirements of romance writers are unique. You can’t expect to achieve your romance plotting with nothing but Microsoft Word and some index cards.
While those most popular novel outlines like Hero’s Journey and Story Circle are exceptionally great, they don’t address all the queries that you, a romance novelist, have about how to develop an engaging story arc for your audience.
Though a romance story is a journey, it sure isn’t a Hero’s Journey. The Romancing the Beat outline boasts specific steps that are geared towards romance novels.
What the Outline Covers
As a romance writer, here are some points that will be at your fingertips with the Romancing the Beat outline:
- How to develop a romance as the primary plot and every other thread as the subplot.
- How to differentiate between the outside story goals that will make your romance book marketable and the innate story goals that will make your readers come back for more when you write another book.
- How to integrate classic structures to suit a scenario with two main characters.
- How to assign every character their character arc while maintaining the essence of the key story arc.
- How to integrate outside themes into your romance novel without interfering with the main theme which is romance.
- Which challenges are plausible and which ones are unacceptable.
With these points in mind, Romancing the Beat Method is designed to make your romance book plotting simpler. While taking a quick look at this book structure, you’d think it is complicated but quite the contrary. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it to be incredibly practical.
Accessing The Outline by Gwen Hayes
First, let’s take you through how you can easily access it in LivingWriter:
- When you log onto LivingWriter, click ‘Show All Templates.’ Romancing the Beat will be last on the list, right after ‘Book Proposal.’
- Once you click on Romancing the Beat, you’ll be guided to a platform where you will enter your book’s title, description (optional), and author (optional). After you’re done click on ‘Create’ and this is where the real fun begins.
- When you’re inside, you’ll notice that the chapters are divided into 18 sections. When you click on every category on the left sidebar, you will see some guidelines on the right sidebar on what should take place in that section. The middle area is the blank space where you will type your story.
- If you want an overview, you can click on the Board button to go through all the blocks in one view. The board just as the name implies takes away the hassle of literally jotting down your story elements on index cards and pinning them to a clipboard.
Romancing the Beat template walks you through all the steps you need to get your romance novel done. However, we’ll also give you a detailed guide to simplify your work.
Breakdown of the Romancing the Beat Method
This book structure was famously constructed by Gwen Hayes so we’re simply offering you the summary of her instructions on how to use it.
Here is an overview of the template’s outlines and chapters.
- Character #1
- Character #2
- Won’t Happen #1
- Adhesion Plot Thrust
- Won’t Happen #2
- Growing Desire
- Might Happen
- Love Plot Thrust
- Inkling Doubt
- Choosing Love
- Grand Gesture
We’ve described for you what should happen in each chapter or outline:
Character #1: Introduce your 1st character in a captivating way to lure your readers. Showcase your character’s daily routine but add a twist to it. Your character should have an external goal and you can also hint at his or her desires and needs.
Character #2: Same as the first character, your second should be interesting and have an expected twist in their life. They should also have ambitions and goals but cumbered by an obstacle.
Meeting: Your two characters meet for the first time. Perhaps character #1 is travelling overseas and meets character #2 who is a waiter or waitress on the ship character # 1 is boarding! It’s up to your imagination.
Won’t Happen #1: Your character airs their concern about why they can’t be together, which creates a romance arc for your audience. Whether they say it out loud or internalize silently, character # 1 clearly states the reason why he or she can’t be involved romantically with character #2.
Adhesion Plot Thrust: A sudden trick of fate happens that the characters can’t keep away from each other until the challenge is addressed.
Won’t Happen #2: Character #1 again resists falling in love with character #2.
Inkling: Begin to impose on your character’s false notion of the reason they offered in Won’t Happen #1 or #2.
Growing Desire: The characters begin to open up to each other about who they truly are.
Might Happen: They delve into their love temptation and explore what might happen.
Love Plot Thrust: The characters attain false heaven where they feel they can have everything they desire.
Inkling Doubt: Based on the happenings of Won’t Happen #1 or #2, your character will have some doubt.
Doubt: The basis of doubt continues to grow as the passion between the two characters intensifies.
Withdrawal: The characters voice their concerns and decide to protect themselves from heartaches.
Guarded: The suspicions and speculations eventually come true and whatever reason they gave in Won’t Happen materializes.
Split: Always tie your split moment to the time when your characters decided to hold onto their misconceptions or fears rather than releasing them to love.
Choosing Love: Eventually, your hero chooses to love.
Grand Gesture: Your heroes decide to risk it all when they dive into love wholeheartedly.
Postlude: End your masterpiece with a little conflict, just enough to intrigue your readers.
After going through this, your creative bulbs must be buzzing and your fingers itching to get started on your romance novel. Get started right away on a new dynamic way to plot an epic love story that readers will not be able to resist! Just head to livingwriter.com and try it out!