Creating Romantic Characters - A Review

Creating Romantic Characters: Bringing Life To Your Romance Novel

by Leigh Michaels

PBL Limited - 2002

186 pages of which 65 are about writing. The remaining 121 pages are examples from the author’s stories. Of the 65 pages, maybe half of that relates to romance in particular. Nearly all of what’s said however could be applied to any type of fiction.

For someone who is past the neophyte stage, the book doesn’t have much new to offer. Even for newbie writers, I’d recommend tempering what’s said with your own sense. For instance, the author boxes the hero and heroine into certain likeability parameters that strike me as too rigid. Granted, Fifty Shades of Gray was ten years away when this was written, so it’s expecting too much for her to have ever imagined a popular hero who was into BDSM. Though most of the author’s advice is sound, one needs to remember that times change. When someone says “today’s romance” in print, it’s going to be dated by the time it hits the bookstore shelves. (If it ever even sees the inside of a bookstore given how fast things are changing.)

If you’re looking to write a more traditional romance, however, the author deals well with basics about the roles of secondary characters and villains in romance as well as some of your basic fairy tale story structures.

There are, however, points made that seem basic to me that I see far too often in romance, including NY published romance where the story presumably had an editor who knew better (or should have). FREX, This is what the author says about “the other woman” as one of the characters:

If it’s apparent to the reader that this woman is completely rotten, then how could our supposedly intelligent hero ever fall for her? And if she’s clearly a self-centered liar, why does our supposedly intelligent heroine believe her?

All in all, I have to judge this book as being thin on value to aspiring writers.


I just want to mention that for the next several days, A Dark & Stormy Knight: A McKnight Romance is on sale.

Young and stupid go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Sol McKnight, rancher and rodeo bull rider, married Georgia Carston, the love of his life, at eighteen. So maybe they were too young and maybe he was stupid to believe it would last the rest of their lives because six weeks later, she left him. Now she’s back in Hero Creek for the summer. This is his chance to win her back. Little does he know, this may be his last chance because Georgia has her eye on the divorced father of their daughter’s best friend. If Sol ever wants to feel whole again, he’s going to have to figure out what went wrong so many years ago and fix it. If he doesn’t he’ll lose her forever.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for pointing it out... it doesn't sound like the how-to book will be of much use.