How to write a bestselling romance novel

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pigfender
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Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:32 pm Post

...which will be loved by women everywhere and turned into a blockbuster Hollywood movie. Probably starring Ryan Gosling.

I can't help but notice that the types of movies that Mrs Pigfender moans to me about...
"Would you build me a house with blue shutters?"
"Yes dear"


and insists are amazingly romantic...
"Would you leave an Ivy League university to study in a lesser place to be near me?"
"Of course dear"


generally involve behaviour that in real life would have women calling the police, and trying to get some sort of restraining order in place.
"If we split up would you just sit outside the front of my house in the rain without eating for weeks until I speak to you again?"
"Months dear."


My strategy, then, is to scour the press for stories of stalkers and weirdos, the kind where the guy has a random encounter with a woman for about 20 minutes, and basically follows her halfway around the world, getting to know all her friends, getting a job at her office, going through her trash and probably ultimately kiling her in a moment of unstable desperation. I'll then just swap out the final killing bit and replace it with "grabs her and kisses her" and have her melt in his arms.

Bestseller.
Blockbuster.
Fame and Riches.
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"Some dice only have sixes." nom, 19 Oct 2013
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Jaysen
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Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:02 pm Post

So I'm not the only one who is puzzled by the difference between the real world reaction and their desire to see it as romantic. You do realize that we have both just painted targets on our foreheads don't you?
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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pigfender
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Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:06 pm Post

I will also make sure the basic moral of the story is "boy, it sure is great to have a boyfriend". That one seems to work well. Especially in tv series.
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pigfender
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Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:21 pm Post

Jaysen wrote: You do realize that we have both just painted targets on our foreheads don't you?


Indeed. I can see it now: Mrs Pigfender leaves me because I am not romantic enough. In a twist of irony, the book and screenplay I write becomes her favourite movie and she hassles future boyfriends about it in perpetuity.
"Would you attack all my friends with axes because they keep telling me you're unstable and dangerous?"
"Already on it, love"
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AmberV
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Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:41 pm Post

You need to write several different Kaufman clones into this screenplay, at this point. Preferably sitting at a bar, spilling things, and weeping. This will keep the critics happy.
.:.
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PJ
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Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:35 pm Post

You will also need another woman, young, not too pretty, to be friends with both of you — one you can admire without groping, and she can appreciate without envying. This other woman will remind the reader/audience at least once in each episode that sanity, humor, and good diction have not been forgotten. (She will have a decent but rather lumpy beau who will remind everyone to settle for what they can get.)

ps
You can't conquer stupid — or cure it — with more stupid.

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pigfender
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Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:59 am Post

I will also be sure to set the book some point in the past. I doesn't have to be that long ago, necessarily, just far enough removed to allow nostalgia to work. It's not Mrs Pigfender's fault she had to settle for an unromantic fellow such as me, she was just born 5/50/500 years too late. Men were better then.
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robertdguthrie
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Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:48 pm Post

Romance Novel world: *rrrrrip!* "Take me now, Percival!"

Real world (upper middle class): *rrrrrip!* "What the hell, Percy?! I just got this blouse on sale at Macy's for 50% off. I can't even get another one because they discontinued the line! Stupid cave man-wanna-be!" *stalks off muttering about restraining orders*

Real world (working class): *rrrrrip!* *punches Pete in the nose, stalks off, muttering about the shotgun*
Often wrong, rarely in doubt.
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pigfender
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Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:57 pm Post

Never has there been a clearer illustration that the advice "write what you know" and "make your characters believable" is complete rubbish!
Last edited by pigfender on Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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robertdguthrie
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Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:48 pm Post

pigfender wrote:Never has there been a clearer illustration that the advice "write what you know" and "make your characters believable" is complete rubbish!

Um... Thanks? :|
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Jaysen
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Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:49 pm Post

My question is "who" did the "rrrip-ing" in each example? I would follow that question with wondering what the gaol of said "rrrrip" was. Because it sure seems like you pretty much documented the randomness that is marriage.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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Hu
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Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:52 pm Post

Jaysen, I fear you're describing where you might end up, not what you're aiming for. :wink:

P.S. How do you write a best-selling romance novel? You spend your days stretched out on a chaise longue, dressed in pearls and a pink feather boa, sipping g and t's and dictating your words to a secretary. That way you get in the Guinness Book of Records for quantity, if not quality.

Oh, and in your spare time you invent aero-towing for gliders, in time for World War Two. Allegedly.
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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Jaysen
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Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:08 pm Post

Mr Hugh, Allow me to illustrate:

Scene one: Purchase of house/car/amazing anniversary trip. The *rrrrrip* is likely to be self inflicted by the softer gender. And I don't mean fatter, that would be me. I use the phrase with affection and in a traditional sense.

Scene two: Sporting team wins, boss dies and promotion is granted, last kids get real job and moves out. The *rrrrrip* is likely to originate from the XY chromosome member of the paring, the softer sex just want to finish reading her latest romance novel.

Scene three: Bill for replacement shirts, latest trip to the pharmacy, notice of change in health benefits from employer. *rrrrip* is likely to result from faint or heart attack while the "softer sex" realizes that 99.9% of her troubles would be covered by the insurance policy.

So is this not just a picture of married life?
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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Fluff
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Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:35 pm Post

Jaysen wrote:So is this not just a picture of married life?
Cynic! Sounds like vic-k But!! What can you expect from humans. No wonder existentially angsty vampires are taking over.tch!tch!tch!
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