Romanceland was a-buzz today with the news that you'll be writing a romance novel. Because I have more experience than you at -- well, at just about everything that doesn't require antibiotics, but specifically, at this fine art of romance publishing, I would like to offer a few pointers. Spirit of friendship and cooperation and all. Welcome to the club.
First, it's important that the heroine is someone the reader can identify with. I know, "identify" is a big word not usually seen outside of police line-ups, so let me explain what that means. It means that the heroine behaves in a way which most women will find unobjectionable. No making out in hot tubs with random strange guys. Or girls. Or cute wine bottles with drawings on the labels that resemble lips. Of either the facial or nether variety.
Not that romance heroines are prudes, far from it, but they do tend to have beating hearts inside their bodies, and all parts tend to get involved in the romance. Not just the fun bits. So, yes, this means you'll have to discover other body parts besides hair and asses. Oh, look! A brain! Did you know such things existed?
This "identify" thing also usually means the heroine has a goal in life. This might be hard for you to grasp, but goals and accidents of fate are not the same. So, for example, when you fell down and landed in a reality show, this isn't quite the same as achieving a goal. It's more an accident of fate. Of the twelve-car pile-up variety. You know, the kind that most rational people really would rather not see, but then they cringe and look and hate themselves for looking. So here's a handy tip to help you figure out if your heroine has a good goal: if it makes the reader want to pour bleach on her eyeballs or whimper in a corner. it's probably not working.
And the hero? Oh, the hero. Brace yourself for a few shocks here, Snooki. Most romance heroes are intelligent guys. I know, right? What's the big deal about brains if he's got a six-pack and he's juiced? Well, funny thing, that. See, eventually the hero and heroine will be sober -- I know, I told you it would be shocking -- and they'll probably have something like a conversation. In this case, it helps if the hero has a vocabulary of more than 60 words. Ditto that for the heroine. (Please tell me you already have a vocabulary of more than 60 words. You're supposed to be writing a book, after all.)
So this sort of leads us to the plot. According to the press, your book will be a tale of "a girl looking for love on the boardwalk." Given your past exploits on the boardwalk, we take this to mean "a girl who falls off a bicycle while attempting to use a beer bong." Wow! We're in great shape here! You see, we already have the skeletal makings of a plot. The heroine's first goal could be to stay on the bicycle. And her next goal could be to figure out how to ride a bike and use a beer bong at the same time. And her third goal could be to join the circus.
Lookit that. You've got the whole plot thing in the bag already. Not that bag. Hide that bag. You don't want to get arrested again, sweetie. Once is enough -- more than enough, actually, for most heroine types.
No, really, put the bag away.
Yes, I know there are different kinds of bongs. I don't need the visual aides.
Really. Put the--
Oh, I give up. Have at it, and anything else you want, too. God knows it could hardly make your book any worse than we anticipate.
Love and ki--no, skip the kisses until you get that rash checked out.
Just plain old love,