Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels

How to Write Kissing Books, Book 1
Narrated by: Natalie Duke
Length: 1 hr and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (137 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

What makes a romance novel a romance? How do you write a kissing book?

Writing a well-structured romance isn't the same as writing any other genre - something the popular novel and screenwriting guides don't address. The romance arc is made up of its own story beats, and the external plot and theme need to be braided to the romance arc - not the other way around.

Told in conversational (and often irreverent) prose, Romancing the Beat is like sitting down to coffee with romance editor and author Gwen Hayes while she explains story structure - the way she does with her clients, some of whom are regular inhabitants of the New York Times and USA Today best-seller lists.

Romancing the Beat is a recipe, not a rigid system. The beats don't care if you plot or outline before you write, or if you pants your way through the drafts and do a "beat check" when you're revising. Pantsers and plotters are both welcome. So sit down, grab a cuppa, and let's talk about kissing books.

©2016 Gwen Hayes (P)2017 Gwen Hayes

What listeners say about Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels

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short but full of great information

This book was surprisingly short for what I had expected. But the information was presented in such a way, almost like an outline, with some great examples, so it didn't need to be longer than it is.

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Excellent for what it aims at

First of all, kudos to the narrator! I had read this book on kindle before but then got it on Audible: EXCELLENT narration job! Definitely a one up from just the print version.

Absolutely great book for aspiring romance writers. Really introduces you to the rules of the genre, gives you a strong foundation on how romance is to be written. Then you can build from there on your own for your own stories.

2 people found this helpful

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Great for writers!

This is my second listen of this book, and probably not the last. I recommend listening to it while outlining/editing and taking notes

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informative structure specifically for romance nov

enjoyed the structured outline and especially the music suggestions to help set the mood of the scene.

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I happily listened to this.

Gwen Hayes has preformed the amazing feat of writing an enjoyable book about writing technique, and has made listening to it even more enjoyable. This book specifically addresses the unique plot points in the romance genre. I suggest that you order the book as well as the audio. One will reinforce the other.

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very helpful book

I really found this book helpful and am excited to go through my manuscript and check for all the beats!

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fantastic

Romancing the beat was just what I was looking for. It contains a description of the basic romance beats and explains how they're integrated with the internal and external character arcs.

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Loved this book

Very good and informative book about romance writing. And the audio book tone is amazing!

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Get this. Just get this.

This book broke down a "formula" so to speak of what makes the bones of a good romance novel (or most novels for that matter would appreciate this structure). Shorter but no less helpful than Save the Cat Writes a Novel, this does have a few added value items.

First, everything makes sense, and approximate ranges for where readers want to see a certain kind of story element. Example: the grand gesture moment readers live for should be in the last 10% of the book. Sounds simple, but a great reminder.

Second, the references are HILARIOUS. Gwen has a complimentary play list of 80s songs to set the mood and feel of each section. Love it!

Third, but in no way least, she has instructions on how to download the beat sheet with the 4 main components and their subsequent beats. Each beat has a brief description to remind you what it should cover to jog your memory.

This is one of the best craft books I've found, and even if you only want to read/hear about the craft of writing as a consumer, it's still informative and light hearted enough to give you an insight on why certain books resonate to you. Loved it.

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Good Outline

Author Gwen Hayes presents a solid basic outline for writing a romance novel. I could do without the lists of songs at the start of each chapter, but I get the intention she had in including them.

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  • John
  • 06-27-19

Very informative

I was pleased by the amount of information in this audiobook. The narrator did a great job. I really got the impression that she cared a lot about the subject.