Course Code: row
In your first lesson, you will learn a simple definition for a romance and discover the hallmark element of all romance novels. You will discover why fulfilling readers’ expectations is so important, and you will get an overview of the subgenres found on romance to see where your idea might fit. You will examine some of the romances that resonated with you to discover what makes a great book “great”. Then you will explore what’s needed to create a romance that readers will come to again and again. You will create a short list of romance classics that are as popular today as when they were first written. You will examine the eight essential and three optional elements all romance novels should have in order to meet reader expectations.
This lesson introduces the heart of the romance novel---the characters. You will learn about what readers expect from your heroine and hero, as well as your options for making your hero and heroine uniquely your own. You will explore how to use secondary characters to support your central story, and examine examples drawn from some favorite romances. Then you will learn to use tools that will help you get to know your characters on a deeper level.
This lesson will cover three concepts that will serve as the bridge between character and plot development: goal, motivation, and conflict. You will create a character’s GMC chart, noting story goals, the character’s motivation, and the internal and external conflicts he or she faces. Then you will examine the difference between story plot and romantic plot, and take a look at the different kinds of romance plots that are common in the genre.
Explore the main components of a plotline and examine how to weave in subplots to enhance your main plot. You will discover how you can organize your plot according to the Three Act Structure to ensure readers are eager to stick with it all the way to your ending. You will also learn about some typical beginner’s mistakes. Then you will explore how the elements you use to build your plot form the basic structure of your story. You will examine how to use cause and effect to create believable events that draw the reader in. You will look at the building blocks of plot, scene, and sequel, and learn how you can use them to structure the ebb and flow of your story.
Learn about two tenets of romance writing along with various tools that will help you write emotionally packed scenes. You will discover the all-important topic of writing a sex scene and how you can ensure the scene moves your reader along with your characters. Then you will begin to look at the elements of dialogue, pacing, and point of view.
This final lesson will continue your exploration of important elements of writing fiction: research, setting, mood, and tone. You will discover how each of these contributes to the overall impact of your romance. Then you will discover the steps writers need to take after they have finished the first draft of their manuscript. You will learn about the need for revisions and editing, discuss the importance of critique groups and partners, and wrap up with tips on submitting your manuscript for publication.
Priscilla Oliveras has a Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. Her debut novel, His Perfect Partner, is an October 2017 release with Kensington Zebra Shout. A long-time active member of Romance Writers of America, she currently serves as the PRO Liaison on the national board. She's a four-time Golden Heart finalist who has won multiple contests and writes contemporary romance novels with a Latino flavor. Priscilla has lectured on college campuses, presented for local writers groups, penned multiple articles on her craft, and completed five romance novels. Sharing her love of the written word and the information she's gleaned over the course of her writing career is one of her greatest passions.
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
Instructional material requirements:
A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Excellent teacher that has well-thought-out material and visuals that encourage learning. I knew nothing about writing prior to this course and now have a good understanding of what it takes to create a good romance novel. I would HIGHLY recommend this course to others interested in learning how to write romance."
Thank you for a wonderful course. I learned (and was reminded of) many elements to successful story structure and essential elements to enable me to improve my writing in the best way possible. This was very helpful to me (a former pantser), who always wrote myself into a corner and didn't know how to get out of it. Thank you, thank you!"
The content and pacing of this course was excellent. The assignments and were well thought-out and useful. The teacher's responsiveness was excellent and her feedback was constructive, thoughtful, and encouraging. Her attitude and enthusiasm made it a very enjoyable learning experience."
I just wanted to say thank you. All of the planning and learning I did through your class, just paid off for me. I completed my first NaNoWriMo! 50K of my first novel is completed. I couldn't have done it without your encouragement over the summer. The class was incredible. I loved the way you had it set up with videos, assignments, etc. Until I took the class, I hadn't any idea how to go about writing this story that's been pounding in my brain."
This course was fantastic! I really enjoyed the videos and review activities included in the lessons. Part of what drew me to the class was the fact that many of the writing techniques could be used for all forms of creative writing, they weren't limited to romance."
This was an awesome course! It really clarified for me some things I have struggled with for some time. The instructor had a very positive and easy to follow style."
Fantastic instructor! I started with no knowledge of the area, just a desire and a lot of reading in the genre. I left feeling motivated, and most importantly, prepared to attempt to write a romance novel. Thank you."
The best writing course I have taken in ages. Priscilla dissects the process in such a way that you understand what you need to do to get started, keep moving and write a great story. This course far exceeded my expectations."
The instructor Priscilla was incredibly helpful, and the content was concise and presented in a logical manner."
Priscilla taught a well-organized and thorough course. She provided prompt and helpful feedback. I learned so much in six weeks and cannot wait to apply the knowledge to my own work."