How to write a bestselling romance novel

[size=115]…which will be loved by women everywhere and turned into a blockbuster Hollywood movie. Probably starring Ryan Gosling.[/size]

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.

Fame and Riches.

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?

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.

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”

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.

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.)


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.

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

Never has there been a clearer illustration that the advice “write what you know” and “make your characters believable” is complete rubbish!

Um… Thanks? :neutral_face:

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 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.

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?

Cynic! Sounds like vic-k But!! What can you expect from humans. No wonder existentially angsty vampires are taking over.tch!tch!tch!