I was browsing the internets when I found this site that laid out the whole method of writing a romance novel. Having nothing else taking up my time, I decided to write another book. Romance novels are the key to wealth, right? I mean, romance novelists sell better than Stephen King!
Here’s the outline I sent off to Harlequin.
The hero and heroine meet.
The hero meets his heroine online before that was cool. Say, the late 90s. They are hanging out at the Yahoo SF Bay Chat Room. Our hero – ruggedly handsome in a pasty, frail way – brags to everyone about how he is better than they are because he has a master’s degree from a prestigious university. The heroine – a buxom coed from the wrong side of the tracks – writes an angry retort. She is getting her master’s degree and won’t let this arrogant, but ruggedly handsome man, denigrate her.
It becomes apparent that they belong together.After an hour of typing arguments, our hero calls our heroine on the phone from his work (where all the ruggedly handsome men hang out on Saturday afternoons). They talk for three hours and her heart of ice melts. His heart is made up of tantalum hafnium carbide, and takes longer. He’s secretly plotting to steal her collection of artisanal chocolates. Our heroine, unaware of his malicious intent, agrees to meet him; naturally being a bit nervous, she sets their meeting in front of the local police station.
Physical or emotional obstacles make it impossible for them to be together.
Our hero, weakened by four hours of typing and phone conversations, stops at Burger King for a chicken sandwich and wolfs it down on the way to go see her. He becomes ill with food poisoning. He lures her to the local Ben and Jerry’s to waylay her, but finds he cannot eat. He swoons in the presence of her beauty and goodness and whatever bacteria is now in his digestive tract.
One or both characters make a sacrifice or change in some major way so they can be together.
Seeing our hero nearly collapse with passion (and nausea), our heroine takes him back to her school dorm room. His evil plan nearing fruition, he leaps at the poor girl, claws outstretched to grab her. Or, he would leap at her, but he’s too sick and just lies on her bed. Eventually, he recovers enough to drive home. Our heroine, bursting with love (or concern that our hero will vomit in her room), walks him back to his car.
They admit their love and enter into a committed relationship.
They what? Admit love already? Okay, I’m departing from the text here. Our hero is a bit of a prick and doesn’t believe in marriage. They date a while. They date a while longer. Four years pass. Finally, our heroine wears him down with her loving ways and occasional brainwashing sessions. They decide to marry. Their marriage plans are so controversial that a terrorist group attacks New York. They marry anyway. Ten years pass. Our hero sits alone at a coffee shop and tries to think of what to do for their anniversary.