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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Heart for Inspirational Romance (Part One)

Reading for Craft
Quality inspirational romance requires the same credentials as all romance novels: real characters, strong plots, relentless conflict, scenic settings, and love’s heartbeat at the center.

These characteristics are expected regardless of sub-genre or topic, which also mirror other romance sub-genres. Contrary to some misconceptions, there are almost no forbidden topics in inspirational romance. Life deals out harsh realities regardless of background or culture. Broken relationships, strained finances, violence, disease, and lost dreams walk side-by-side with new beginnings, birth, celebrations, and fresh opportunity. The main difference in this genre is the “lifescape” lens that filters choices.

In addition, there are three extra attributes to inspirational romance that draw and maintain loyal readers: fellowship, insight, and hope.

Fellowship. When any reader picks up their favorite genre they expect a certain return for their time. A cozy mystery reader does not expect a grisly, psychological thriller. Inspirational readers turn to long-standing authors such as Janet Oke, Francine Rivers, or Lauraine Snelling because they expect to spend an afternoon or evening with a trusted friend who will deliver the particular uplift or challenge they need. It’s the one-on-one version of going to the local café to offload some emotional shake-up with friends. When you leave the café or the book, you feel soul-stronger, ready to take up whatever your next step might be. It’s a fellowship that binds readers and authors because it’s built on trust. They know from experience these friends will deliver. Then they’ll look for other writers who write in a similar vein as their main friend, thus expanding the circle.

What kind of fellowship do you want your character to offer your readers?

Writing Prompt

Begin brainstorming your character’s heart.

1.     What is her go-to choice of movie, book, music, or food when she needs comfort or courage?

2.     Whom has she trusted the most with her heart’s desires, past or present, alive or deceased? Why?

3.     Where is she most discouraged right now? What would give her hope?

Share: One answer from question number one.

                                        Read deep, marcy

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"The Seeker" Rachel Marks | Content Copyright Marcy Weydemuller | Site by Eagle Designs
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