Monday, July 27, 2009

It's the Romance, Stupid! , CRAFT

In the 1992 campaign against George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and his advisers realized that the economy was Bush’s weak spot so they decided to focus on that subject. Around Clinton’s headquarters, the sign, “It’s the economy, Stupid,” was posted to remind everyone to stay focused on that issue.

In the same way, a writer needs to hone in on the targeted audience of her book.

When you are writing and you get a clever idea about the romance heroine’s business problems, you need to decide if that has anything to do with her relationship with the hero. If it doesn’t, out it should go.

Particularly at the beginning of the novel, that target audience should be kept in mind. The reader wants girl to meet boy as soon as possible so the heroine’s backstory and anything else must be second in importance in those first pages.

In the same way, the mystery reader wants the murder to happen, the science fiction reader wants some brand new scientific idea or world to startle him, and the horror reader wants his pants scared off of him.

When you are rewriting, always remind yourself that “It’s the romance/mystery/sf/horror, Stupid” and focus your book to that kind of reader.

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