• Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels

  • How to Write Kissing Books, Book 1
  • By: Gwen Hayes
  • Narrated by: Natalie Duke
  • Length: 1 hr and 7 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (264 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

What makes a romance novel a romance? How do you write a kissing book?

Writing a well-structured romance isn't the same as writing any other genre - something the popular novel and screenwriting guides don't address. The romance arc is made up of its own story beats, and the external plot and theme need to be braided to the romance arc - not the other way around.

Told in conversational (and often irreverent) prose, Romancing the Beat is like sitting down to coffee with romance editor and author Gwen Hayes while she explains story structure - the way she does with her clients, some of whom are regular inhabitants of the New York Times and USA Today best-seller lists.

Romancing the Beat is a recipe, not a rigid system. The beats don't care if you plot or outline before you write, or if you pants your way through the drafts and do a "beat check" when you're revising. Pantsers and plotters are both welcome. So sit down, grab a cuppa, and let's talk about kissing books.

©2016 Gwen Hayes (P)2017 Gwen Hayes

What listeners say about Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels

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short but full of great information

This book was surprisingly short for what I had expected. But the information was presented in such a way, almost like an outline, with some great examples, so it didn't need to be longer than it is.

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent for what it aims at

First of all, kudos to the narrator! I had read this book on kindle before but then got it on Audible: EXCELLENT narration job! Definitely a one up from just the print version.

Absolutely great book for aspiring romance writers. Really introduces you to the rules of the genre, gives you a strong foundation on how romance is to be written. Then you can build from there on your own for your own stories.

2 people found this helpful

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I happily listened to this.

Gwen Hayes has preformed the amazing feat of writing an enjoyable book about writing technique, and has made listening to it even more enjoyable. This book specifically addresses the unique plot points in the romance genre. I suggest that you order the book as well as the audio. One will reinforce the other.

1 person found this helpful

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Solid, but the narrator…

Is bloody awesome! She sounds fun from beginning to end. The book itself is informative and worth listening to in order to get a better grasp of romance novel or romance subplot writing.

Worth the money and then some.

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keep coming back

this short but to the point book is an alternative glance at story beats. i would recommend to start with save the cat for general view on beats, but if you are a romance writer, read this book next. it's a filter that magnifies the romance structure of a book, and interlaced with other more genre-agnotsic ones, will help with the romance arc. i keep re-reading it each time before i start planning for a new book. each refresher helps me identify new points and get a better feel for my romance arc. highly recommend.

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Could've used more detail

I feel like this was a good introduction into romancing story beats, but I feel like it could've went into more detail (for example, how would the beats apply to a slow burn versus one where they start getting together earlier in the story) and wished it would've used examples like the Save the Cat story beats book did, but for an under $5 book that was a one hour listen, I can't really complain. I liked the quirkiness, and the narrator was fantastic!

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Quick and to the point!

Was a very quick read and goes over all the plot points you need in a good romance and gives good examples although if I had known it was so short I would’ve not wasted a whole credit on it LOL and just gotten the regular book so beware it’s only like two hours long!

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Cute

If you are writing for adults, a little too cute. My fault, I shood have guessed by the Kissing Book in the title. The 80's song references were spoon gaggers, too.

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Very Grand

Thanks to Gwen Hayes for simplifying the processes behind writing “kissing books”. Now I know what I should do!

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Concise, clear, and useful

She runs through all the reader expectations of a romance, clearly and without anything extra. Very informative and useful. the examples are complete and illustrative.
I will listen multiple times!

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  • Audible book listener
  • 11-28-20

entertaining and informative

I love this book! As well as giving you lots of information on how romance novels are typically constructed, it's also extremely entertaining.

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  • John
  • 06-27-19

Very informative

I was pleased by the amount of information in this audiobook. The narrator did a great job. I really got the impression that she cared a lot about the subject.

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