What’s free to watch without a Viki Pass on Viki.com? Below is part three of my mega-list of Free Viki Korean Dramas to watch right now! (Please note that this list was compiled from the United States. If you are watching in another country your list may be different.)
Learning how to write your first romance novel is not as easy as one may think. Romance novels are some of the most popular fiction genres on the market, with readers of both genders eager to get their hands on the next book in their favorite series. With so many authors looking to become published, it can be difficult knowing where to start. But I’m going to provide you with a detailed how-to so you can start right here!
How To Write Romance
Identify your sub-genre
You’re going to need to identify the sub-genre of your book if you want to become a romance novel author. There are many different sub-genres of romance novels. Some titles are set in contemporary times, some are set in the past, some are set in the future, and some can be set anywhere.
This list is far from comprehensive but what you must first decide is… what are you going to write? What kind of setting are you going to be writing in?
Once you find the setting you can begin to decide on what genre would best fit that setting.
Another way to figure out what sub-genre you want to write in is to look at what you often read or watch on TV. You are more likely to know how to write what you have already seen modeled to you many times before. For your first romance novel, choose something you are already familiar with.
If, however, you want to write fantasy but have never read one before then you should start there first. Read lots of fantasy, then try your hand at writing one. If you go into a genre and haven’t read one then you won’t know what the current reader expectations are and that is likely to make your book one that readers will harshly critique in their reader reviews.
Introducing the hero and heroine
After you have decided the sub-genre you want to write in, you need to decide who are going to be your characters.
Women are the star of every romance novel (with the exception of most of the LGBTQ+ category and/or when writing about aliens, because aliens aren’t classified as ‘women’, are they?) and you need to make sure you give her life.
Some things you want to consider for your female character are:
What is her goal in life outside of falling in love?
What are her hobbies?
What is something uniquely her? (a phrase she uses, something she wears or carries around, etc)
How would her partner make her life better?
The romantic lead also needs careful crafting. You need to consider many things in regards to him too. Princes are not perfect and neither should your romantic lead be. The problems and faults and quirks of the romantic lead are what constitute drama and drama is what is entertaining.
Obstacles to their love
After you’ve decided who is going to star in your book you’ll want to jot down a few ideas on how you’re going to keep them from falling in love. As you probably know from reading many romance novels as soon as two characters fall in love and they live happily ever after the story is complete! In order to keep the pages turning from your future reader you need to place obstacles in the couple’s way.
These obstacles can be things they face together or obstacles that they tackle separate from each other. For example if there is a serial killer who is on the loose and they are working together to take him down, that’s going to put a pause on the romance. Perhaps she is the one being stalked and they each want to ensure she doesn’t become the next victim but aren’t always working together on it, though they have the same goal. Maybe she thinks that he’ll be in danger if he tries to protect her and so she keeps secrets from him. Maybe…
Maybe is a great way to get ideas out about what could happen in your story.
The climax involving the obstacle
Now that you have established the obstacle you can brainstorm your climax. How does the conflict get resolved? Why can’t it just happen? I know it seems like you have no idea what the ending is going to be, but that’s far from the case. You may have only a rough idea of how the obstacle is going to get resolved but once you’ve got your idea, you’ll be more organized in the rest of your story.
Here is a really basic example of the obstacle and then how it is resolved. An obstacle: The couple is in love and want to get married, but the woman’s ex-boyfriend has stolen the ring. The hero gets the ring back and they are married.
The magic of writing a book is how you take those two sentences and craft it into something that is breathe life when it’s read.
You can’t just make a book. You have to be able to listen to the characters and their story. You have to open your ears, your heart, and your mind. And when you do, you will find that the book you were looking for is right there in front of you.
This may seem like the easiest part of the romance novel – they get together in the end, but often this is the hardest part to write. Why? Because you’ve spent so much time with this couple and you want their ending to be special and meaningful. If you’re anything like me you want to make your reader cry happy tears that the journey is complete. So I suggest you take a few moments to think about the ending of your romance novel. Think about the obstacles, the resolution, the ending and the “why.” This could lead to a great ending for YOUR novel.
Tools for Writing Romance
There are a few basic things that you need when sitting down to write your romance.
Word Processor –
There are many available on the market and I suggest you use the one that you already have or that is already familiar to you. When I started writing in 2015 Scrivener was very popular for authors because you could use notecards and easily shift chapters and scenes around. Over the years I have moved from Scrivener to Ulysses and finally to just plain Google Docs because Google Docs makes it very easy to collaborate with beta readers and editors.
Books on How to Write Romance –
The books below are all available on Amazon and are ones that I personally have in my library and highly recommend for newer authors:
Writing a book is not for the faint of heart. It’s probably not something you will be able to finish in a week despite what some authors, bloggers and books might tell you. Writing a book, especially your first book, can take weeks, months and sometimes even more than a year. My first book took more than two years from start to publication.
This one kind of goes hand in hand with motivation. Sometimes you’re going to need some support in order to keep going with your writing journey. If you can’t get that support from someone at home then you have the whole of the internet to help you! There are lots of Facebook groups available to you as well as places like Nanowrimo.org where writers from all over the world come together to try to write 50,000 words in the month of November. They offer Camp NaNoWriMo during the year to help you stay sharp with your writing and it’s an excellent way to find other writer members in your community.
For Romance Authors specifically you can join Romance Writers of America and find a local chapter or an online chapter and get support there too. RWA is not just for published authors, but also for unpublished authors just like you!
There are four types of editing that are frequently used to improve the quality of books. First, developmental editing is when the editor does a birds eye critique of your manuscript. What is missing from your book? Were the characters fully developed? Did you drop a plot line somewhere? After that comes the line editing which is the process of reviewing the manuscript for errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, word usage, consistency, and style. Second, copy editing reviews spelling and grammar with a focus on the mechanics of language. Third, proofreading reviews typographical errors and inconsistencies in layout. The last three can usually be done together for a discounted fee.
Professional Editing: What to look for in an editor
I have had a handful of editors in my writing career and the ones I’ve liked the most are the ones who thoroughly look over my story, have a good understanding of where I want my story to go, are timely in getting their work back to me, and are great communicators.
One thing you might not know is that editors will usually do a free sample of their editing skills prior to you booking their services completely. This is a great opportunity to see what an editor can do, what kind of feedback they offer and how quickly they’re able to turn their work around.
After editing your work you’ll move on to publishing. Publishing can mean trying to get it in the hands of a traditional publisher (think Harlequin) or self-publishing. If you are going into the realm of self-publishing there are two schools of thought: Kindle Unlimited Exclusive or Wide.
I personally have had most of my royalties come from Amazon but I know other authors, especially the big name ones, who do not limit themselves exclusively to Amazon’s platform.
And if you want to publish wide (ibook, Barnes and Noble, etc) then you should register on draft2digital.com. They are a one-stop shop for all things digital publishing and can even do audio and print books.
I’m really looking forward to analyzing Kdrama’s as a part of my blog and hopefully, I will soon get up the guts to be on camera and talk about it there as well. The first #kdrama I’m going to analyze is called #kissgoblin and I started the show on Rakuten #Viki. If you are not familiar with Viki, It’s a streaming service that streams Asian dramas and movies. You have access to a lot of current Kdrama’s and Chinese dramas and Japanese dramas and Thai dramas that are currently airing in those countries. Usually, the wait time is a day after it airs in that country, and then if you don’t know those languages it takes time for the translation teams to translate those into English so there is a little bit of a delay to watch brand new things but Viki has a tremendous amount of content to watch so you’ll never be lacking something. So let’s start with the drama Kiss Goblin. (You can watch Kiss Goblin for FREE on Viki.com – I get no kickbacks by mentioning Viki – I just love them so much! 💕) I recommend watching the episodes before reading the breakdowns below because they will contain spoilers!
The Breakdown The description for Kiss Goblin mentions a 160-year-old goblin who wants to be human but in order to do so, the goblin queen tells him that he must take human form and kiss humans 10 times. He has the ability to make people be attracted to him. He’s got magical powers so this doesn’t seem like a hard thing to do but after he kisses a person, he learns one of the human emotions and has to then experience it. Once he has all of the emotions he can then become a human. I picked this drama because it has a goblin, which sounds gross if you think about American goblins that are green and short and wrinkly and stuff, but in Korea goblins are immortals, like Gods. He also had this assignment of kissing ten different people and I wanted to see how this would play out knowing that this is a romance. It had me asking questions like… is she the last person he’s going to have to kiss? Or is she immune to his charms and he has to fight to make her fall for him? This is how you know you have a great description. You want your readers (or viewers!) to be asking questions and dying to know the answers! Okay, so let’s break down this drama. Each episode is 12 minutes long and there are 12 episodes with a total running time of 140-ish minutes. It’s episodic versus a movie so we’ll see how the writers decided to chunk the content. Let’s do this thang!
We are introduced to the hero quickly, he is wearing a long leather trench coat and all black. He’s attractive and glances at a single girl at the bar. He pulls her outside and they just start kissing after some green smoke surrounds them. There is an overhead voice of the Goblin Queen telling the rules he must follow: To be human he must kiss ten different humans.
We then cut to the heroine who is bussing tables. She is talking about herself, the writer is introducing her traits: she’s hard working, she wants an ordinary life, and she hates people. We see why she hates people very quickly. She’s taking a guy’s order and he hits on her, demanding her phone number. She then asks him if he’s having fun. This shows that she’s not one to demurely smile and walk away – she’s a fighter. We see more of why she hates people as it cuts to the drunken men in the bar she works in being dumb, vulgar and gross.
Because I’ve seen this all the way through once I noticed the lead in to the forced proximity. The heroine is taking out the trash and asks her boss if he thinks they need another part time worker. She goes outside to take out the trash and this is their meet cute – he’s in the alley kissing another girl like crazy. She stares at him with some longing and then she meets the guy’s eyes and runs away.
We see the wisp of smoke as her emotion passes to him and then he walks away from the girl who then startles, not remembering what just happened.
The goblin touches his chest, and the Goblin Queen comes, teaching him about his first learned emotion. We are learning about the Goblin: he doesn’t experience emotions. “It’s empty, but why is it heavy?” He’s contemplative.
The Goblin Queen warns him that despite sounding easy this GOAL to become a human will be painful and difficult. She then gives him his second target, and asks why he wants to be human. His MOTIVATION is so that he doesn’t have to be alone like the Goblin Queen who has been alone for 1000 years. (This is the Goblin’s mirror. She will be the confidant and guide as he embarks on this journey. She is also the representation of a path he needs to choose between. Becoming human or staying a goblin.)
The writer then takes us to the university where the heroine and her best friend are chatting. Through the convo we see again that she doesn’t like people, men in particular, and that she isn’t dating because of her ex who is the reason why she hates people. Her friend is the person who is telling her “Hey, dummy, you shouldn’t keep hating people or you’ll be bitter and alone.” Not a direct quote, but that’s the gist. The friend is also a medium in which we can learn more about the main character.
The writer then sets up what’s coming – the heroine tells the friend to enjoy dating and the friend says she will because a stranger asked for her number. We see that it’s the Goblin. She describes him as handsome and that he has an aura that attracts people. The heroine says she’s curious about him. And then goes to the library.
While at the library we learn a little about her ex. They were lovey-dovey there, sharing loving flirting touches and embracing each other. She leaves the library and here’s the setup for the hook: she sees her friend kissing the same guy she saw in the alley the night before outside of the place she works. A CHEATER – just like her EX! (The writer cuts to a scene of her seeing her boyfriend in a cafe embracing and flirting with another woman. She calls him and he ignores her call).
She approaches them both and, because she’s a fighter, she tells him that it’s because of people like him that she hates people. She throws down her bag and punches him right across his face.
So we have a woman who was cheated on (her wound) and the writer is setting her up with a Goblin (who actually isn’t a human but wants to be), who has to go around kissing ten different girls in order to fulfill his goal, which ultimately is to not be alone.
Let us note here that the hero doesn’t have a presenting wound, just a goal. The heroine doesn’t have a goal aside from working hard and going to school, but she does have a pretty big wound.
She’s attractive and has a temper. He’s super attractive and is not overly emotional (yet). He definitely doesn’t understand feelings.
Her – temper
Him – not having human emotions (yet)
Her: She was cheated on and is avoiding relationships (not a secret from her friend) She found the Goblin sexy when watching him kiss initially. (Her own secret)
Him: He’s a goblin and wants to be human so he won’t be alone. In order to get that wish he needs to kiss ten humans of the Goblin Queen’s choosing and after each kiss he takes one of their emotions. (secret known to Goblin Queen, his friend)
She works as a part time waitress and goes to college.
He’s kind of dark and mysterious and very emotionally dead.
She is the average pretty college girl with extreme emotions (anger).
He doesn’t want to be alone and she wants to be alone forever because of her wound.