28 April 2012

Liz Fielding's Little Book of Writing Romance

If you want to learn how to do something, to do it well, you need a teacher who not only knows their stuff, but has made a career of it too.

Liz Fielding is an award-winning author of almost 60 books.  Doesn’t get much better, does it?

This book, Liz Fielding’s Little Book of Writing Romance, offers her wealth of experience in a unique style.

She reveals the elements required and the reasons why her fans (and publisher) come back for more.

Of course, writing to a structure that readers and publishers demand, is only part of the game.  Liz explains how she creates believable characters that have a past, even if it won’t necessarily be revealed in her books.

Popular contemporary fiction should, she says, be ‘effortlessly entertaining’.  I doubt many achieve that quite so successfully as Liz.

Readers should want to spend time with the characters and she suggests her ‘lift factor’ as a good benchmark – would you be able to spend time with either your hero or heroine, trapped in a lift?

There are thousands of books that profess to teach us how to write successfully.  But it’s a little like learning how to drive.  Eventually you have to stop reading, put the car in gear and hit the gas.  And that’s what I like about Liz’s book.  You’re encouraged to develop your own work whilst learning.  And even better, I would suggest her book could be re-read to reinforce her tips and check you’re on track.

And if you don’t write romance?  Much of the advice isn’t genre specific – all books demand good structure and well-defined characters.  Her tips on dialogue would benefit all writers.  I particularly enjoyed her advice on characters with accents – never write in dialect if you want your reader to enjoy the story.  Liz suggests the more subtle touch of comparison – using Sean Connery’s ‘velvet undertones’, for instance, to describe a low and gravelly voice. 

So what else can Liz’s book offer?  Well for me the best part was how she illustrates her theory with practical examples - excerpts from her successful novels – reinforcing that she isn’t just offering an opinion.

Just a few paragraphs from selected novels, and I was hooked.  Am I about to turn the page and try writing romance?  Not until I know what happens in The Marriage Miracle – Sebastian sounds like my kind of man!

Liz's book is available to download at Amazon: 

Liz Fielding's Little Book of Writing Romance