Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Writing Short Romance

on February 21, 2013

On Valentine’s Day, I was on the Books To Go Now Blog talking about writing short story romances. All of my sweet, contemporary romances are 8,000 words which is a format that seems to work well for digital reading.

Here are some of the tips I gave. You can read the whole blog post here.

1.   Don’t Overpopulate Your Story:  A short story should focus on your hero and heroine. It’s okay to have some walk-on minor characters, and those minor characters might have their own story later. For example, in my sweet, contemporary romance, VINTAGE VALENTINE, Cassie and Eric make a brief appearance as neighbors to the Elmheart Hotel. But, Cassie and Eric have their own story in LOVE’S BID, a sweet, contemporary romance in the Sailor Series published with BookstoGoNow.

Vintage Valentine


2.     Start with the Action: In a short story, there is a limited word count. It’s really important to choose the exact right moment when everything changes for two characters and they move toward their happily ever after.  Besides writing romance, I also write middle grade and young adult short stories. Those stories are limited to 500 words, sometimes!  I learned quickly to get to the heart of the story! I like to ask myself the following questions: If this was a novel? What would be the moment of crisis? How can I get to that moment of crisis fast? Very often, a short story is that key climax, moment of crisis in a novel.
3.     World Building is Your Friend: When writing short romances, you’ll want to create a rich, multidimensional world with the possibilities for many spin-off and series stories. If you’re writing about a town, it’s not going to be possible to include every detail about that town in your short story. But, if you do create a town, that will open up possibilities for creating many, many stories about other parts of that town. For example, my stories are set in a town in Western, New York. My first three stories in the Sailor Romance Series were about characters who all participated on a Sailing Club Board. My current series are stories set around an old hotel. If you do create a fictional town, it helps to draw a map of the town and keep it nearby when writing so you have the directions and layout of the town at your fingertips.
Read the rest of the blog post about writing short story romances here.

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