Friend: “Hey, congrats. I believe your short story won a prize in the M&B Passions Aspiring Authors Contest!”
Me: Yeah, it did. Thanks!
Friend: How cool is that! So, what’s your story about?
Me: Um…it’s a romance.
Friend: (laughs) Must be. After all, it’s for M&B! But what’s the story?
Believe it or not, this conversation has been repeated plenty of times, and my mind still boggles whenever I’m asked the inevitable question – what’s your story about?
If you’re anything like me, I suggest you have the answer ready even before it’s asked. Better still, even before you have written the synopsis of the story that you are planning to send off for Passions Contest IV. And I’m guessing, if you’re reading this blog, you at least have the germ of an idea or have already made the decision to participate in the contest.
Romances are all about boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl-back, right? Sure, but it’s also about plot – or the events that keep the story alive. The plot is the ‘line’ on which you hang all those delectable moments that you have planned for your readers to ooh-and-aah over: every intimate glance, fight, kiss, heart-wrenching moment till the happy-ever-after ending.
When I started toying with the idea of entering the “Passions III” contest, I thought back to all the M&B’s that I’d enjoyed reading through the years. Revenge stories have always resonated with me. It’s about emotional conflict as romance flares between the Hero/Heroine even as they grapple over something they need to avenge. And best of all, it lends itself to some nice twists and turns in the story. So, for me, it had to be revenge! Is that psycho or what? ;)
Revenge is just one of the many storylines that have appealed to M&B readers. To mention just a few of the popular ones – marriage of convenience, the love triangle, unwanted pregnancy, damsel in distress, enemies turned lovers, hiding a terrible secret, being forced to spend a few days together, etc. Just think about what resonates with you most. Because if you have loved reading them, chances are high that you’re gonna love writing them too. After all, reading or writing a romance is all about having fun!
So, when your friend asks you about your story, you could come up with a pithy one-liner like:
“Oh, it’s about the heroine who wants revenge against the guy who destroyed her family but she falls in love with his impossibly arrogant and handsome son”.
Have fun, write your story and send it in! Good luck!