Monday, March 03, 2008

How to write a successful Mills and Boon

Just follow the EASY, four-part guide that has been PROVEN and provided RESULTS to HUNDREDS of authors worldwide and you can be a romance novelist too!

PART I
Woman and man meet in one or all of the following ways:
a) Dramatically. Eg: he runs her over/they get hijacked on the same plane/he saves her from a mugger/he mugs her/he shares an umbrella in the rain…
b) At a gathering. Eg: party of a friend and he's with another girl (preferably 10 feet tall, thin, blondish and very expensively dressed)/she invites his cousin on the night he's in town…
c) Over a misunderstanding. Eg: she goes to a wedding, thinks he's the bridegroom, but it turns out he's the best man…
d) Under a shadow from the past. Eg: they used to work together and one of them got the other fired/they used to be childhood sweethearts/she broke the aforementioned umbrella/ he actually was the bridegroom but pretended to be the best man…

PART II
Matters proceed in any manner of your choice, including an important plot point revolving around any or all of the Three Ps®:
a) Precipitation: Situation that provides lab conditions to speed up normal processes. Eg: Unavoidable road trip/holiday house party/combined babysitting of friends' dogs/kids
b) Proximity: Physical, of course. Eg: Enforced sharing of a room because of storm/riot/breakdown/dental conference in town
c) Peacocking: Dress-up occasion to provide silk, jewellery, glittering backdrop, alcohol, music, dancing. Eg: Black-tie gala/Christmas party/clients' annual party/theatre/wedding reception

PART III

There will be a complication…
a) Another woman
b) Another man
c) A revelation. Eg: He's actually the crown prince of some country/She's the daughter of the person who put his father out of business/Either of them have a disease, a prison term or children hidden away somewhere (the other man/woman could be this secret child)

PART IV
Essentially: Explanation, declaration, kiss, curtain.
Methodically clear up each complication, shadow from past etc in the most dramatic way you can think of. Introduce as many new characters as you need to do so. (In fact, there can be a point where an audience will applaud in the "all the world loves a lover" tradition.) The denouement itself will occur in highly charged circumstances, such as:
a) An explosive fight across a public square
b) A final chase to catch the train/plane/bus/boat/bicycle on which he/she is leaving forever
c) A rescue from sinking boat/falling tree/jungle/mountain/desert/wild nightclub
d) An unexpected return
d) Tears and rain

Note: Throw in some species of steamy scene every 15 pages or so. It doesn't matter if they've been lost in the Sahara for a week and are nearly dead – celebrate life.

Characters:
The girls are pretty, the guys are good-looking, the kids are cute, the friends are married. Landladies/lords are either parently and sympathetic to the cause or nasty and dragonlike to provide rescue opportunities. The same applies to bosses, relatives in authority, siblings, bankers, lawyers, waitresses and public transport officials. Nobody enters that world for any purpose other than to further or hinder the great love. The stunningly beautiful woman is the Other One. The handsome man is the gay friend.

SECRET TIP: Just translate every Hindi movie ever made, and you already have enough titles to keep you in luxury for the rest of your life.

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