Wednesday 9 October 2019

Writing Prompts for Romance Writers by Jane Holland


"One of those useful little books for  writers, be it for anyone setting out to write a first novel or those who have several titles under their belt. "
Perfect bound with spiral cover effect 
6 x 9  £5.99
126 pages

"This is a book for writers by a professional writer with 25 years’ experience, someone who knows what it’s like to get up in the morning and stare at a blank sheet of paper without knowing where to start. Regardless of where you are in your writing career – just starting out, published a few, bestseller, returning after a break – we’re all writers, and we all know the perennial obstacles to writing."

I offered to read, and review, this little 'note-book' style aid for writers because we have many romantic historical fiction submissions to Discovering Diamonds. As with thrillers, the typical murder mystery 'Who Done It' genre, Historical Romance is very popular and tends to follow a specific guideline formula for the creation of a good, entertaining read.

Miss Holland's Writing Prompts for Romance Writers is one of those useful little books for  writers, be it for anyone setting out to write a first novel or those who have several titles under their belt, but would welcome a little encouragement, or to refresh the imagination and enthusiasm - the writer's equivalent of a strengthening wind to sail with confidence out of the Doldrums. 

Included are interesting thoughts on writing and publishing in general, and prompts to keep you on track with your plot and characters.

This is not just a 'how-to' book though, (there are plenty of those), what I especially liked is that it is a practical workbook. There are lined blank pages for you to jot down your own ideas, or to 'sprint write' a scene, with suggestions to get you started. 

Reading through, as a writer myself, my imagination was already whirring with possible plots, not as a romance but suitably adapted for my own genre of writing (historical fiction and nautical adventure). I particularly liked this Writing Prompt: "Write a novel-opening scene in which a woman has been scorned and is doing something hellish about it." I enjoyed ten minutes of doing just that, and who knows the exercise might turn up as a scene in one of my future Sea Witch Voyages!

Another titbit of advice worth remembering is: “The first line is an invitation to the reader, to enter the magical territory of the story. So try to make it sound like your novel is worth the journey.”

Is Writing Prompts for Romance Writers worth the journey, and the cost? Buy a notebook from any stationers and it will cost you two or three pounds or dollars, and all you get is a book with lined, blank pages. With Ms Holland's book, you get those as well, but in addition, several stimulating suggestions to boost your planned plots or get your mind working. So the answer is a definite yes!

In fact, Writing Prompts for Romance Writers, or it's twin, Writing Prompts for Thriller Writers would make ideal Christmas or birthday presents for friends or family who are writers, or who want try their hand at getting that first novel written.

Well recommended.

© Helen Hollick

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  1. Thank you so much for this lovely review, Helen. It was a labour of love to make this prompts book. And, best of all, it has a sister book, WRITING PROMPTS FOR ROMANCE WRITERS. Plug, plug! Jane x

  2. Oh, I'm so foolish. I meant that I have a sister book, WRITING PROMPTS FOR THRILLER WRITERS, of course. I do have a brain somewhere, honestly. Just seem to have mislaid it this morning. Thanks again for the wonderful review!! Jane x

    1. LOL - so excited you put the wrong title! We'll be happy to also review 'Thriller Writers' at any time in the future. I thought 'Romance Writers' could prove to be very useful especially to writers setting out on a new career or genre.


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