#BRMondays – Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes


Published April 19th, 2016 by Gwen Hayes Media
Amazon Kindle: 98 Pages
Genre: Nonfiction, Writing, Romance

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What makes a romance novel a romance? How do you write a kissing book?

Writing a well-structured romance isn’t the same as writing any other genre—something the popular novel and screenwriting guides don’t address. The romance arc is made up of its own story beats, and the external plot and theme need to be braided to the romance arc—not the other way around.

Told in conversational (and often irreverent) prose, Romancing the Beat can be read like you are sitting down to coffee with romance editor and author Gwen Hayes while she explains story structure. The way she does with her clients. Some of whom are regular inhabitants of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.

Romancing the Beat is a recipe, not a rigid system. The beats don’t care if you plot or outline before you write, or if you pants your way through the drafts and do a “beat check” when you’re revising. Pantsers and plotters are both welcome. So sit down, grab a cuppa, and let’s talk about kissing books.



I hope you don’t mind that today I’m bringing you something a little bit different.

I wasn’t sure about reviewing this here. Maybe you wouldn’t want to know about the writing craft book I have read and think to be the solution to all my outlining problems. But hey, I’m a writer and I review for you the book I read. And this I have even re-read already.

This is an Out Of This World Fun + Helpful book by Gwen Hayes.

I listen to this on audio and OMG the amount of fun was incredible! And I learned a heck ton of stuff too. Obviously I would also recommend you get the kindle or print version because, so many notes… so many notes…

There’s no way to express how thrilled I am after reading this book. Why? I managed to understand how to outline a novel, FINALLY! Yes, it’s an outline for romance novels but so what? The basics are almost the same and I am most excited because I also managed to outline a short romance story afterwards.

Gwen Hayes managed to make the process of plotting and outlining a novel so easy that it’s ridiculous. The reference to the 80’s and the no-nonsense examples where all I needed and a little more.

This is one of those books I would recommend to any new writer to pick up. It’s short, to the point and very, very helpful.

I’ve read a couple of books about structure, plotting and outlining. I’ve watch Youtube videos about the subject for three freaking long years, and this book, during an ironing session of 4 dozen of clothes, in a little over an hour, made me say: Aha! So THAT’s how it’s done!

No matter how many books about Saving the Cat or the Hero’s Journey you have read in the past. This book is a no-nonsense, fun and super easy to understand kind of craft book for any writer.

I dare you to read this book and the come back here to tell me you didn’t understood what Gwen Hayes told you about how to structure a story.


Gwen Hayes lives in the Pacific Northwest with her real life hero and the pets that own them. She writes stories for teen and adult readers about love, angst, and saving the world.

Gwen’s first novel, Falling Under, was released in March of 2011 by NAL/Penguin and followed up by the sequel, Dreaming Awake, in January of 2012.

In addition to writing, Gwen is a freelance editor at www.fresheyescritique.com

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