Welcome to the Writing/Romance Project

Retro typewriter background

You’re probably wondering why I gathered you all here today.

I’ve been thinking about doing a writing book, presenting the basic theories of fiction in general and of romance writing in particular, in an easy-to-use, varied format that would accommodate the three reasons people go to writing books.  The format would

• give readers who want a fast overview the TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) experience by starting each section with a brief (under 500 words), two-page abstract of the topic.

• give readers who want in-depth discussion to a particular concept different ways of approaching it, including essays, analyses of stories in print and film, exercises, and examples.

• give readers who have a particular problem specific fix-it suggestions in each concept’s troubleshooting section.

So I’m writing the drafts of those short intro pages for the first section on conflict, and I’m posting them here on the first Mondays in September and October so that anybody who’s feeling helpful can beta. (I’m doing it here instead of on Argh because that place is such a grab-bag of stuff that it’s hard to see organization there.)  If this turns out to be valuable for both you and me, then there will sections on Structure (Nov-Feb), Character (Mar-May), and Unity (June-July).  And then if I’m really feeling gutsy one on Publishing.  And maybe while we’re spending those months talking about those things, I can get the units they introduce finished.  See?  I have a PLAN.


Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to read through the intros and see if they make sense/are helpful/tell you what would be in the chapter to follow.  If this works, the good stuff (as always) will be in the comments.


44 thoughts on “Welcome to the Writing/Romance Project

  1. Alas, I’m now being pursued here by flashing Marks & Spencer ads, featuring products I happen to have looked at recently. I absolutely loathe being spied on like this, and have complained to M&S about it. I usually get rid of them by tapping the ‘reader view’ button in Safari, but that won’t work for the comments section.

    Not complaining about you finding ways to fund all the valuable stuff you’re sharing with us, Jenny. I just hate the way advertizers like Marks have no respect for privacy.


      • Tere says:

        I’m leaving this here because I couldn’t see where to reply to the blog post. This is awesome. The best workshop time I ever spent was the time in your workshop at RWA a long time ago. I felt like I was in a masterclass.

        I wasn’t able to continue my dream of writing/publishing then because of life “stuff.” Now, after many years away and finally completing a college degree, I am ready to pursue writing again. I’m so glad this preview of your upcoming book on writing is here (yes, I know you’re workshopping the pieces of it), and I am more than ready for Jenny Crusie’s Complete Compendium to Crafting Fiction. In fact, I’ll be the first in line!


  2. MinO says:

    Hello, I’m not a fiction writer, but I am a reader. And, reading the above, I got stuck at “fast overview”. Can an overview be fast? Short? Brief?

    Stupid, but I did spend a few moments pondering that to myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! This sure looks like a lot of fun and I’m definitely in the market for it all right now! Viva-la-experiment!

    PS – The ads are hilarious – I just got this four pack: 1) scientists reveal major lie about your heart, 2) Coffee Killing your Gut, 3) Here’s why you should stop googling her name, 4) Joel O, One of the Richest Pastors

    If that doesn’t have ALL of the makings of a great story, I don’t know what does! Surely it is a good omen?! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love this so much! The reason you’re such a good teacher is because you nail each discussion point. Like with turning points, the way you said they motivate the character to move out of her comfort zone and take the kind of action she wouldn’t have taken before? So clear. You don’t use a lot of words to get your point across–I think because it’s so clear to you. Really looking forward to this!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Can’t wait to read these posts. And when the book comes out, I’ll buy it. An unrelated question: how to subscribe to this site? Does your subscription list transfer automatically from Argh? I don’t see any ‘subscribe’ prompt anywhere.


  6. mslarkin says:

    I am so excited about this! Like others have said above, Jenny, I find your explanations very lucid and helpful, and they’ve helped me reconsider a lot of things that I was stuck on previously. Can’t wait to start reading… and to eventually buy the book!


  7. deborahblake1 says:

    Yikes, my first comment is in moderation! Any idea why? (I’m signed in with WordPress and everything. And I promise I didn’t say anything rude…)

    I kind of feel bad that I missed the ads 🙂


  8. Pam Regis says:

    As a person who admires clarity and concision, I’d just like to point out how hard-won those qualities are, both in thinking and in writing. Jenny is the goddess of both.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I’m okay with that. If Likes are important to people, they’ll sign up. If they’re not that important, they won’t. The idea is to simplify, especially for me. It’s a miracle I found the toggle button to install the Likes as it is.

      I think Argh is the more likely social site anyway. This one’s probably not going to have that much chat on it. She said, already knowing that’s wrong. Well, it’s SUPPOSED to be about writing.

      Liked by 5 people

      • It’s really not that big of a deal. I signed up for an account a year or so ago so that I could “like” an author’s (Erin Brady) blog posts. Now I blog. But you aren’t required to have a blog. It’s kind of like Facebook in that you need to be “friends” with someone to really interact with them. Sort of like a community but not. 😉


  9. Kicked the tires; found them sound. My only comment: making TL;DR a hyperlink to its definition might help those of us unfamiliar with proofreader/editor vernacular. Of course, the persistently curious WILL seek out the answers on their own, so maybe no action needed? Looking forward to the first installment!

    Liked by 1 person

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