Mixing two genres or subgenres in fiction can be difficult and challenging task for a writer. I have done it and I know. I write historical romance fiction. It’s a challenge to get the era right and side by side keep the focus on the central romantic pair. Today I have the spotlight on another book which mixes categories. Adite Banerjie’s newest book No Safe Zone belongs to the romantic suspense genre. I asked author Adite Banerjie, what is her advice for writing a romantic thriller. Here are her ten tips for writing romance suspense.
Over to Adite…
Ten Tips on Writing a Romantic Thriller
Most romance writers gravitate easily towards sub-genres like romantic comedies and chick lit. Mixing romance and thrillers might seem like a bad idea. For one, thrillers are plot-driven while romance thrives on character and relationship development. Can the two meet? In my experience, they make for an unlikely but perfect match. And writing one has more than its share of thrills.
Here are ten tips on writing a sizzling romantic thriller.
- Start the action as early as possible. Unlike a pure romance novel where you get to see the protagonist in his/her own world and start at an easy pace, in a romantic thriller you need to begin the story with some action. So, if you start with a murder on the first few pages, you have to keep in mind that as the plot develops the stakes have to keep growing. Build the tension as you go along instead of starting it at a very high level of tension.
- Character and plot development need to go hand in hand. Make every scene do double duty. Conflict and banter between the lead pair can often be pegged to something that is going on with the plot.
- A thriller is usually a story where the reader has a fairly good idea about who the bad guys are. But the tension revolves around how the protagonists will save their own skin and bring them down. Mysteries, on the other hand, are about finding out the identity of the criminals. Whatever you go with, bursts of high tension need to be offset with a calm period. This is a cue for the writer to focus on the romance bit.
- Try and end every chapter on a ‘cliffhanger’— that is, a point where a new question is raised, the answer to which the reader can find out only by turning the page and reading the next chapter. These questions could be related to dangerous situations, a crisis related to the plot or emotional conflict.
- Always try to create multiple smaller threats apart from the main one. As the story progresses, these smaller threats can be resolved which is also useful in growing the romantic relationship between the hero and heroine.
- Romantic thrillers work best when the stakes keep rising at regular intervals giving play to the ‘fear and hope’ angle. Fear that the hero and heroine are in big, big trouble that they can’t get out. And hope that they will be able to overcome the challenges and get to safety.
- Keep things unpredictable by adding a surprising twist or two. However, the plot twists should not come totally out of the blue or they will seem implausible. Leave vague hints at an early stage that can be exploited later.
- Fear and tension are significant devices in increasing the intimacy between the hero and heroine. However, placement of love scenes is crucial. Having them make out in an attic or a cupboard while gun toting bad guys are lurking around is a big no-no.
- Make things as difficult as possible for the Hero and Heroine before they resolve the crisis. Making it easy for them only denies the reader an opportunity of a great thrilling ride.
- Have fun. Writing a romantic thriller can be as much of a thrill for the writer as for the reader!
Thank you for sharing these fabulous tips, Adite.
Find out more about Adite’s book.
Excerpt from #NSZ
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Click Here to read the article in The Hindu Metroplus
Click Here to read a book review of No Safe Zone in Millennium Post
Click Here to read the article in The Big Thrill magazine