When I began writing I was shocked to find so many books on writing and how different each is. but after all my studying and research this is what I found as the basics and a must for a good book. (This is my opinion and how I structure my books… It is not written in stone that everyone does this or a must if you are beginning your own career but how I whittled down and combined all the stuff I researched) The basics and the most used formula is the three-act…Act one Set up. Act two confrontation and Act three the resolution. I am breaking it down into what I call stages.
Act one or Stage one is the introduction to both the antagonist and protagonist. The protagonist is usually the person the story is about or telling the story. The main character you may say. The Antagonist is the villain or romantic interest. Villian in a romance? In a romance, he/she may not be a villain in the sense you are thinking like a bad guy/girl, but usually, there needs to be something that brings the two together.
That is where stage two comes in… a meet-cute. This is where they meet or the circumstances where they meet. (more of that in another post). It can be funny, tragic, suspenseful, anything to grab your interest and pull you in, like a hook. You will also get a bit of setting, and backstory on each character in this stage.
Stage three which would be the good romantic part where they become attracted maybe even start dating. There could be hot sex if the book is steamy or erotic.
Act 2 or stage four there is a twist or some secret exposed ( a bomb is dropped… not literally though that might make a good story…runs off to jot it down.) This is the conflict between the two characters and they have to work to get back to each other. This is also called the climax.
Act 3 or Stage five is also called the resolution. This is where things get cleared up and the two find themselves back together giving us our much wanted happy ever after or at least a happy for now.
I have used lots of terms here and in the next weeks, I plan to go more in detail with them.
Do you prefer a happy ever after or a happy for now? Do you mind a sad ending? (bittersweet romance). Do you like a lot of sex (hot and spicy) a little ( medium heat) or no sex at all (sweet).