How to Outline Your Romance Novel - Fast!
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How to Outline Your Romance Novel - Fast!

How to Outline Your Romance Fiction when you don't know anything about Story Structure and the whole idea freezes you!
4.5 (33 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
296 students enrolled
Created by Nina Harrington
Last updated 12/2015
Current price: $10 Original price: $40 Discount: 75% off
5 hours left at this price!
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  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • 4 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Outline the opening chapters of a romance novel and pre-plan the Emotional Story Map for the entire novel.
  • Feel confident that you can complete your romance novel.
View Curriculum
  • Students should have a clear understand of the kind of romance fiction that they love to read, and therefore would love to write.

In the modern publishing world, any successful fiction writer has to become more productive and prolific than ever before.

As a full-time writer, I know how easy it is to get distracted and confused by all of the different story structure elements that need to be in place to create a powerful romance.

You know what happens when things go wrong and you don’t think your story is working. You lose momentum. You lose interest. You stop and move on to the next shiny thing which is untainted by your sense of frustration and failure.

But here is the secret.

When you are planning to write a new romance story, all you need to focus on are the characters, and how they are going to change during the course of the romance as a result of the relationship.

That’s right. Forget standard screenwriting structure and focus on the core of any romance fiction – two characters and their journey to falling in love. That is what will make your story both unique and compelling.

Advanced story craft techniques are very handy at the editing and revision stage when you shape your story for the reader – but not here. This first draft is for you!

Instead, we use the power of character arc and emotional conflict to create a simple but effective emotional story map for your romance novel.

As you write your romance, your characters will come to life on the page and reveal their true personalities through what they say and do, but you will never find out unless you can get those characters onto the page and interacting with one another – fast!

Find out how you can outline your romance fiction faster than you thought possible, even if you know nothing about story structure.

This is the exact process I have used to create my award-winning romance novels.

Here is what I will be covering:

Emotional Story Maps: How to develop the opening chapters of your novel in less than an hour using romance story maps.

Perfect for Intuitive Writers: Use this 6-Step Story Development Process to make sure that you never get lost again – but with the freedom to take detours and respond fully to where your characters take you. You can finish this romance - and love the writing process.

Case Study: Follow the development of a contemporary romance story from idea to finished script.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is meant for anyone who has a compelling idea for romance story but know very little about story structure.
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Curriculum For This Course
10 Lectures
Introduction to the Course
1 Lecture 03:02

As a full-time author, I know that when we set out to write a new story there is always a mixture of exhilaration and terror.

There are so many things to think about when it comes to planning a new romance that it can be paralyzing.

But here is the secret.

When you are planning to write a new story, all you need to focus on are two things:

  • A story idea which you would love to explore, and
  • A cast of characters. Your hero and heroine and how to get them onto the page and acting and reacting to the story idea so that you can watch them fall in love.

This course will take you through everything that you need to do to plan out the opening sequence of scenes in your romance novel.

The focus is on the characters. You will learn how to develop characters who have internal conflicts which will drive the story forwards.

The Four Stage Story Structure is explained in detail so that you will never get lost when you are writing your romance again.

Once the opening scenes have been created, the course describes how to plan out the remainder of your novel using a story mapping process.

By the end of this course, you will understand how to use Emotional Story Maps to plan out the key points in your romance.

Preview 03:02
The 6-Step Story Development Process
1 Lecture 13:05

How to Use a 6 Step Process to Get Started

To plan out any new romance story and spark your imagination as quickly as possible, you basically need to do six things.

Step One: Develop a simple story idea or situation which you can describe in a few sentences.

Step Two: Focus on ONE main character who will open the story.

Step Three: Give that main character ONE limiting belief.

Step Four: Give that main character ONE reason why they are at the end of their tether when the story opens.

Step Five: Create the ideal hero or heroine who is going to challenge your main character and fall in love with them.

Step Six: Combine the Story Idea with the Character Idea and get your main character onto the page and inside that story world – then introduce the lover.

Once you understand the mindset of your heroine or hero you can begin to map out the emotional story structure of your romance novel – by using the internal conflict and character change of that main character.

Preview 13:05
Let the Characters Do the Talking
3 Lectures 22:12

This lecture focuses on how to use the internal conflicts and limiting beliefs of the hero and heroine to drive the emotional story elements of your opening scenes.

The Question Sheets for this lecture are included as a Resource which you can download and print out to help you create your own story maps.

How to use the power of Story Maps to build compelling opening scenes

Story Maps use a story pattern to create a story world and stage where your characters can act and react, but the pattern is flexible enough to accommodate your unique story idea.

How to Expand Stage One into an Opening Sequence of Scenes

This lecture describes how you can set target word counts for the opening sequence of scenes and top tips for how to create powerful and effective scenes.

Setting a Target Word Count for Stage One of your Romance Novel
Creating Emotional Story Maps
5 Lectures 19:44
Creating an Emotional Story Map

This lecture describes how to use Emotional Story Maps to sketch out the remaining three stages of the romance novel and break them down into scenes and sequences of scenes.

Writing the Scenes

Summary of the key learning points and conclusions for the course.

A complete Case Study from a published contemporary romance has been included as an additional resource for this section of the course, in order to demonstrate how the emotional story map process works in practice.

Conclusion. Bringing it all together.
10 pages

This is a full and detailed extended transcript of all my notes for this course and includes bonus material on:

  • The challenges of being an Intuitive Writer as opposed to a Planner
  • Worked examples for each section.
  • More detail on how to use Emotional Story Maps

This 63 page course manual supplements the question sheets and layout plans in Section 2 to create your unique story planning library.

Extended Transcript of the Videos in PDF Format
63 pages

Bonus Lecture: Case Study and Online Resources
About the Instructor
Nina Harrington
4.3 Average rating
63 Reviews
1,375 Students
3 Courses
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author, Blogger and Authorpreneur


NINA HARRINGTON is an award-winning romance and crime author, speaker, presenter and blogger.

Over one million copies of Nina's books have been sold in 28 countries and translated into 23 languages.

Nina trained as an industrial scientist and was a professional university lecture and technical writer for several years before forging a new career as a full-time author.

Nina founded the ProlificAuthor to share what she has learnt in publishing, story craft and life as an author-entrepreneur, so that every author can make informed choices and decisions about the best publishing model for their book.

    ·What works and what doesn't work. Especially the later.

    ·What are the biggest wastes of time and money.

    ·What authors can do to share their stories and help readers find them.

    ·What opportunities are there to create new outlets for your work.

You can find out more about Nina at her website.

Enjoy your course!