A Grown-Up Fairy Tale
Not only children enjoy fairy tales. Once upon a time, German tales began with “In the old times, when wishing was still effective…” They were folk tales, told around the fire by one generation to another, they were full of mystery, drama, magic, sex, violence and other adult themes and they were not always associated with children. Just like myths, fairy tales have become the foundations of some of the best movie scripts and fantasy romance books on the market. So in order to make sure you will sell a story base it on a fairy tale.
Strong Male Presence
Women want to be completely in love with the male main character of the story. He has to be an incredibly hot and delightful alpha man. A leader, a charismatic, potentially dangerous male specimen to melt their heart…while trying to seduce the main heroine in the most impossible of manners. Throw him to the wolves – he will return leading the pack.
An Original Female Character
Fresh and fiesty, stylish, sassy, pretty and smart, she likes having her own way. A tough woman, who does not forget that she is also feminine, sensual and sometimes in the right circumstances even submissive and obedient. But then there is only one man in the entire world able to tame her.
These two are the perfect match made in Heaven.
They click like Mars and Venus, like Romeo and Juliet, Scarlett and Rhett, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, and all the great lovers that have ever roamed the Earth. Your two enamored characters should be madly in love with each other by the end of the work.
Readers love characters with smart mouths and wit. One of the most wanted traits on dating sites is a “sense of humor.” People want to be surprised and entertained and have a good time. Funny dialogues will make them love your characters even more.
Yes, eventually we all know that both of them will get lucky in the end, and probably even in the middle of the book. Does that mean you have to skip on the spicy development of their relationship? Make your characters flirty and playful, they must be very playful.
Readers want a night to remember. Alien, incredible lovemaking, that is anything but realistic. They want to empathise with the characters’ desires and reach satisfaction together with them. Hot, steamy sex scenes are obligatory.
From the moment they met–their bodies are on fire. They may not bear each other, they may despise each other, or hate each other in the guts–they may–but their bodies remain on fire.
An original story
People dislike cliches. Even if you are telling a familiar story, you have to reveal something novel about it.
Mix the sunshine with a hurricane. Your characters have to have a wild side, which is best tested in bed. So bed them on a regular basis, even if they are fighting the rest of the time.
Building dramatic tension is one skill of a talented writer. The reason news floods us with problems, is that we–humans – are problem-solving animals, and problems trigger in us basic reactions which are very strong and inherent in us all.
Readers also like to question themselves of what happens next, and that should not be predictable because they lose interest.
Cut down on things irrelevant to the story. Spend some time being descriptive. Don’t just say “ghosts are transparent”–what people expect to hear. Work harder!
True love is the thing in every story, which defies evil, which makes us become better than ourselves, eventually. True love is life-changing for the character and therapeutic for the reader. In fact, romance is why people pick the pink books in the first place.
The reader wants to laugh and cry and the book has to be a page-turner from start to finish. No dull moments. No two-pages description of a doorknob. Just glue your spectators to the chair, making them anticipate your character’s every move.
A grip from Chapter One
The reader wants to be surprised–for example, you may start the book in a swamp of all places with the inner monologue of a toad of all things (The Vine Witch)
It has to be nicely written. People say your style of writing reflects your personality, and I am prone to agree since all my characters are very calm and slightly inadequate just like I am.