Bestselling Author Delilah Devlin
HomeMeet Delilah
BookshelfBlogExtrasEditorial ServicesContactDelilah's Collections

Archive for July 3rd, 2017

Becca A. Miles: Learning the Ropes of Romance …
Monday, July 3rd, 2017

I’ve always enjoyed romance—reading it, that is. Growing up, my mother would trade paperback romances with her best friend, and I would get to rummage through the giant bags of books that appeared on a regular basis, selecting out my favorite and tearing through them at a rate of a book or two—or more—a day.

As I started showing an inclination to write, my mom suggested, “Well, you’re a fast writer … why don’t you write a romance?”

It seemed like a good idea, and so I decided to try it, only to run up against the wall of not knowing what in the heck I was doing. I didn’t know about tropes, I didn’t know about the “HEA” (happily ever after), and I sure didn’t know about the rules for point of view, alpha male, etc. Worst of all, I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and so that first attempt petered out at around the six-page mark and eventually got lost when my hard drive burnt out.

Although I continued to enjoy reading the genre, my writing meandered slowly through the world of military journalism, then epic fantasy, then urban fantasy, science fiction, and a little dab of literary fiction. As I kept writing, I learned important things about character, plot, narrative, and how each genre had its rules that it was best to learn in order to meet your reader on happy ground. I even delved a little bit into erotica, with two stories published in charity anthologies.

I wouldn’t say I knew the ropes of romance, but I was learning how to write, and becoming a better writer brought me to the attention of my writing and romance mentor, Emmy Curtis, author of the Alpha Ops series. She invited me to her house, plied me with wine and Aaron Sorkin shows, and then repeated the same question my mom had once asked: “Why don’t you write a romance?”

When I explained I had no idea how, she told me about romance tropes—how each story followed a certain genre convention, and that stories could have more than one. She explained the HEA, and that you couldn’t write from one POV—you switched between the male and female protagonists (and no one else!) to get the reader into their heads and emotions. She talked about the three-act plot structure, as well as the huge market for romance.

It might have been the wine, or my tendency to get caught up in my friends’ enthusiasms, but I woke up at two o’clock in the morning to jot down the plot and characters for what eventually became my first attempt at romance.

So why am I sharing this story? First, to show that romance isn’t a genre you can just dabble your way into. There are very specific intentions behind the development of characters and the twists and turns of the plot. Romance readers love the genre and they have certain expectations that you need to meet.

Second, I wanted to share my particular journey into the genre. It’s not the same for everyone—some people start out knowing that they want to write romance, and go for it immediately. But for every writer, there is a journeyman/woman period of learning the craft, including how to write within genre conventions. These are not restrictions—rather, they’re the ropes to guide you where you need to go, and help you get there.

Third, I highly recommend finding yourself a writing buddy or mentor within your genre. I found Emmy at my local writers’ group, but I have also found buddies online in Facebook groups or conventions.

Last but not least, I hope this post has inspired some of you to dust of the keyboard or open the notebook and start writing. That story I started in Emmy’s guest room? It eventually became my first romantic suspense novel, Negotiating Her Release, published this spring by Boroughs Publishing Group. If you’ve ever wanted to write, and maybe you, too, shelved your first couple of pages, I encourage you to get them out, do some research, go meet some authors, and above all, keep writing.

And then send me your ARCs, because I still love curling up with a great HEA!

Becca A. Miles

FOR AUTHORS: Rose’s Online Plotting Bootcamp: September 4 – 29, 2017
Monday, July 3rd, 2017

Permission granted to forward

This message is for any authors or aspiring authors who might be interested in some intensive help developing their next stories.

Don’t let that word “intensive” scare you away; I’ve led newbies, as well as multi-published authors, through our plotting process numerous times. Everyone comes away with new knowledge and insight, or at the very least, some terrific brainstorming support!

While lessons and exercises will be posted throughout the month of September, this is truly a self-paced class. We all have busy lives, and the workshop is designed to accommodate any schedule. Enjoy the pitch below!

Back by popular demand!


Dates: September 4 – 29, 2017
Last date to register: September 4, 2017
Cost: $50.00—cheap, considering everything you get!
Your DI (Drill Instructor): Delilah Devlin
Offered through:

What you can expect:
LOGLINE (Lunges)
PREMISE (Pushups)
CHARACTER (Strengthening exercises)
Breaking through the STORY STRUCTURE stronghold
Battling the PLOT LINES

We do more in one month than some people do all year! Get tough! Get motivated! Get plotting!

Join your Drill Instructor, Delilah Devlin, to learn a methodical approach to harness your creativity in order to produce an in-depth plot for your next novel.

Sound scary? It is!!!! Especially when you’re staring at an empty page without a compass and a map to guide you through the novelistic jungle. Your DI will lead you through four weeks of tactics, exercises, and training that will help strengthen your abilities. Delilah will accomplish this with weekly lessons, bi-weekly chats, and daily online communication. Join her for bivouac in September!

Join this elite force now!

For those who don’t know, my sister and I co-founded the website for writers called Rose’s Colored Glasses in 2004. From that site, we run a critique group and provide workshops—some free and some for pay. In September, I will be leading a month-long plotting bootcamp. It’s a great time to join—something you can do for yourself to get ready for NANOWRIMO in November! Join me if you can! ~DD

How’s our workshop different from every other one out there? I’ll provide feedback and brainstorming every step of the way!

Interested? Follow this link to sign up:

And feel free to pass this along to anyone else you think might be interested with my thanks!

Delilah Devlin
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author & Freelance Editor
Get in bed with Delilah. Everyone else has!