Christian Romance Author Liz Isaacson: The Stakes

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Stakes

I don't think I've ever realized how hard it is to pin down the stakes in a romance novel. I mean, we all know how the thing is going to end, right? So we know the hero and heroine will get over whatever's in their way, and they'll be together. It's a romance.

But as I've been writing twitter pitches and revising my query letter (thanks to everyone who helped during the #SunvsSnow critique session!), I've realized that stakes are important. Even in romance.

And it's hard to put them into the pitch.

I think it's hard because they're usually not extrinsic. They're internal and if the people in my novel would just get out of their own way, everything would be fine. (Of course, this is why I love writing romance in the first place. I love reading and writing about people who realize their flaws and weaknesses and work to overcome them.)

But the internal, character flaws are hard to put into words. They're hard to make into something that sounds "high stakes" enough. But I've been reading a lot of successful queries, and then spending some time with back cover copy, and I think I'm slowly wrapping my head around how to do it.

Any advice on how to get the stakes into a short pitch?

1 comment:

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