Red Sage Writing Guidelines
Four parts to a great romance story (the sex information is in #4!)
1. The Plot – Must have an plot! A highly romantic, innovative plot!
If your heroine and hero don’t move through a viable plot, your reader won’t care
about them. The elements of a plot are conflict, tension, stress, moral dilemma, crisis,
climax (stories, not just characters, need an exciting climax!), and resolution.
These elements are driven by lively pacing.
The romance foundation is emotional, character-driven conflict.
The conflict evokes excitement and tension. Therefore, the more difficult and
intriguing or unique the conflict, the more interesting the story.
Tension and conflict can make love scenes excruciatingly effective.
2. The Heroine – She doesn’t have to be perfect, but she does
have to be strong.
She may be the Indian captive, Lady of the Manor, head of a corporation, a traveler
to distant stars or the girl next door.
She is a three-dimensional character who is strong and feminine, she is not weak or cruel.
Readers want a woman who is smart and self-reliant enough to give the hero the chase
of his life. Her dialogue is relevant and consistent.
It brings her to life and makes her believable.
She is a woman the reader likes and identifies with, so she is not perfect. She may have a
personality quirk—maybe she’s a perfectionist, for example. We love to identify with our
heroine and nobody is perfect! Beautiful, wonderful heroines are fabulous,but give her
something a mere mortal can identify with.
3. The Hero –Maybe he’s not perfect either, but he’s her perfect lover.
He has to be strong!
The great romance hero is always intelligent, maybe rich, usually powerful in some way. He
may be humorous, he’s always larger than life, strong willed and sometimes unpredictable.
He is the kind of man who epitomizes every woman's fantasies, and even if he has his quirks,
he’s an extraordinarily wonderful, flawless lover.
Physically, most romance heroes are tall and powerful with a very nice, muscular body. Or
maybe he’s slender and with agile power and grace , but he’s certainly exceptionally
He is a three-dimensional character with dialogue which is relevant and consistent and gives
him life, energy to make him desirable. Like your heroine, he should not just be a type.
He should be a memorable individual.
There is one kind of romance hero women love universally.
The romance hero who is strong powerful and all male.
Heroes who are ultra male and domineering in a sexy way and who are territorial
and possessive of the heroine, staking a claim on her, still satisfy the most primal urges.
Yet, he must recognize and value the heroine’s strengths and fulfill her sexual
needs and desires.
This is what romance readers want to buy.
4. The Sex – OH, the good parts!
Your sex scenes should create buzz about your story!
They are so hot that readers are talking, posting and blogging about how intense and emotional your story is. A must have!
In traditional romance there is always monogamy between the heroine and hero. Maybe not before they are in love, but certainly afterward. That said, Red Sage is also open to more innovative romance, for instance, multi partners or a same sex romance, but—and this is a must—you must move your story so that the reader feels the situation is not cheating .
Stories set in fantasy, paranormal, science fiction – alternate worlds, cultures or realties, may have different sexual customs, which can alter what we believe is cheating. Multi partners, sexual rituals, capture and dominance, or unique and varied penetrations are examples of customs or situations acceptable in your story as long as the heroine and your reader know she isn’t cheating and she wants what is happening to her. If your reader feels your heroine or hero have cheated, you have lost a new reader who will never buy your books again. This is true for most romance readers across the world.
If the hero overpowers the heroine, it can’t be a rape. Even if he forces, even if she resists, the reader must know by the time they actually have sex she wants to have sex with him.
Note about Erotica
All erotica we publish, even if not romance, must have an upbeat ending. Other than that, the rules are few. Let your imagination run wild as you pander to every fantasy an open-minded adult could experience.
Your characters don’t have to live happily ever after, but they do need to find erotic satisfaction.
Red Sage is known for sensual or erotic romance and will not accept anything that could be considered offensive to our readers, including but not limited to, rape, incest, bestiality, racial, gender or sexual slurs of any kind, pedophilia of any kind, marital infidelity and bodily functions which might be distasteful to readers.
Why should I choose Red Sage Publishing?
Red Sage Publishing has been in business for over 15 years. We started as a traditional print publisher in 1995. Back then, it was the big publishing houses and some small romance houses, including Red Sage. As far as we know the other small houses of that era have left the business.
Red Sage has a strong history of truly editing and copy editing author's manuscripts. Red Sage respects the author's work with first class production and cover art.
As the publishing world has changed, we have changed also and started our digital line. However, we have not changed our core principle in always choosing the best work and believing in quality, not quantity. Our authors are truly special with their own unique voices and brilliant writing styles. They may not all be New York Times Best Selling authors, but just wait! Some of Red Sage’s first authors are now New York Times and USA Today Best Selling Authors.
Red Sage has always done advertising for our digital books and print books and never asks the author to pay for the marketing and advertising.
When we redesigned the new website, one of the main concerns was for our authors and their author's page. This helps the author build their brand with reviews, blogs, videos, articles and photos to showcase their wonderful works and talents, and to connect with their readers. Please look at the author's pages. They are beautiful!
With Red Sage's love of our author’s stories, and the professionalism we bring to the table, along with the passion you have for your story, together we will make your new readers loyal fans!
© 2011 Red Sage Publishing, Inc.