Need a New Girls-night-in idea?
There are very few things in this world that are as dangerous as becoming complacent – settling into a lifestyle that no longer challenges us, that sees us shuffling from one day to the next with no opportunities for growth. Whether it’s because we’re afraid of trying new things, or just don’t know where to start, we seldom challenge ourselves and leave some of our dreams to “What if”s.” But “What if” you actually went out there and tried to do something you never thought you could? Have you ever found yourself wishing you could just write a book, thinking that you might actually be good at it? With self-publishing at an all-time high, this just might be your chance, and a game of Romance Writing Bingo could help you get started.
Every writer has his or her own forte, whether that is creative or technical writing, but coming up with a romantic storyline is a whole different ball game. A number of today’s bestselling romance authors have undergone rejection after rejection, and those experiences probably pushed them to be better writers. I even have a friend who has worked for years on a young adult novel, and somehow managed to used times she struggled with cleaning up the plot to have a romance novel published. So if you learn from your mistakes, and follow Roger “Gill” Sanderson’s tips on getting published, you too can be as successful as E.L. James and other big names in the genre today. To give you that boost you need, here’s how to play Romance Writing Bingo.
Bingo is probably the least sexiest way to inspire that fiery passion inside (it makes me think of great-Grandma playing for quarters at the kitchen table with my kids…), but many have made their attempts to appeal to people’s softer, more romantic side without being overly cheesy with bingo (including eHarmony, which created a set of free rom-com movie bingo cards as props for a fun and flirty evening). Even gaming portal Gala Bingo released its own love-themed titles, like Dr. Lovemore, that provided additional bonuses available to its users on Valentine’s Day. Bingo is also often used in classrooms for writing prompts, so there’s really no reason why you can’t use the lottery-style game as a way to brainstorm your first penned love story.
Although some people don’t really like to generalize the facets of the genre, you’ll see that there are several stereotypes that manifest in plenty of today’s novels (except maybe for Alice Clayton’s Screwdrivered, which is more of a comedy rather than a tale of an all-consuming forbidden love). Some examples of common repeated themes in the category are “marriage of convenience” or “mistaken identity,” which can be found on Book Riot’s Romance Bingo card.
The game’s more fun when you play with others, so if you’ve got a group of friends who would like to experiment with a little romance writing, you can also make more cards using the same ideas and some of your own. Decide on a deadline, and then play the game so that each of you has completely different plots to start with. Then it’s just a matter of sitting down and making time to write, slowly refining your craft and getting comfortable with seeing your words on paper. Sure, you may find yourself embarrassed, and the first draft probably won’t be as great as you’d hoped, but as Louis E. Boone said, “Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” Just have fun with it!