spaceships in the desert

“locked in a room” starters
PART II is now available here

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The “locked in a room” trope forces characters to spend time together, often characters who normally wouldn’t. It can help them learn about each other and develop their relationship in a positive way, or it can be disastrous. Feel free to add more! Send one for our muses: 

♬ : stuck in an elevator together
✎ : trapped in a room together during a quarantine
✘ : in a waiting room while they have loved ones in surgery
♢ : alone in a train car when the train gets delayed
♕ : adrift in a life raft
☾ : sitting next to each other on an international flight
✂ : stranded by a roadside together
☀ : sharing a jail cell
☂ : stuck in a basement after an earthquake
☮ : sharing a run away hot air balloon
❤ : locked in a closet by a friend who just wants them to get along (or possibly hook up)
₪ : touring an historical (possibly haunted) building, and they get locked in overnight
☹ : on a bridge; traffic has stopped completely due to an accident, and nobody’s going anywhere for a few hours.
Δ : stuck on a roof together
♒ : trapped by a spell or supernatural object (bonus points if you specify what the spell/curse is)
ஐ : pretending to be married because this quaint old couple’s bed and breakfast is the only shelter for miles, they only have one room, and they’re a bit old fashioned.
♘ : sharing a hospital room
✿ : stuck in a spaceship escape pod together
☢  : on a deserted island
❂  : in a bunker after the apocalypse

Since Leia was in a star wars rebels episode, I wonder if we are going to see Luke in the Twin Suns episode. Like maybe he gives Erza directions or we see him in the background crowd of in town, or he pokes a collapsed Maul faintly muttering “Kenobi” with a stick or something.

It would be cool to see him animated style.

Making a “Cliche” Romance Story Stand Out.

Anonymous asked (paraphrased/redacted by me):

I want to do a series of vampire books following five different characters, which a final book that ties each story together. My first book is a romance between a werewolf/vampire hunter and a vampire prince.

My main concern is that vampires, werewolves, and romance are so super overdone. I don’t want my first book to be considered just another supernatural teen romance when it’s going to be part of a much bigger story arc. I don’t know how to keep from falling into stereotypes of this genre and how to make my book stand out. Do you have any tips for this?

1. Focus on the non-romance aspects of the book when you market.

Now, I hate misleading marketing as much as the next person, but if you’re planning a story in a huge world where other books in the same series will have various focuses, even the romance focused books should be more then simply romance. 

What else is part of this “cliche” romance? Is there action? Mystery? Politics? Suspense? What are these two character doing while they fall in love? If the story has a strong plot during which the romance happens, you can market that aspect of the book in tandem with the romance aspect.

2. Give the world a twist. 

Your vampires and werewolves and supernatural creatures make the base of your story, but maybe you can let go of another part of your world in order to make the series as a whole more original. Switch things up a bit. Give the readers the “cliche” romance in a brand new setting.

Steampunk Vampires. Vampires on spaceships. Cowboy vampires. Vampires with airships in a post-apocalyptic desert world. Vampires in a futuristic society with androids and laser guns. The options are endless.

3. Promote the characters over the romance.

Most readers love the story for the characters, whether they be part of a unique and entirely original world, or something a little more cliche. Make your characters likable and interesting, and convey these aspects to potential readers at every chance you get.

Who are your main couple? What makes you (and subsequently, your readers) love them? In what ways do they stand out? What do they want to achieve and what do they need to learn over the course of the story? 

You want to know these things by heart, and work them into every blurb you have, and very heavily into your first chapter. Prove to your readers that even though the story itself might be “cliche,” the characters who go through those “cliche” motions are intriguing and worth sticking with.

4. Keep everything as it is: Paranormal romance (as well as other types of romance, and “overdone” genres) have been done a lot because they have a huge audience. 

A lot of this audience hasn’t stopped loving it just because it’s been “overdone.” Personally, I still jump at a well done paranormal romance, because vampires and werewolves are a part of my youth and (when written well) they won’t ever get old. 

Even if the end result of all your work gives you something that looks exactly like all the other “cliche” paranormal romances, a huge amount of people will still eat it up. There is a large, lingering audience for “cliche” genres, and flat out marketing towards that audience may just be the best thing you can do for your series.

5. To my anon friend: Why does this book have to be the first book in your series? To other “cliche” book writers: Why are you writing this book to begin with?

In your case, anon, you plan to write five or so books, each focusing on its own set of characters in the world. Does your timeline restrict you into having the paranormal romance be the first book in the series? If it doesn’t match the genre of the other books, can it be a side story, an additional book which goes with the series but isn’t the start of it?

In the case of anyone who feels they’re working on a “cliche” book: Why are you writing this book to begin with? What made you fall in love with this “cliche” idea? Chances are, if you fell in love with it then someone else will too, no matter how cliche you feel the story is.