Brandi’s Cardinal Rules of Romance Writing

These have worked pretty well for me over the course of twenty or so published short stories.

1. Men are cute when they’re vulnerable.

2. But not needy! No one likes a needy man.

3. Chicks dig guys who bring them coffee. Baristas rock as romantic heroes.

4. Tool belts are sexy.

5. So are work boots.

6. In fact, hard work and the tools and evidence thereof are pretty sexy all around.

7. You can always find a reason to have the hero take off his shirt. Stab wounds, a rip in the sleeve, a pick-up game of shirts-and-skins football, a soda dumped over the head by an obnoxious stranger, whatever.

8. But it doesn’t have to go farther than that, or even as far, to pack an effective punch. There is more genuine sexual tension to be found in a Louisa May Alcott novel than in many a bodice-ripper.

9. A lot of people think passion should be irresistible at all times, but that’s just not true. Self-control is terribly attractive.

10. What people leave conspicuously unsaid is as important as what they say.

11. Handsome is as handsome does. Seriously.

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