Trying Something Different

Figuring out your romance novel's plot doesn't have to result in hours — if not, days — of frustration while you consider and reject plot points and paradigm methods. If the traditional methods of plotting aren't working for you, maybe you should try a different, more creative, approach to connect with your inner muse.

Making a Collage

Many authors find that making a collage that represents their romance novel frees their creativity and gives them insight into their book and characters. To create one, you'll need scissors, a glue stick, a piece of poster board, and a stack of magazines.

While thinking about your book, flip through the magazines and cut out the images that grab you or reflect your novel's theme. Then, arrange the images on the poster board. Feel free to move things around until you get the right “look.” When you have the arrangement set in your mind, apply some glue to the images and attach them to the poster board.

Making a Video

Another fun way of brainstorming story ideas is to create a book video — think of it as one of the movie previews you see on television, only for a romance novel. All you need to get started is a piece of software that creates home videos or presentations, some stock photos and music, and a few ideas.

Most new computers come pre-installed with Windows Movie Maker or I-Movie for Mac. Both applications are easy to use and involve the creation of a timeline (a storyboard) and allow you to insert stock photos, sound clips, and text.

There are dozens of Internet Web sites that offer royalty-free stock photos for use in digital presentations at a low cost, such as iStockphoto. There are also several Web sites that provide music downloads for a nominal fee.

If you don't feel you're up to tackling a movie trailer with video-editing software, you can achieve similar results by creating a presentation with Microsoft PowerPoint or another type of presentation software. The goal is to get in touch with your creative side, experiment with images and sound, and inspire yourself to create.

Find photos that describe your story's theme, its location, your hero and heroine, even your subplots and secondary characters. Then find a piece of music that echoes the theme. Combine them with text using your computer's video-making application and voilà! Instant book video.

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