January 12, 2019 – Priscilla Oliveras

Morning Session: Analyzing the Romance Plot With “You’ve Got Mail”

The romance plot is far more than a simple: boy meets girl, boy gets girl, they live Happily Ever After. Let’s face it, a plot like that makes for a dull story, the opposite of the “keeper shelf” novel we aspire to write. Using the principles found in the classic textbook A Natural History of the Romance Novel by Pamela Regis as a guide, this presentation will explain the eight essential and three optional elements of a romance novel Regis explores in her book. Then, with the help of scenes from the classic romantic comedy “You’ve Got Mail”, attendees will see how the eight essential elements, with the help of one of the three optional elements, can be woven together to create a “keeper shelf” novel/film—one that meets your readers’ expectations and has them clamoring for more. 

Afternoon Session: Characters: The Heart of a Romance Novel

Many readers claim the books on their Keeper Shelves are there in large part because they fell in love with the characters and want to revisit them. Before you can bring your characters to life on the page, you have to get to the know them as well as you know your best friends. This presentation will explain several character drafting/creating techniques, then have attendees take the time to practice using each tool with their own work in progress. From character sketches, interviews, diary-ing/journaling, and “who, what, why,” attendees will leave with a few more assets in their writer’s toolbox. 


PRISCILLA OLIVERAS is a 2018 RWA® RITA® double finalist who writes contemporary romance with a Latinx flavor. Proud of her Puerto Rican-Mexican heritage, she strives to bring authenticity to her novels by sharing her Latinx culture with readers. His Perfect Partner, Her Perfect Affair, and Their Perfect Melody, the three titles in her debut Matched to Perfection series, earned Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Since completing her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, Priscilla serves as English adjunct faculty at her local college and teaches an on-line course titled “Romance Writing” for ed2go. She’s a sports fan, a beach lover, a Zumba aficionado, and a consummate traveler who often practices the art of napping in her backyard hammock. To follow along on her fun-filled and hectic life, visit her on the web at http://www.prisoliveras.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/prisoliveras or on Twitter and Instagram via @prisoliveras.