Romantic comedy: Tips from one novelist to another
New York research for writing as a novelist

Romantic comedy: Tips from one novelist to another

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New York research for writing as a novelist

For any novelist, one of the hardest parts of writing a romantic comedy novel is finding a balance between comedy and romance. To strike a tone that is both humorous and heartfelt, without one overshadowing the other. To create relatable and compelling characters who navigate the ups and downs of a relationship is another big ask.

Perhaps the toughest thing for any writer is finding a fresh and original take. Romantic comedies are popular and well-established as one of the better selling genres. It can be challenging to come up with a story that feels new and different. These sort of stories often rely a good understanding of character development and relationship dynamics. The author needs to create relatable and likeable characters who live through believable romantic experiences.

New York, New York

New York writingFor GHOSTED, I moved myself virtually to New York. I’ve been there many times, but it crossed my mind that I was going to need to get under the skin of The Big Apple to make my story sing.

There are a few different ways that a novelist can research a city they don’t live in to make their story sound real. We can read books and articles to gain a general understanding of its history, culture, and landmarks. Another way is to reach out to people who live in the city. Ask them questions about their experiences and impressions of the city. This is best done through social media, online forums, or by contacting local organizations or institutions. The writer can dig into online resources such as maps and virtual tours. These give a sense of the layout and appearance of the city.

It’s obviously a good idea to visit the city if possible. Even if it’s only for a short time. It’s great to experience the sights, sounds, and atmosphere of the city. A cup of Joe in Manhattan is quite different to one sat in a cafe opposite St Paul’s London, on a windy winter morning.

Walking in other shoes

Silas and Ellen – the two leads in my book – are Jewish. I wanted to be sure of not causing offence in how I wrote about them. This meant more research to understand their experiences and perspective. I got talking to people from the Jewish community. I went for drinks with a US Jewish writer. And then I set to reading books or articles by Jewish authors, taking the time to consider how my words and actions may be perceived by others. When the story was done, I sent it to a guy I trust to tell me the truth – Jewish comedian and writer Bennett Arron. He told me what to change. Above all, what I wanted is for the story to contain accurate and respectful characterisation.

People buy Christmas novels in the search for a story that is heart-warming, festive, and has a strong emphasis on the themes and values associated with the holiday season. Many people enjoy reading Christmas novels that feature a compelling story and well-developed characters, as well as those that capture the magic and spirit of the season. Some may look for a Christmas novel that includes traditional elements of the holiday, such as family gatherings, gift-giving, and Christmas traditions. Ultimately, what people look for in a Christmas novel will vary depending on their personal preferences and interests.

GHOSTED brings two lonely people together and helps them see that what they dream about might not be impossible, that the most wonderful time of the year could be their chance to take hold of what days are to come.

GHOSTED by Mo Fanning

By Mo Fanning

Mo Fanning is a British author of dark romantic comedies including the Book of the Year nominated bestseller 'The Armchair Bride', 'Rebuilding Alexandra Small' and 2022's hit holiday romcom 'Ghosted'.

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