Skip to content

Timeless Sojourn Virtual Blog Tour – Plot Points for Writing a Romance Novel

July 18, 2012

Welcome to the Timeless Sojourn Virtual Blog Tour! Be sure to leave a comment, Jamie will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour!


Plot Points for Writing a Romance Novel

What are plot points? Quite simply plot points are individual events that propel your story forward. Something that changes things, say like a first kiss. That one event now changes everything because now they must acknowledge their romantic attraction as it changes the  course of their relationship.

Pretty much, all romance novels will have the same basic point plots: introduction, first acknowledgement of attraction, first love scene or first acknowledgement of the emotional commitment, a dark moment and a resolution.

The sub plot must of course support and advance the main storyline, the romance between the main characters. The integration of sub plots into the main plot should be seamless. What makes romance novels unique is the specific details to each plot point, and how each point fits into the main story.

So exactly what is a subplot? A subplot is exactly the same thing as the novel’s central plot, only it is much smaller. While the main plot should always begin and end the novel, any minor plots should happen within these.

Subplots are useful in turning what might otherwise have been a very slender novel into something more substantial. Short stories usually consist on one plot. Turn this one simple plot into a much lengthier one, and you will have something recognizable as a novel on your hands.

Most novels are a truly complex story with multiple strands running through it. But beyond merely bumping up the word count and adding complexity to the story, there are even stronger advantages to adding subplots to a novel.

They help with the characterization and can also help with the portrayal of the theme. Lastly, they add variety to the novel.

And how exactly do you handle subplots?

The key when plotting a novel with several plot lines is not becoming confused, to treat each as a plot. In other words treat the main plot and all the lesser ones as entirely separate mini novels. There will be a lot of switching and moving around and merging, but you should end up with a main plot containing as many subplots as you have written. There will be a large amount of common ground between the plot and subplots, but focusing on each in a separate story and ignoring the others, at least initially will result in a much stronger novel.

Timeless Sojourn

by Jamie Salisbury

Recently divorced at a time when most women are enjoying their children being grown, Anne Harrison finds her life in chaos. At the urging of her forever-friend Kat, Anne moves back to Seattle, her childhood home, to get back her former confidence and make a fresh start.

Confident, creative, and a successful businessman, Geoffrey Quinn has depths not immediately apparent to those who come into contact with that cocky, devilishly handsome exterior.

The last thing either is looking for is a relationship. Anne finds Geoff highly irritating (and young!) at best, while Geoffrey finds her magnetic and wise. To his amusement, she futilely attempts to dismiss him each time they cross paths, and sparks fly.

Watch as this seemingly unsuitable, disparate duo lights a fiery, compelling attraction neither sees coming. But who will get burned?


Fall in the Northwest is quite different from that in north Georgia. It gets cold soon after Labor Day and not being able to go outside and walk without freezing is a drawback.

I have extended my walking perimeter to include a park just off the public docks not far from Kat’s home. I go to sit on one of the many benches lined up along the walkway to watch the boats and goings on.

“Beautiful afternoon, isn’t it?” An Irish brogue behind me inquires.

Without moving to try and see who I’m talking to I merely nod my head. I know who is addressing me.

“May I?” He asked, sitting beside me.

“It’s a free country last time I heard,” I answered regretting my cockiness immediately.

“So, Ms. Harrison, what brings you to Seattle?”

I sit up and look at him. He is extremely good looking I think. “I went through a bad divorce and my girlfriend Kat convinced me I needed a fresh start. So here I am.”

“Kat? Kat Brown?”

“Yes. That’s right, I forgot. You know her beau, Tom Delany, don’t you?”

“Yes, I know Tom quite well. And I’ve met Kat as well.” he replied putting his sunglasses on top of his head. His hair is thick, cut and kept in the fashionable tousled look.

“Do you live around here Geoff?” I inquired noting to myself that if he doesn’t he’s come out of his way.

“No, I live over on Lake Union. I have a houseboat there. I keep my sailboat moored here.” He points out toward the end of the docks where sailboats stay moored, their masts bobbing up and down in the water.

“Hmmm… a houseboat, huh? That fits you, Geoff.”

“I love it, no yard to keep up,” he replied. “It’s centrally located and ideal for a bachelor like me.

“I’ll have to remember that when it comes time for me to buy.” Ha, I think to myself. It’ll be a cold day in you-know-where before I can buy myself anything, let alone a house.

“Do you sail?”

I nod my head. “Yes, although I have to admit it’s been years.”

“Good. Perhaps you’ll join me sometime.”

Looking down at my watch I note it’s later than I thought. “I’d like that.” I replied. “I hate to rush off, but Kat is preparing for a function and I promised her I’d help her out after I took my walk.”

He stands with me and takes my hand. “I enjoyed your company. Until next time, Ms. Anne Harrison.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jamie Salisbury cannot imagine a time when she did not write. A skill that has served her well throughout her professional career. Public relations in and around the entertainment industry, photography, editing, and special event planning all elevated her passion for writing.

An avid reader of histories, biographies, and romance, it’s only natural that part of the products of her pen are historical romances featuring characters so authentic they spring forth from the page and shake the reader’s hand. Many of her teen years were spent in Chile, but she and her family were forced out of the country when the political climate demanded it.

Taking the plunge to take her writing professional came as a result of a series of foot surgeries that left her with a lot of time on her hands. Unable to walk great distances at the time, she started writing as a way to pass the time. Her experiences of how dramatically her life had changed at first. Then the new world of e-publishing inspired her to digitally publish her first novel, Perpetual Love, rather than relegate it to the dreaded drawer. She couldn’t be happier with her decision to grab the publishing industry by the shoulders and force it to pay attention to all she has to offer.

Two more novels have followed: Blood Lust and Tudor Rose, with more to follow soon.

Jamie now lives outside of Atlanta, but the love for travel has never abandoned her. Adventure, exploration, and intrigue permeate her prose to the core.

In those few moments of the day when she’s not writing or thinking about writing, she finds knitting a way to relax and unwind. Other interests include photography, equestrianism, reading, and of course traveling.

Jamie hopes her writing will entertain, enlighten, and inspire others to pick up the pen and pursue their own dreams. She loves to be contacted by readers, writers, and history buffs.



Twitter:  @JamieRSalisbury


18 Comments leave one →
  1. July 18, 2012 3:27 am

    Good Morning and thanks for having me today!!

  2. July 18, 2012 6:25 am

    Thank you for hosting Jamie today.

  3. July 18, 2012 8:16 am

    Here I am 😛
    Great explaining 😛 It’s always good to follow up on these points when writing a romance book, otherwise you won’t really have the book you, and the readers want.

  4. Karen H in NC permalink
    July 18, 2012 11:33 am

    I agree that sub-plots are a critical part of each story. In fact, I’ve read books that actually had nothing happening in the background…only the main plot to carry it…and it seemed rather boring to me. On the other hand, I read a story some years ago that had way too many sub-plots going on and it was difficult to read. It was almost like the reader should keep a spreadsheet just to keep everything straight. In the end, everything was wrapped up so quickly, it seemed like I was cheated…how could all that stuff come together so neatly in just 3 pages? Didn’t strike a good chord with me. So, IYO, how many sub-plots are just the right number and how many take it over the top?

    • July 18, 2012 12:39 pm

      Hi Karen –
      I too have read some books that had way too many sub-plots going on. It was difficult to read (and to keep it all straight). I think that 2-3 sub plots is quite enough, depending on the depth and how in intertwines with the main story line. Anything over that and I think you’ll confuse and lose readers. Like you I don’t want to keep a spreadsheet while I’m reading!
      Thanks for a great comment.

  5. Trix permalink
    July 18, 2012 12:37 pm

    I always enjoy a good sub-plot, but resent when it feels “thrown in.” So, this was a great post!

  6. Allison permalink
    July 18, 2012 3:12 pm

    Hi! Loved reading the excerpt for the book, I enjoyed it!

    • July 18, 2012 6:42 pm

      Thanks Allison! Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. It was a fun book to write, though I won’t deny there were some difficult, rather personal parts. All in all it was a blast and I’m already started on the sequel!

  7. July 19, 2012 12:57 am

    Great to meet a new writer, thanks for the intro Lisa.
    Jamie, I enjoyed your article: Plot Points for Writing a Romance Novel
    It has some great points (pardon the pun)


  8. Mary Preston permalink
    July 19, 2012 5:15 am

    Weaving all the sub-plots into a cohesive story sounds like an intricate ‘dance’. An interesting post thank you.


  9. Catherine permalink
    July 19, 2012 9:29 pm

    That’s a sweet “bench encounter” excerpt. I’ve noticed that some authors try to cram in too many subplots…that almost seem like filler. You offer authors good advice here.

  10. Rebecca Hipworth permalink
    August 1, 2012 6:31 am

    It’s very interesting to hear more about your novel. 🙂



  1. Subplots «

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: