Self-Paced Video Course

Where Do I Start My (Freaking) Romance Novel?

The Toughest Chapter You’ll Ever Write

Course Description:

Your paycheck depends on Chapter 1. Whether you plan to sell to a publisher, or whether you plan to sell directly to readers as an Indie Author, your first chapter can kill your sale. In fact, your first sentence can kill your sale!

So how do you open your book with a bang, and keep the tension sizzling? In this humorous (cat-filled) course, you’ll learn the secrets of bestselling Romance authors. 

For instance, do you know…

  • The top 3 reasons why authors write scenes? (And which ones won’t get you published?)
  • The best character to choose for telling your story?
  • Which hook grabs readers faster: character need, or heart-pounding action?
  • The 10 “writing rules” for Scene 1 of your Romance?

In addition, you’ll get a sneak peek into an award-winning author’s writing process: why she deleted Chapter 1 and rewrote it — turning her Romance into a national bestseller.

Recommended Prerequisite:

Course Length: 

  • Allow 2 to 3 hours to complete this course at your own pace. (Graduates of this course are eligible for discounts on private coaching.)

Also Featured in this Course:

  • How to Make Your Reader Turn the Pages
  • Tips from the Trenches: How to Self-Edit
  • Perfection Paralysis: Have You Become Your Worst Enemy?
  • Workshop: Literary Hook Analysis, Featuring Published Romances
  • Workshop: How to Identify Bloat and Backstory
  • Blueprint for Plotting Your Romance
  • Novel Beginnings & Literary Hooks (Practice Exercises)
  • 3 Lessons
  • 3 Course Extras
  • 20-Question Quiz after each Lesson
  • Certificate of Completion

You should take this course if:

  • You want to write a first chapter that sells your book; OR
  • You’ve been told your opening pages are slow or confusing; OR
  • You’ve revised Chapter 1 so many times that your story is stale; OR
  • Your opening scene lacks emotional tension or Romantic conflict; OR
  • Your plot has been criticized for its “holes;” OR
  • You rely on coincidences to move your story forward; OR
  • You’re not sure how to pick the viewpoint character for Scene 1; OR
  • You need new strategies for hooking your reader on Page 1; OR
  • You’re uncertain how to balance character exposition (backstory) with dramatic action (plot;) OR
  • You are writing your first commercial Romance.


I asked Adrienne to critique and line edit my first short erotic romance. Her insights, suggestions and techniques made my story much richer. I’m now applying everything I learned from Adrienne to my (bestselling novels.) I really appreciate her advice and encouragement and would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone who would like to improve their writing.

Jenn Roseton#1 Bestselling Author

There’s a difference between writing a story, and writing a story for a commercial audience. Very few authors make the transition to commercial viability. Adrienne is a gifted storyteller in her own right, and she has the ability to teach the craft to other authors. This is why we send authors to Adrienne (for coaching) when we see untapped potential.

Brian W. Paules, PublisherePublishing Works

You heightened my awareness of opening with suspense and engaging the reader. Anyone who hires you as their writing coach is getting an understanding and talented teacher to hold their hand through a barren landscape until they see the forest.

Donald MontanoPublished Author

I can’t wait to make the revisions you suggested and send my manuscript proposal back to Berkeley. I really feel like I’m on track to getting published this time!  And I couldn’t have done it without you.

Terri HollisterAspiring Author

Thank you for your critique. It was very useful. You taught me more in this email than I learned in 9 months of the (critique) club I was in.

Janelle Roche Aspiring Author

A wonderful author, speaker, and teacher, Adrienne’s comments encouraged and helped me focus on the technical aspects as a beginning writer without becoming overwhelmed.

Tambra Nicole KendallWriting Teacher & Published Author