It’s always a joy to discover after I’ve done something that people who know what they’re talking about say it’s exactly what I should do.

And so it was with much delight that, while researching a presentation for my screenwriting group, I came upon writing guru Michael Hauge’s “Essential Elements of Romantic Comedy.”

They are:

•The heroine must be involved in some sexual or romantic pursuit, trying desperately try to win (or win back) the love of another character.

• The heroine must pursue an additional desire. Pursuing two goals adds originality and accelerates the pace, and when the desires come into opposition, the conflict increases.

• The characters never think their situation is humorous. Motivations grow out of pain and loss; humor arises from the heroine’s overreaction to her situation—including devising fantastic plots, telling enormous lies and adopting false identities.

• Romantic comedies are sexy.

• Romantic comedies have happy endings.

• Romantic comedies usually involve deception, which increases conflict and humor while forcing the heroine to confront her inner conflicts.

All of these are present in Fast Lane. (Remember, I have thumbs-up proof from actual females attesting to that bullet point about Fast Lane being sexy.)

Hauge devised his list for screenwriters, but the screenplay and novel paradigms are rapidly merging. Novelist Lani Diane Rich even teaches an online course that essentially applies screenwriting principles to novels—and uses movies as examples to augment her lessons.

I consider Hauge’s list an imprimatur for Fast Lane from an impressive source. Feels good to me…and I hope, ManWARriors, it’ll help you in your writing pursuits as well.

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