Ines Johnson is Having a Breakdown

The Breakdown is a podcast hosted by television producer turned romance author Ines Johnson. In each episode, join Ines as she breaks television episodes, movies, and/or an aspect of the indie publishing market. Mainly for her own edification, but maybe other authors could find some use in her nerding out over story structure and market analysis.

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Tuesday Nov 14, 2023

I presented my first academic paper on romance. It got rave reviews and I'd like to present it to you in two parts. It's entitled From Bodice Rippers to Booktok. Ready? Here's Part One!

Tuesday Nov 07, 2023

Grand gestures are significant in romance as they heighten emotions and often bring about resolution or clarity in relationships. They're powerful tools in a writer's arsenal to amplify the romantic stakes. If you're plotting scenes, integrating such moments can evoke strong reactions from readers.
Declaration: The gesture could be a simple declaration of love, especially if the hero isn't good at showing feelings. The ILU should come from a genuine place of love and commitment, rather than being motivated by external factors or social pressure.
Public: The grand gesture is often a public act, meant to declare the hero or heroine's love to the world and show their commitment to their partner.
Rescue: If one lover is in peril, then the other needs to rescue them at great danger to their own person.
Personalization: The grand gesture should be tailored to the specific needs and desires of the hero or heroine, and reflect their unique relationship dynamic.
Sacrifice: Similar to a rescue where the hero's life is in danger due to the action, they could willingly offer themselves in exchange for the heroine.

Tuesday Oct 31, 2023

The Dark Moment is a crucial scene in a romance novel, where the hero and/or heroine face a major obstacle or challenge that threatens to tear or keep them apart. This moment typically occurs towards the end of the story, and creates a sense of tension and conflict that the hero and/or heroine must overcome in order to achieve a happy ending.
Here's my list:
• a revelation of a deep secret or betrayal.
• a misunderstanding or miscommunication that creates a rift between the hero and heroine.
• a life-changing event that shakes up their world.
• an external force, like an antagonist, physical obstruction, or mystic force, pushing them apart. The inner obstruction wouldn't apply here.
• Internal issues or insecurities Romance Roadmap:
Want to write a Bingeworthy Novel in 21 days, check out my course Page Turner Pacing at

Tuesday Oct 24, 2023

In the romance genre, the "fun and games" phase is pivotal, marked by budding connections and escalating stakes.
1. Buddy Love: From initial friction to deep bonds, relationships often mirror dynamics from buddy films like Lethal Weapon.
2. Romance Beats: Gwen Hayes highlights the crescendo of feelings, leading to relationship turning points.
3. Obstacles: Using tales like Cinderella and Shrek as guides, love stories can interweave challenges from antagonists, physical barriers, internal conflicts, to mystical hurdles.
Romance Roadmap:
Want to write a Bingeworthy Novel in 21 days, check out my course Page Turner Pacing at

Tuesday Oct 17, 2023

The "Meet Cute" is the memorable first encounter in romance. Four key elements define this moment:
1. Setting: From Pride and Prejudice's Victorian backdrop to Fifty Shades' modern city.
2. Trope: Common narratives, like "opposites attract," set the emotional stakes.
3. Attraction: Mutual allure as in Romeo and Juliet, or one-sided interest like in The Notebook.
4. Situation: Be it a heroic rescue or an embarrassing mix-up, this is the heart of the Meet Cute.
Romance Roadmap:

Tuesday Oct 10, 2023

Story beginnings vary, but empathy remains key. How do we make readers connect with our characters instantly? 
1. Highlight Extraordinary Qualities: Think Buffy's strength or Sherlock's intellect.
2. Position in a Unique World: Like Mark Watney's survival on Mars or the Gilmores in quirky Stars Hollow.
3. The "Save the Cat" Moment: Showcase a kind act, like Buffy befriending the outcast, Willow.
Combine these for a character that resonates deeply with readers!
Romance Roadmap:

Tuesday Oct 03, 2023

Genres like comedy, science fiction, and horror have their classics, but what defines quintessential romance? From iconic authors such as Kathleen E. Woodiwiss to modern BookTok faves, we delve into romance's evolving heart. We'll trace tropes from the 'bodice ripper' era, understand the enduring allure of 'enemies to lovers', and see how societal views on love have shaped narratives.
Ready to dive deep? Join us as we kick off with the pivotal romance novel, "The Flame and the Flower". 
Want to learn more about pacing, try my courses Page Turner Pacing Course

2023 Summer Break

Tuesday Jun 06, 2023

Tuesday Jun 06, 2023

Ines Johnson is having a bit of a breakdown... so she's going on summer break!

Episode 18: Give Me a Beat

Tuesday May 30, 2023

Tuesday May 30, 2023

Grab your copy of my Give Me a Beat worksheet to help you craft your next amazing love story!

Episode 17: RomCom Beats

Tuesday May 23, 2023

Tuesday May 23, 2023

These episode is all about the Romance Beats. Want to make sure readers fall in love with your love story? Then be sure and follow these seven beats!
Dark Moment
Grand Gesture

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