Category Archives: Basics

Recap of Love in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly Week 2


Hi Fellow Readers- back for Week #2 for Love in a Nutshell. I am up to Chapter 5 now. A recap of the first four chapters has Kate Appleton losing her job and finding a job with Matt Culhane to find the person who is undermining his company and possibly putting him out of business. So she is “the snitch” and as such will be known as “the snitch” from now on. She believes that one of them had tampered with the cooler’s power switch causing him to lose money with the food because it spoiled. The cast of characters is being set. Kate Appleton, Matt Culhane, Laila, Jerry, Steve, Tinkerbell (Tink), Ginger, Travis, Bart, Amber and Betty. There is also Richard, Kate’s old boyfriend. The reason for Kate “the snitch” being hired is his new business venture in Florida where he is buying a hotel and turning it into a hotel/restaurant resort. He also planned to renovate another property which he believes will make him money. The “cooler incident” in reality had the “unit’s power switch to the right of the door turned off, but the door had been left open, too. From what she could gather from the brewery gossip, without both of those events, the cooler would have held its temperature within the allowable range until morning.” p 44 Also Kate has feelings for Matt which begin to be tested because- he may be the one who is taking her home from her and that is part of the reason she is taking the job. Her childhood home. ******************************************************** I still like the character of Kate. I like her even more as time goes on. Matt is a nice character as well. But a businessman who is about making money. And he wants to know who would hurt his chances at doing so. Although I believe he is developing feelings for her, I also believe those feelings will face something later on in the book- a decision on where he wants to be and does he want her in his life- her the same thing. So before I end this post, my question to you is the following: Is there ever a moment in your life, that you had to make a decision about someone in your life- whether they could or should stay or go? And what was the resolution of that decision? I think that a lot of us make that decision with our friends as well as romantic liasions. And we have to be cognizant of who is in our lives and who likes us as well. Personally for me- I know that I have to make that decision for me in a current relationship that has turned out to be beneficial for me and not beneficial for me. He had indicated that he liked me again more than I liked him. And I didn’t want to maintain the relationship knowing that he felt that way. I had been walking that minefield for a long time. So I just wanted to be his friend. So that decision for me is that he had to go. But as it was easier before its was not so easy now. That is because he is/was a nice guy and not a nice guy. And I fear that I would not be able to find a person who was willing to have that kind of conversation. I have found someone who says that he is willing but we never connected. So where am I to go on that one? So in your own personal life- where do you stand with that decision and conversation?

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NaNoWriMo Preparation for My Story This Year


Reblogged from http://www.yasminejameson.wordpress.com on October 17, 2012 //

Hey fellow writers. I am prepping for NaNoWriMo this year. Last year I tried it and flubbed out way early. But this year I am not planning to do it. I have had a good group this year. The group is online and also in person but you have to travel. Looking for transportation. The website address: http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/sign_in National Novel Writing Month and the group is actually located in the state I reside in right now. So that is cool. There are a lot of articles out there about the month of November. I will repost from my another author’s blog which is prep for NaNoWriMo. The author is Alexandra Sokoloff and the title of the article is: http://www.screenwritingtricks.com/ Screenwriting Tricks. Even though it is for a person who writes for theatre or who may write for the stage- the author is a novel writer, and she has given some good tips. Another article comes off of Writer Unboxed called http://writerunboxed.com/2012/10/13/pre-plot-for-nanowrimo/ Pre-Plot for NaNoWriMo. The guest author has written three books to help you with your plotting for your novel. Another good article I had found was on writing dialogue called http://writerunboxed.com/2012/10/16/10-tips-for-writing-impactful-dialogue/. If I find some more I will let you all know.

NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH AND MY NEW MYSTERY WITH A TOUCH OF ROMANCE


Suzannah time is coming around this year and hopefully within one week I will be receiving the contest entries. Just so you know I have been participating as an unpublished judge for the last two years. But this year I come as a published author outside of the internet. I think that is cool. Now- the idea I had for this week’s entry hadn’t so much to deal with romance as it had to do with going to conferences and the advance of National Novel Writing Month which happens in November.
I found a website for this year and I signed up for it. I am hoping to gain some new friends and some good critique from it. And the story I want to use is my new novel that I want to publish. There is a little romance and a lot of mystery. The romance comes in with the persons working the case. Not with each other but with other persons. But it will bring some spice into the story.
For the reader who enjoys romance and mysteries- what is it that you search for? What do you want to have your character show you? How is the dream supposed to flow in your brain as you read? I am still finding that out because my characters drive me crazy. I have decided that Darwin- she is the private investigator/paralegal who is the main character/investigator for the novel- will have a romantic relationship with someone that has as of yet not appeared. But do I want that to happen? I am not sure.
I use the contest as a barometer for where I stand in my journey of learning how to write. So this year, I am looking for elements of romance within the traditional story. And I am hoping to find some.
By the way of updates, if you happen to like the Facebook program (I am a fan) then I have something to share with you. Most of my followers on my blog come from Facebook. For that I am extremely grateful. I kept losing my followers and couldn’t figure out how WordPress could lose them. And then when I went to check out my Facebook I found out it was because I actually hadn’t uploaded my blogs to Facebook. I just sent them the entries. But now, the blogs are actually loaded to the Facebook page. You can access it through Networked Blogs. And the followers will now be part of that websites statistics as well as the WordPress statistics. Why am I telling you this? Because it is good information to have and a way for you to monitor the readers and get a feel for what your readers would like to see on your blog.
Well I think part of what I like about Suzannah is that I have the opportunity to judge unpublished authors. And this year, I am going to actually purchase one or two of the books (when I have the funds) of previous winners who now have published novels. And this way I can read some of what I had a part in the making.
Also check your feeds for your subscriptions on blogs. I have read that some or all are going away. They are going to be replacing them soon but they I don’t know when exactly-if you check your Google account I believe you can find out that information.
In closing, I want say to you have a nice day and a nice October.

Wanna Write A Book Review


I am a fledgling book reviewer. I have just started this past year in 2011 to write for online magazines book reviews. There are a lot of book review websites on the internet and some start up on their own. I think the first thing to do is to decide whether or not you fit that website. For this website she has it split- one for her columnist/contributors and the other website is for book reviews. The two addresses are: http://www.letstalkromance.wordpress.com and http://www.letstalkromancereviews.wordpress.com. How it works is that you pick from a list provided by her of up and coming novels about to be released and already released novels. You give her the title, author name, publisher and publisher date- she will then send you a copy of the novel. Please be advised that for most of the sites, they are eBooks or epublished books. Very rarely have I gotten a copy of the actual book to read but some do provide that for you. Your reward or payment for the most part, is a copy of the novel that is yours to keep unless otherwise noted and maybe a gift card or certificate.
When you do the book review the format for most is the same. You have the title of the book or it says “Book Review of (Title of Novel) by (Author). And then you have next the book blurb which is basically what I call the “eye candy” of the novel. It is what you may catch the very next person who reads your novel by the phrase or sentence there. And I think for each book reviewer it is different. I try to make it a part of the novel that makes it click for me or what may make it click for the reader-oh I understand now. The body of the review is the review itself now. And here is where your opinion is on the novel for better or for worse. Following the body and at the end of the review is what I call the disclosure statement required by book reviewers to put in which basically states that we are either being paid or not paid by the author or publisher to write this review for this website. And it also requires that we also notify you the reader whether or not we paid for the novel. The actual reasoning for this escapes me but I do what is required.
What you may also want to note is that the score that you choose for rating will not necessarily dictate who will read the novel but it may get you a nice note from the author thanking you or asking you questions for themselves so they can make changes or not.
Here is a list of some of the book review websites that you can read from and/or join as a reviewer:
Geeky Girl Reviews
Preternatura
Book, Line and Sinker
Manic Readers
You Gotta Read
Lets Talk Romance Reviews
Urban Reviews
Bookreporter
Book Chick City
And there are a lot of others. I find them all the time, and some will actually review television shows, movies and restaurants. I actually like to review whatever I think is interesting for the blog I contribute too. And it’s a good conversational tool.
What started this was I just joined a blog from an introduction in the writers chat room (www.writerschatroom.com) and from there found a lot of new blogs to read. So I hope for you guys this gives you another outlet of entertainment, information and new ways to make friends.
Chat ya laterz guyz and galz.

The Learning Curve


I think we all have a learning curve when it comes to our writing ability and our career strength. For those of us just starting out we have to find our own voice. Once I believe we find our voice we can pretty much write what we would like to write and then send it out to an agency to see what it is that it might sell for or if we are in the wrong market. The market will eventually taper our decision. But the test is those who read your novels. That test can come in the form of your beta readers. In Wikipedia a beta reader is defined as “a person who reads a written work, generally fiction, with what has been described as a ‘critical eye’, with the aim of improving grammar, spelling, characterization and general style of a story prior to its release to the general public.” (See link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_reader).

I am in need of beta readers. I am in the process of writing and finishing my first mystery. So if you are interested please email me. But that is not the purpose of this article. This is just an introduction to what it is that an author may want from you. the article in Wikipedia is self-explanatory. Another article that you may want to read and also where I found another helpful source is this one: Literary Rambles (See link:http://www.literaryrambles.com/2009/11/what-is-beta-reader-where-do-i-find-one.html). From what I am finding out through the use of persons such as Ivory Mosely, the late Natasha Munson (See link: http://www.sisterlessons.com/), Junnita Jackson a ghostwriter, and several others some things of the writing world come through experience and searching. You do a lot of searching on the internet, networking at events, schlepping your writing around to get someone to read and revisions, revisions, revisions. I have made some wonderful contacts and am able to do what I like to do. Doesn’t mean I don’t get the headaches, the migraines and the writing pains, I do, but I accept them and work through them because I am choosing to write. It is what I do to keep me sane and happy even when I appear unhappy. Each time I think of stopping it I get sad. But I do think of stopping it particularly when it appears to cause so much trouble for me in my life. However, I will still write even if I am not famous and making money because I like it. This is to say that I will probably always have a blog. And that blog may not be about the same thing but it will be about something that I am interested in and hopefully, just like the one I have now, it will find a kindred spirit in you.

Back to the beta reader-a beta reader in my opinion is the one who helps you write the better story. It would be someone who is interested in the genre you are writing, someone who is interested in the characters and their plotline and who doesn’t mind sharing their opinion. They will help you in creating your novel prior to it going to the publisher. And then the publisher themselves may have beta readers. Maybe it’s that your beta reader comes to you through your publisher and you don’t have to search them out. I don’t really know if that is true or not. But I am hoping to find out as I am looking for beta readers to help me with my story. And also for critique partners as well.

If you are interested in reading good novels you may want to check out this site it has very good novels. You can join for a monthly fee. It is http://www.manicreaders.com. I am actually doing book reviews for them under my pen name Yasmine Jameson. Check it out, you may find you like it.

The Importance of the Book Blurb


  As I was trying to determine what I was going to write about for this week’s column and I thought of my list of things to do it dawned on me: a book blurb. As I was starting to read the current book I have to write my next book review I found out that it was exactly the title of the book. And then I found out that I read the book blurb. And it drew me right into the novel. The importance of a book blurb-now that sounds like a good title for an article.

So okay as I am reading the actual beginning of the novel I find out that the book blurb must be further on in the novel. How much further I have no idea. But I know that I will get to it and that is what makes me want to read the book until the end. Does this follow through with every book that I read? Well, take for instance a book that I started a couple of years ago (yes a couple of years ago) and am going to finish this year hopefully. The title of this novel is Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby. The book blurb for this is:

“Tanya Black has everything a woman could want: a fulfilling
career, a beautiful daughter, an elegant home, and a handsome,
charismatic husband who is pastor at a prominent Baptist church.
And yet, none of it can hide the going turbulence in her marriage.”

To me this is a nice blurb-and not the entire book blurb. In actuality it is only the first of three paragraphs. But due to rules I don’t am not able to continue showing you the rest. However, it doesn’t draw me into the novel. The title is what- Casting ? Stones??? And the closest you get to that in the title with the body of the book blurb is: “And yet, none of it can hide the going turbulence in her marriage.” Which could go either way.

So does it not draw me in? No it doesn’t- and I chose to read the book anyway. But as I said in the first book that I am reading for a book review to go on another website it drew me in because it was the title. So my question to you the reader is what draws you in- is it the book blurb itself? Is it the cover of the novel? Is it your own fantasy? What is it? Maybe if you guys will post a comment and share with the rest of the readers we can all determine what’s good for each of us to help us read the novel.

Bless The Novel Writer by Teri Harmon


Hey guys, I came back to hopefully entertain you and give you some good advice on novels as well as learn from you. Today, I am actually not talking about romance per se as I am about computer problems and the toll it can take on a writer.
I have just gotten my computer back from another round at the Geek Squad in Best Buy. I have had two crash dumps and I had thought there was a third. But luckily if it indeed was a third it didn’t destroy my laptop. I told the people it was another internet crash dump. So afraid of being one of those who has to rebuild their computer and all of their information I had them back up my files. But the problem is that costs me money. Money is tight.
So I also recently catalogued where I am at with some of the writing I have done. I have four works in progress including another book of poetry. Wow! Smartest thing I ever did was actually print out where I was to date as well as have a back up copy on the computer. And I also started utilizing online data storage. Its free for some websites and not free for other websites.
I have a friend that I made through Facebook. I call her my Facebook friend. She is a prolific writer and her name is Robin Renee Ray. And she is a powerhouse. She had the crash on her computer. And had to rebuild her computer from the ground up almost. She was also in the process of writing a story. Can you imagine the stress she must have gone through? I can and I am not finished the second book. The first book was poetry which is due out in the end of the year.
Another Facebook friend I had made was Blake. He had a third internet crash dump and got himself a whole new laptop. For those of us who make our living by writing alone, the computer or laptop becomes one of the most important people in our lives outside of our family, our attorney and our doctor. So we need to have one that works and is in good condition. It should also be one that is portable, lightweight, and doesn’t have a lot of trouble using wi-fi or wireless hotspots. I say this because the laptop that I currently use doesn’t allow you to sign into any internet service without using their network security code. Without that, you have no access to the internet that is available. If you go to Wildwood, New Jersey, it costs at one hotel about $35.00 to use that internet and I believe you have to pay before you use it. All of this to say that our computers are an extension of our person for work. They must be in tip top shape.
So when you read your next romance novel, and you feel that you just don’t like the heroine, or you think it’s a stupid story, think of all the hard work that went into writing that story that you are reading. And then bless the writer whose laptop may have crashed right before sending it to the agent to be reviewed to edit and do all other various sorts of activities prior to publishing so that it may make its way to the store and into your home.
Bless your Romance Novel Writer today- buy a novel.

The Twisting Tale


by Kay Springsteen

I once had a dog named Hero. His tail was broken in three places before he even left his puppyhood behind because he had been born with tail bones that were on the brittle side. His tail had a natural curl over his back, then it twisted severely to the right, then to the left, and then back toward his rump. He never seemed to feel the breaks when they happened. He kind of just accepted them. One break happened when he was born. The second when he was about 8 weeks old and got it caught in the wires of the puppy pen. The third break we were never sure what happened. We went out for the evening and when we came home, he had another broken place.The twists and turns of his tail became woven into his personality. In the same way, the various twists and turns our stories take become part of the personna of the tale we are telling.

Most people read or write fiction in order to escape into a story that takes us out of our daily lives, and puts us smack in the middle of someone else’s life. Maybe we crave more excitement, maybe we want to forget the fact that our electric bill tripled this month. Either way, without a little creative storytelling, a few unexpected twists to the plot, or breaks in the tail, there is no story to tell. Enter the writer’s friend: The Plot Twist.

Who cares if we can relate because the heroine’s fiance broke up with her? That’s old news, possibly even happened to us once. So honey, suck it up and get on with life. But when the heroine who lost her fiance gets on a plane to track him down in a foreign country, meets a cute but somewhat shady French native. loses her passport, can’t get it replaced, and finds her cute new friend used her luggage to smuggle something through French Customs…THAT’S more exciting. In case you don’t recognize the scenerio, that’s French Kiss with Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline. In the same vein, how many Cinderella stories can you tolerate? Who really cares about the hooker on the street corner? But put one on a corner being picked up by an uber-rich hunk of a guy with a brooding nature, who wants to pay for the pleasure of her company for the rest of the week and then falls in love with her…that’s fodder for Hollywood, baby. That’s Pretty Woman. Writers take the mundane, everyday things of life, such as a group of men and women with a passion for fast cars, and spin it into an adventure of street racing, rivalry, murder, and high-stakes highway robbery (The Fast and the Furious).

So what can we, as writers, learn from Hollywood fiction? Everything. Movies are generally 1-1/2 to 2 hours of story with tight dialogue, visual stimulation and interesting plot twists. Watching how the story unfolds via the movie will give you an idea how to tighten your writing, how to develop plot twists.to make them hook the reader/watcher.

What drives your story, the characters or the plot? How do you decide where your story will take the reader and how? Do you plan the overall plot, the subplots, and the various twists ahead of time? How do you make sure the story flows without becoming too cumbersome?

Find more Kay Springsteen on Facebook

Tech Saavy


I found a new web page. It’s for tech nerds. Ah! Didn’t catch your attention?

Tech is for everyone, a problem. I have a laptop, a netbook, I need a new cell phone, dvd player and a tape recorder. All tools of the trade. For those who use a tape recorder like moi its a recorder of story ideas. My pad next to my bed fills up to much to fast. I use it to record story ideas. I have two one I bought another I got for either my birthday or Christmas. My netbook was given as a gift because my laptop broke. And my cell phone too was a gift until I turned it off because I couldn’t pay. My dvd player was a gift for my birthday or Christmas. All of which I have used to help me with my writing. You can use them and others too.

But what do you think is the best of your tools of the trade? I like both the tape recorder and the pad. When I am out I can use both, instead of napkins. When I travel, I can use the netbook instead of my laptop because its portable.

So weigh in guys on the conversation. What are your tools of the trade that help you write- maybe leave a comment or oomments on same.

NaNoMo: A Writing Experience


I joined a group for NaNoMo. There are about seven writers in this group now started by a highschool friend, with whom I have recently gotten back in touch with via the internet and a blog webpage.

Our goal as writers is to work on a work we are doing and getting critiques back. I have participated before but have no recently. My problem is discipline. When I started out writing I wrote with this writing schedule:

Monday through Friday by 6 clothes washing; 7 morning coffee; 8 shower/start clothes washing; 9 to 12 writing; 1 to 4 lunch/break; 7 on doing anything I want including writing.

Saturday through Sunday Write/errands/clean.

And I stuck to it for a while. Then I moved and it was hard for me to maintain. So I will try again. But for those who write and are in the process of writing their novel first or otherwise, I issue a challenge to those who like to write. For one month in November if you can but pick another month if you have to; pick a word amount to write per week, per day, per hour and see if you stick to it.

Will It Go Round In Circles?


There are cycles in my life. I really seem to hate them though. I want to do everything and get everything done, but heck if I can do it.

Circle One

My reading phase. When this comes in, I can’t stop reading books. I can read one book every three days and I don’t want to stop. The kids are invisible, the fiance is sadly neglected (unless I am reading erotica), and the house becomes a hurricane zone.

Circle Two

My writing phase. I will write till my fingers hurt, my wrist threatens to fall off, and my eyes are blurry. Everything is wonderful and I am going to submit this story as soon as I am finished. No publishing house would dare turn this awesome story down. (Delusions of Grandure deluxe)

Circle Three

My TV phase. I have to make sure that I watch everything on my DVR and watch entire seasons of shows on Netflix. There is too much to watch all the time and then I have to DVR more so I can watch that.

Circle Four

My crafty phase. I will pull out the oil paints, the stencils, the yarn, everything but the kitchen sink. It will look like Michaels store exploded in my house. Everyone is going to get hand made gifts this year for Christmas, and to heck with them if they don’t like it.

Circle Five

My “I don’t give a crap” phase. I don’t want to do anything. Nothing gives me joy, nothing matters and I turn into a vegetable. Though no one can figure out which one I am.

I wish there was a way to combine all the Circles. I guess then that would be a Venn Diagram. But how that would work to make them all work at once, I don’t know what would work. If I could get them to work like this…

Maybe that would be cool. But see how little the space is where it all meshes? Little steps are the way t go.

I’m reading a book that should help with this. Learning to do little things at a time and not feeling like you have to do it all at once. Of course, if I could, I would just read and write.

Do you go in circles like I do? What would you like to do if you could only pick two things?

Romance Writers Make the Best Lovers


When you write a spicy sex scene for your book, normally there isn’t much research going into it. Unless you are writing about Fetishes that you haven’t tried yourself.

Normally sex scenes come straight through imagination and fantasies.

When an author sits down to the keyboard and starts writing out these wonder scenes, the juices and the words flow naturally. Each movement, word, caress comes through the brain and into the fingers and onto the paper. There is no need to research, plan, or plot.

It’s right there fresh and in the mind. And most normal red blooded females will turn their head and look at the person they love and their libido piques. They walk over…oh, never mind, I’m sure you understand where this is going.

Not only writers get this wonderful hormonal surge, so do the readers of their wonderful works. I’ve been known to review books and rate them on the ‘O’ scale. When an author can take you there with their work, it’s then that you know this person knows how to take words and weave a web of seduction and desire.

One of my favorite web weavers is Kissa Starling. Each story scorches my mind and delivers a great deal of satisfaction. One of the newest and hottest authors I’ve read is Karen Bostrom. I just read Red Leather Reunion and even though the main characters don’t have intercourse the sexual tension is just amazing.

Who are your favorite sensual authors?

*****
AJ Best
A touch of real life in every story.

Everything I Wanted to Know About Writing I Learned From My Cats


An insomniac has tons of times to think about writing (when one should be writing) and what they have learned and how. I honestly think that my cats taught me most of what I need to know.

1. Steady and cunning get you what you want. If you don’t have a cat and have never seen them stalk a fly/ladybug/moth you’ve missed out on a lifetime of lessons. They will sit as still as can be and stalk that thing till it’s just in reach. And eight times out of ten, they get what they are going after.

Just like writing! You have to be steady in your course and you will achieve your goals. You have to make sure that you keep the eye on the prize. If you don’t get it the first time keep on keeping on, it WILL happen.

2. Know who you can lean on. Cats are particularly finicky over who they will ‘sit’ with. My cat Thor will walk up to me, and nudge the laptop from my lap, curl up, and fall asleep. He only stays there long enough for a cat nap, but he knows that he can do it and won’t be chastised for it. Our cat Belle will only lay on you when you are laying down and near sleep, when she feels safest.

In writing you need to know who you can go to for critiques, ideas, and a good pick me up. There are some out there that you can’t trust, and those that would be hurtful to your ‘mojo’. You don’t want to ask someone to critique your work if they are going to say, “Seriously? You think you can write? That scene where they are in the cafe SUCKS!” After something like that, you may never write again. If you can find a friend who will look at it and say, “You did a good job, but I think some work could be done on the cafe scene. I was a little confused when she walked out. Can you tell me more?”

3. When life gets hectic go to another room and vegitate. When the kids are running around, I’m cooking, my fiance happens to be working on computers or filling up the wood stove, it can get hectic in the house. The cats then know it’s time to head upstairs into the bedrooms or hide in the living room when everyone is in the den.

When I write, I can’t do it around the family with the kids screeching, the dog barking, the dishwasher and washer going (man that last spin cycle is LOUD). I have to take myself out of the hectic atmosphere and go somewhere where the romance can flow. I hide in my room where my office is, some like to go to the library, or a coffee shop. You need to figure out what is right for you and go there, do that.

Realize that you can get an inspiration for writing from anywhere, so keep your eyes open and keep writing.

Please Clean Your Lint Filter


by Kay Springsteen

Have you ever washed a blanket and dried it in your dryer and then discovered a good portion of the blanket has ended up in the lint trap as a layer of fluff? I swear, sometimes when I clean my dryer’s lint filter, there’s so much fluff there I could use it to make a second blanket. The only thing is, no matter how much fluff is in that filter, when you peel it out of there, all you have in your hand is a wad of fluff. It may have peeled off in a sheet but the moment you try to spread it across a bed, it’s going to fall apart. Why? Because it’s fluff, insubstantial and useless.

Have you ever been writing along and gotten so caught up in the setting that you spend a great amount of time describing the sweeping lawns of the mansions, the canopy of trees lining the old street, the tall white columns of the Greek ruin? Have you found yourself so entranced by your setting that you go into painstaking detail about every bent blade of grass in each trace of footstep in the normally well-manicured lawn, when maybe all you need is to mention that someone had left a trail of imprints when they cut across the lawn? Consider two different sentences saying the same thing.

In the forest, leaves in every color and hue clung to the trees, as the vivid reds and oranges high overhead battled for attention against pale yellows and dark greens of the lower bushes.

The example above is descriptive and definitely informs the reader that this is autumn in the woods. But it’s also a little wordy, and as a reader, I would probably skip that sort of passage and go looking for the real heart of the story. In short, this sentence is dryer fluff. It takes too many words to put the picture in the minds of the readers.

Autumn had splashed her vivid palette across the forest canvas.

The second example also paints a fairly vivid picture of autumn in the woods, and since most people reading your stories will know what autumn color looks like, it’s likely they will be able to picture an autumn wood without being told of the presence of each color. The second example is the real blanket that you will use to keep warm. It doesn’t fall apart because it’s not made of flimsy fluff.

These two examples are very extreme ends of the spectrum. In reality, the best solution for fluffy writing is possibly to set a goal for somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. Description is not an exact science. But if you start noticing that you’ve written paragraphs filled with detailed description of a setting or an outfit or a meal, you should probably check your story’s lint trap and see if it needs to be emptied.

Romantic Gestures – Romance Books vs. Real Life


I’ve been thinking about romantic gestures lately. What is considered romantic? When you delve into a good romance book, there are GREAT feats of romantic gestures.

In a romance novel:

  • A man will take you and whisk you away to a getaway where you can make sweet beautiful love in the luxury of a cabin on a snowy mountain.
  • A man will pick you up when you are feeling ill and carry you in his strong arms away from what is making you ill and hold you close till you are better.
  • A man will buy you diamonds, cars, houses.
  • A man will scale mountains to rescue you from a kidnapper and will beat/kill the man who dared to harm you.

I don’t know about you, but I think I want to go in a romance novel and live. Romance is not like that for me. What about you? But…My real life romantic gestures are much better, at least to me.

In real life a man may:

  • Rub your back while you’re being sick with the stomach flu.
  • Carry your purse in public – without complaining.
  • Kiss you in public.
  • Wash your hair for you every day for three years.
  • Walk past you while going into another room and touch your shoulder.
  • Let you lie in his lap and play with your hair while you watch TV.
  • Indulge you in your desire to be kissed anytime he asks you to do something, as payment of course.
  • Hold your hand in public.
  • Hold your hand in private.
  • Open the car/store/house door for you and let you walk in first.
  • Call you in the middle of the day just to hear your voice and make sure you are OK.

I’ve decided – I don’t wan to live in a romance book. I like the romantic gestures I have now. What are some of your favorite romance book or real life romantic gestures?