Sunday, July 13, 2008

Romance How To

I received a link from a friend of mine for a Mahalo page that she wrote. Jenn has created several pages for this information site, but she sent me this one because she knew I’d find it interesting and because as one of my dear friends and critique partners, she’s watched the publishing journey I’ve been on for the past year.

The page is called
How To Write a Romance Novel. The article gives a variety of basic writing how to's and advice, but also gives information that is important for writing a romance novel in particular. There is some very good information on this page for writers. The article covers basics like market research, fiction writing 101—developing plot and what has to be a part of a well written story, researching and outlining as well as the writing and revision processes. But what made this interesting to me in particular were the sections particular to romance writing, characters and the intimate parts.

After reading it over, I found that I only had one minor disagreement with it and that was on character development for the heroine. According to the article one of the qualifications is that the heroine be:

Attractive, even if she doesn't know or believe she is attractive.

My difference of opinion here comes in that I don’t believe the heroine actually has to be physically attractive in the general or accepted sense; she only has to be physically attractive to the hero. She should be or grow to be the embodiment of his fantasy, his desire. He should find her beautiful and desirable even if no other man does. I mean you don’t want to horrifically disfigure anyone, but even a plain Jane, or below average Betty is a wonderful heroine if the handsome hunk falls heels over head. For example:

Looking up at Leah’s face he marveled at how she had changed in his eyes. She looked no different than she had that first day, except for the growing evidence of her pregnancy. Yet James couldn’t for the life of him remember why he hadn’t found her beautiful. Those green eyes, the soft full mouth, the sweet way she spoke, the gentle yet strong touch of her hands, how could he not have seen it? And now, swollen with the life of their family, she was even more beautiful.

He lowered his head and she welcomed his mouth. Her kiss tasted sweet. Her tongue met his and joined it in a wet velvety dance. He moaned against her lips and twisted his fingers in her hair. She moved her hand down his bare chest and the sensation made his need for her blaze to life. She was more than he believed he’d ever deserve, more than he’d dreamed he would find. She was his wife. She was his Leah.

-Access Denied, Cerridwen Press

But check out the page. Jenny Hudock is a great writer in her own right and the article is well researched and well written. Jenn writes a good deal of the writing how to’s for the Mahalo site including: How to Write a Fantasy Novel, How to Write a Novel, How to Write a Poem and How to Write a Short Story.

Tomorrow we are expecting another Smudgie sighting. We should find out if we are expecting a boy or a girl. We were discussing this over dinner a couple of days ago and my SO came to the conclusion we’d better hope for a boy because if we have a girl she’s going to hate us by the time she’s ten. Especially me. We discussed a variety of issues and I seem to be the hard-nose, but only by a small margin.

Bedtime-Absolutely until you are 13, then it is a curfew. However, Mom retains the right to revoke this privilege if it is too hard to get your backside up for school.

Clothing-Mom decides what you may wear (not what you will wear each day, but what is in the pool you may choose from) until you are sixteen. However, Mom retains the right to revoke this privilege if she catches you dressing like a hose-monster or a total thug. And remember, Mom is a teacher. You will be going to school in one of the feeder schools that attaches to where Mom works. I know the teachers, I know the Principals and I have a 100 minute planning period every day which is plenty of time to make it to the high school, peek in a classroom window and leave. So the friend bringing you close to change at school? Probably a pretty risking thing if you don’t want to be the only kid in the school dressed like Laura Ingalls.

Piercings- (The image shown is an example of a “corset piercing” where eyelets pierced through the back or rings are put in place to allow the back to be laced up.) We disagree on this one with the SO, surprisingly, looking at me like I’m ridiculous. I say no one needs an extra hole in their body until they are old enough to take care of it, let’s say 13. Kell would be okay with this in elementary school. I’m not-I have no desire to be on alcohol and “did you remember to turn the earings today” patrol. Amazingly, though, I actually have no problem with bellybutton and eyebrow piercing past age 16 as long as they don’t violate school dress code and you take care of them. Because of the dangers to nerves and veins if you get a disreputable or careless piercer, no tongues until have your own insurance.

Tattoos- Mom has two. Mom likes tattoos. Tattoos are sexy on other people than my children. But Smudgie isn’t getting one until he’s 18 and I can’t stop it. And if you get something stupid, Mom reserves the right to make fun of you and laugh until she cries. She did this to your Uncle Mack and your Uncle Kyle, she’ll do it to you too. Mom had convinced your Uncle Kyle that the big tattoo across his shoulders that said, “Knowledge is Power” was misspelled. Everyone knows there is no d in knowledge. *wink* Not to mention telling him his Chinese characters actually said, “Stupid White boy thinks this means something.” Of course your other parental unit told him it meant pork fried rice. Just remember, your Grandma Mary will not be here to make us stop.
I will undoubtedly be the most hated mother in the world. I’d rather how strict I was be the subject of the therapy couch years from now than a topic for the probation officer.

For more interesting stuff check out the blogs of Anny Cook, Amarinda Jones and Kelly Kirch. I do believe Anny and Amarinda are cooking up a contest for their upcoming releases. Be sure to also peek at the other blog links down the side. Lots of good stuff going on.


Sandra Cox said...

I've never heard of back piercings. Oh the pain. I thought it was just a tight fitting flesh colored top. duh me.

Bronwyn's Blog said...

I've seen corset piercings in worse places. Yikes. And the PeeWee Herman tattoo is just...terrifying.

Let us know about Smudgie!

Amarinda Jones said...

How To Write a Romance Novel? anyway you like I believe is the answer. Why do we need books on how to do stuff? Just do it

Molly Daniels said...

I'm with you on the piercings. My daughter asked when she could get her ears pierced, and I said "12, but we'll negotiate at 10". She's now 14 and is showing no interest yet.

Smae goes for the tatts and extra piercings. When my kids leave my house at age 18 and choose to 'decorate' their skin, Mom retains the right to make fun of them.

Anny Cook said...

Oooooh. A corset piercing! How did I mist that? Oh, wow. Now I know what I'll use in Arri's book!

BethRe said...

corset piercings Uh that is a big NO

Kelly Kirch said...

Any child would be lucky to have you two. I can't WAIT to hear about Smudgie!