Talk to Me

(Making Your Words Work for You)

Copyright Rachel Carrington - All Rights Reserved


Writing romance isn’t just about stringing words together to convey what you want the reader to know. It’s about creating imagery, making that reader’s imagination go to work. Let’s face it. If someone is reading a romance book, they want more than just the basic facts, the bare minimum, so to speak. Take the following sentence for example.

She was very pretty.

Those four simple words say what the writer wants to convey, but what does the reader see? Do they picture a voluptuous blonde with artificially white teeth, or do they just skim the words and move on? As writers, we have the ability to use words as our tools, to shape and define a novel into a moving picture of words. Now, let's try the sentence again, and this time, let's jazz it up a little.  

Her beauty haunted him.

Hmm, certainly better than what we last tried, isn't it? It packs a different punch. It's obvious to a reader that the writer isn't talking about your everyday attractive woman, at least not where the hero is concerned. I'm sure you get my point here. Words can either speak to or bore a reader. Get in the habit of using active verbs which catch the reader off-guard, words that will linger long after the reader's eyes have covered the last page.

What about boring adjectives like pretty and handsome? In my first romance novel, I used pretty to describe the heroine every single time she entered a room. Twenty-two years and many novels later, I've discovered an expanded vocabulary which makes my readers see what my characters are doing.

Which brings me to my final point…making your words work for you. As important as this is in your manuscript, it's equally important in the first glimpse an editor gets of your talent. Anyone can write a book composed of simple, boring sentences like I was bored or She read the book. But can you excite the reader using different verbs?

How about My brain screamed in agony as boredom set in, and She combed the linen pages of the book, held captive by the story?

Your novel is yours and yours alone. No one can tell you how to change it or how to tell the story you want to tell, but these guidelines can make your story better…if you'll let them.


About the Author: Rachel Carrington is a multi-published author of paranormal and fantasy romance and currently writes for Ellora's Cave, Red Sage Publishing, and Samhain Publishing. Additionally, she is the editor-in-chief and co-owner of Vintage Romance Publishing and has written non-fiction articles for Absolute Write, Writers Weekly, Funds for Writers, and Writing for Dollars. Readers may visit her on the web at




Easy Way to Write Romance - by Rob Parnell