(Making Your Words Work for
Copyright Rachel Carrington - All Rights
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
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.
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
How about My brain
screamed in agony as boredom set in, and She combed
the linen pages of the book, held captive by the
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 www.dawnrachel.com