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Romance Writer's Phrase Book: The Essential Source Book for Every Romantic Novelist (Perigee Book) Paperback – March 21, 1984
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It's difficult to give much credibility to a book that late-night talk-show hosts read from in order to titillate their audiences, an indignity that has been endured by The Romance Writers' Phrasebook. But this slim volume, which lists more than 3,000 descriptive phrases, is actually a useful resource, and not only to romance writers. Any writer looking for a picturesque way of describing a character, demonstrating action, or revealing emotion will benefit from the advice of authors Jean Kent and Candace Shelton.
Well-organized and arranged for quick reference, The Romance Writers' Phrasebook is divided into easy to search categories such as "Physical Description," "Body Movements," "Facial Expressions," "Emotion," and "Colors." Because it was originally published in 1984, many of the descriptive phrases have long since become cliché and exact usage should be avoided. The phrasebook is most useful as a source of inspiration and ideas for helping writers develop their own descriptive style.
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Are you tired of being the literary equivalent of the ninety-eight pound weakling at the beach whose face jocks and editors love to kick sand into?
Is there a dynamic sexy stud or tantalizing love goddess of unearthly delights just waiting beyond your staid exterior, yearning to erupt in a frenzy of mad orgasmic literary self-expression?
Then feast your sharp probing eyes on the curvaceous pages of this rock-hard literary tome, Lover!
After a quick inventory of the many captivating twists and turns of phraseology contained in this stimulating primer, I myself left my job as a technical writer for Underwriter's Weekly to become the annecdote writer for Penthouse Magazine. Now I can't even fill out a grocery store coupon without attracting legions of redhot lovers desperate to make love to every inch of my tanned and well-toned literary body of work! Women want me and men want to be like me! Please help me, I need to get my life back!
But seriously, folks, this book really works and most people's prose could use a little sexing-up. Buy it read it use it. You will gasp in gratitude at the end.
The book is an enormously helpful tool, if you give it the proper chance, and appreciate it for what it is. I don't use it to copy the phrases. I use it to spark my own imagination, to help me come up with my own phrases.
So often only cliches come to mind when I try to write a sex scene, or even a passionate kiss. This phrasebook offers such a wonderful variety of descriptions for that kind of thing. It reminds me that the English language is much more interesting than my day to day vocabulary.
I might use a verb from one phrase, combine it with a noun on the next page, then maybe add a cool metaphor of my own that I wouldn't have thought of if I hadn't been inspired by something from the phrase book.
I highly recommend this book to writers of fiction, whatever the genre. Let it assist you, perhaps even inspire you . . . and feel free to laugh at all the silly stuff. :)
Yes, one could think of it as cheating but really, couldn't we say we've all cheated. Don't we get much of what we write from our own experiences from watching others, from other stories we've heard, and from all those books we've soaked up over the years.
Face it, for most of us, writing is a learning experience. One that with time we grow and learn and get better which only comes from trial and error and persistence. Until we get to be the writers we aspire to be, why not use every possible tool we can that's available to us. Eventually you won't need this book but until then it's a way to get over those humps.
This was definitely one of the greatest writing tools I've invested in.
If you are an aspiring romance writer, as I am, I believe you will find some useful stuff in there to expand your writing skills. It's easy to read, and categorized very well. I'll keep this book handy as I write.