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Romance Writer's Phrase Book (Perigee Book) Paperback – March 21, 1984
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
It is exactly what it claims to be--a romance phrase book. It covers looks, feelings, facial expressions, voices, and, of course, sex. This last category I found the most lacking. The sex is the most important part of a romance novel--it's why most people read the books. I felt that the phrases used here were a bit... reserved. They skirted around the lovemaking and didn't get around to the nitty-gritty of it. We get phrases like "love flowed in her like warm honey" and "gusts of desire shook her," but not much that actually gets down to describing the act of intercourse. I guess this is what I have to come up with on my own.
Something I was hoping to find in a book like this is more words for anatomy. There is a section on physical appearance--both male and female--but they're the shortest sections in the book. Again, I found this book a little reserved. Where are the euphemisms for that certain part of the male anatomy? There are plenty of words to use, but it's difficult to know which to use when... and this book helps none at all with that. Again, this is one of the most important parts of a romance novel.Read more ›
Yes, the book was written back in the 80sm so yes, the verbiage and trends in "how" you say things has changed. Any reference books can become out of date. However, the overall message and purpose of the book seems to have been overlooked. The Romance Writers' Phrase Book is a guide that's meant to inspire an author and get a writer to understand the importance and the role of the "descriptive tag/phrase" when it comes to the overall art of writing as a whole.
Romance fiction in particular relies a great deal on emotion and internal conflict. Neglecting the little details, those descriptive phrases, can make or break a story. When I open this book, I'm not looking for a word-for-word phrasing I can simply cut and paste into my manuscript. Romance writing (heck, any writing) is never that simple or that formulaic. For me, the phrase book is a good starting point when I'm stumped on a gesture or where to start on how I want to describe an action or a particular emotion.
The Romance Writers' Phrase Book has everything from describing facial features like eyes, noses, lips, and foreheads to common actions like sitting, standing, and shrugging. It covers positive gestures like smiling, to negative gestures, expanding the basic frown to include visual cues like the eyebrows and eyes. The book covers a wide range of "emotion" tags/phrases as well.Read more ›
And yet, in spite of all that, this book is nonetheless still quite a fun read, so long as you don't take it too seriously. Honestly, most of the phrases listed in it are downright hilarious! Read them out with your friends while you're drinking margheritas. Test how long you can keep a straight face before you have to laugh at how ridiculous they are.
My advice to you is that if you want a good laugh, then go ahead and purchase this book. However, if you're looking to buy it because you need advice on how to write a good, original romance book and be taken seriously as an author, then look elsewhere. Elizabeth Benedict's book, 'The Joy of Writing Sex' is an excellent alternative. Or try a simple, old fashioned thesaurus. I'm sure Amazon sells them.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Helps keep repetition down when writing a romance. :DPublished 2 months ago by Yep, that's what I said...
I picked this paperback up at a library book sale without opening it first. At least it was only a quarter. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kindle Customer
Excellent phrase book, very thorough and perfectly organized. A true blessing to use. Thank you authors!Published 3 months ago by RONNI
I use this reference book CONSTANTLY. It not only has phrases to use pertaining to the act of sex, but the subtlety of romance from every aspect. Through a smile, laugh, movement. Read morePublished 3 months ago by D. Dauria
I had hoped this would provide me some ideas for writing . . . or at least a good laugh. It did neither.Published 6 months ago by Bama Girl