This week’s Random Craft extract comes from ANOTHER book which has been sitting on my shelf for a few years practically untouched.
Please welcome Elizabeth Benedict’s ”The Joy Of
I’m ashamed to admit this is ANOTHER book I haven’t
read in its entirety. My decisions to read through my craft books generally end up a bit like New Year’s Resolutions… they don’t last. But Ivé heard plenty of people RAVE about this baby.
I randomly opened the book at page 59, which is all about making the sexual relationship between your h&H not explicit but SPECIFIC. This is not only for the physical side of their relationship but also character as a whole. Elizabeth writes, “The specific is what makes you fall in love with one person instead of another.” She goes onto explain how to create specificity in character.
Details in the differences between characters’ dialogue, emotions, actions and the way they feel about the landscape around them.
When writing sex in a novel it has to be about your two SPECIFIC characters not a mere love scene that could be plucked out of one book and randomly replaced in another. The way to make sex scenes matter is to make them character specific.
Hope that makes sense… as usually I’m typing this when I’m totally brain dead after a long day.
Anyone read more of The Joy of Sex? Did you recall any other gems in there, you’d like to share?
I’ve always wanted to join a book club and this was one of the things I was able to do when I recently moved towns. The library was starting up a community book club and I was quick to sign up.
One of the appeals of a book club is the social aspect of chatting to other book lovers. It’s really interesting hearing how very different various people’s takes on a book can be. Reading is a very personal thing. And then there’s the supper of yummy food that is generally shared at the end.
But so far, the thing I’m enjoying most is the books I’m reading that I may not have picked up myself. I admit I am someone who JUDGES A BOOK BY ITS COVER. Always have, probably always will but I’m not the one picking all the books at book club so I can’t do this.
This month we are reading The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
. It is the story of Dinah, Jacob’s only daughter, from the bible. She is only mentioned very briefly in the bible and her story is told from the point of view of her brothers. In The Red Tent Anita Diamant tells the story of Dinah from her point of view and Dinah tells what life was like for the other women of her time – her mum and her aunts.
I’m only 100 pages into this book but for some reason it is gripping me. I don’t know if it’s because it’s an alternative history (albeit a made up one) and I like these kind of things or if it is the writing. The writing in itself is very simple and there is not much dialogue. It is much more like a memoir.
I know had this book not been chosen for book club I would never have picked it up. But I’m glad I did.
Anyone else a member of a book club? Have you read a book through book club that you’ve liked but perhaps wouldn’t have picked up on your own? I’d love to hear your reading experiences.
Have been wracking my brain what to blog about!
Thought about chatting about my parenting highs and woes but the hilarious Caitlyn Nicholas
does a MUCH better job at me than that.
Thought about interviewing characters but the talented Helene Young
has been running a series of posts like this on her blog and if you haven’t checked them out already then you MUST!
Thought about running a contest but a) I’ve got nothing worth giving away yet and b) The lovely Minxes
have got contests covered this month.
Thought about painting another picture to post but… well… I think the last one I did speaks for why that was NOT a good idea.
Then I read Fleur McDonald’s
groovy posts about bookshelves – you must check this out. It made me feel a WHOLE lot better about my own bookshelves which are over-crammed and not ordered at all. It also made me glance at said bookshelves and recall the numerous craft books I have, which have barely been touched. Seriously, I could get away with selling MOST of them as NEW!
And THAT gave me idea! I thought each week, I’d randomly open one of the craft books on my shelf and post a quick snippet about what’s on that page.
So… drum roll… the first RANDOM CRAFT POST goes to NO PLOT? NO PROBLEM by
Chris Baty (famous for National Novel Writing Month) randomly opened to page 77, which provides a little fun advice for the dedicated writer.
His idea here is ”Treat-o-Rama.” Chris states that “Allowing yourselves loads of restaurant meals, sugary treats and exotic beverages is the best way to keep your spirits high during the exhausting mental acrobatic routines you’ll be pulling off the next month as you write.” He goes on to suggest ways of feeding your muse during NaNoWriMo – takeaway meals, cooking in mass before the months starts, massive snacks and constantly pumping your body with fluids (water a must amongst the other less healthy bevs).
Now while RANDOM CRAFT POST this week was not specifically about writing craft it did seem an apt choice because next week Romance Writers of Australia 50ks in 30day
s thus begin. I have signed up to add 30k in 30 days to the current wip.
Anyone else signed up? If so… what TREATS do you plan to bribe your muse with???
Thought it was about time I popped up and made an appearance before people started wondering if I’d dropped off the planet.
As usual, life has been crazy with kids and work and unfortunately writing is reserved for the tiny, late hours of the night where my brain has already headed to bed. In this time, I’ve been working on my FIRST EVER edits.
I suppose I was lucky in that I did a quite major rewrite before subbing the full again to my editor, so the changes are reasonably minor.
Carina has a fabulous system of using Track Changes, which I already use with my CPs, so at least I didn’t have to get used to that.
One thing I thought I’d done bad hadn’t was change all my spelling to American but unfortunately I missed a zillion of these so they were the first things to go. This was relatively easy, as was changing an number of Aussie-isms – terms/phrases that are very Australian and therefore may cause the overseas reader to stumble. The amount of these astounded me – I really didn’t think I had that much of an Aussie vocabulary but its amazing how many words I used without thinking.
As these are my first edits, I’m making up the process as I go along. My process thus far is to start with the really, really easy changes – accept them, then go onto the easy changes- do them, and leave the actual rewrites and adding significant chunks until the end.
I have a kid-free day today and that is what I’m planning to do… start stage three of edits. Wish me luck!
Would love to hear how other people tackle edits?
Last night I had the absolute pleasure of attending Leah Ashton’s Hen’s Night. Her two gorgeous sisters did a completely brilliant job of planning and pulling off the event.
The highlight of the evening – aside from the hilarious drinking quiz games – was when a male model turned up for everyone girl in attendance to paint. NUDE!!!
It was very fun and Leah, Nikki Logan and my brains were all ticking over with how we could put such a scenario into our next book, but I did learn one thing. Painting people – especially nude men – is not my forte! My artwork can only be described as abstract art or The Naked Gorilla as I like to call it.
The Naked Gorilla
Have done a bit of driving and a fair bit of reading lately and have realised there is one thing I absolutely DESPISE in romance.
I won’t tell you the two books that made me realise this but I’ll say one was a book chosen for my book club and another the second book in a US YA series. I adored the first book in this series but this one is irritating me. I WILL finish it because I loved the first book and want to see if it gets better but… well… maybe I should tell you what IT is that annoys me.
I HATE it when I can see NO GOOD REASON why one character would fall in love with the other. In the bookclub book, I couldn’t understand why the hero would stick by the heroine as she went through numerous problems, when she hadn’t given him anything back. No humour, no flirting, not much ”nice” at all really. In the YA book, I cannot warm to the hero and so far (I’m about a 3rd through) I cannot see why the heroine will fall for the hero, which she obviously will do cos it’s a romance. I get that he’s a BAD BOY but so far, I haven’t seen ANYTHING to like.
So, I’m curious… what’s YOUR Pet Hate in romance books???