Ask a male author about your male character traits or thoughts.

Amazon links to my stories: Autumn Breeze, A More Perfect Union, Double Happiness, The Wolves of Sherwood Forest, Neanderthals and the Garden of Eden can be found down the right side of the blog.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Sixth Sense

There are five senses, right? Sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Fiction writers are constantly being told to use your senses. Good authors do when it organically fits the scene. But in romance fiction we need one more sense.
I’m not talking about anything paranormal, other-worldly, unexplained, ghostly, sci-fi, horror or fanciful. That’s a discussion for another time. I’m talking about the sense of humor. Okay, I know it’s not a sense, although the way some psychologists describe it, you’d think otherwise.
So why then, humor? If you’ve ever read various studies of what a mate wants in his/her opposite, a sense of humor ranks at or near the top. It often tops looks! Lightheartedness usually sustains a relationship (along with empathy, love, commitment). We write romance and yet one novel after another forgets to inject humor by either or both the heroine and hero. Sad.
This doesn’t mean you have to be a comedian or study humor, memorize jokes or construct clever phrases. Draw on your experiences at the least. Ain’t there always a cut-up in the crowd. Someone who found irony in something? Some joke during sex? Analogies will do nicely. Double entendres are easy. Deliberately taking the alternative and wrong meaning from something a person said. Just being witty.
Don’t overdo it, especially if you aren’t a Jack Benny, Henny Youngman, Robin Williams...
Consider a romance novel without humor. Would you ask yourself why the hell they got together? Would their life in the castle be as dreary as the cold damp walls?
When Harry Met Sally, 1989, the “I’ll have what she’s having, scene.”
https://youtu.be/F-bsf2x-aeE

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy to announce

I'm happy to announce that I won the San Diego Book Award on June 10th 2017 for Autumn Breeze as best published general romance for this year.

I expect to be back to blogging next Sunday and every Sunday thereafter.

Thanks for your support.

RW Richard aka Bob Richard

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Some men are dogs

She’s smart, accomplished, pretty, empathetic, loving, 31 and serious about getting married, an attorney and black. She’s the bachelorette on ABC’s hit show. I say black with a bravo for ABC which broke the color barrier in 2017 on this show. Whoopee. When did Jackie Robinson play ball? It’s about time. I can’t say the same for Hallmark romances, but don’t get me started.
Sometimes people watch the show to figure out who she’ll pick (she’s engaged to the mystery gentleman). Some watch to figure out who will be the next bachelor. Even though early in the show, I have a prediction. I predict Copper will be the next Bachelor. Copper is Rachel’s dog and better looking than some of the men. She doesn’t go anywhere without him which gives Copper a leg up. Some of the men are bad dogs, like DeMario. Bad dog. We’ll have to see if Rachel can find another faithful companion, best friend. Someone who gives her unconditional love. None of them can kiss like Copper. Picture that.
Here’s a peek at Rachel and some of the men on the Ellen Degeneres Show. (2017):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvwO9kv5xig

Pop quiz:

On the Hallmark premier of Destination Wedding, June 3, 2107 was the wedding sequence at the end?
A. Secretly planned by friends and family of the hero and heroine.
B. The second of two ceremonies.
C. A scene from a later time (then the one planned for the heroine's sister).
D. The only wedding that happened.

Monday, May 29, 2017

I Just Know

All For Love
Did you ever hear a friend say, “I just know (about him).”? This sometimes works in life but not in romance novels. At least not after chapter one. It works in life because of the amazing complexity of love. I just know she’s for me because I’m a subconscious competent. Conscious competents are in the process of learning how to love. They make mistakes. A conscious incompetent recognizes he’s a screw up and wants to change, maybe. Am unconscious incompetent has not a clue. This person should seriously consider joining an order (and learn to love humanity).
Perhaps you sat your friend down and pried loose some concrete examples to support her feelings. Maybe a light went on. Maybe the light was there already in the glean of her eyes.
In honor of Memorial Day, on Saturday, Hallmark premiered, All For Love. The heroine writes romance. The hero is a retired Navy SEAL. Although this story had it’s flaws, I enjoyed it. Especially the way the writer/heroine portrayed A-list authors who take umbrage at suggestions about the way their hero and heroine manage to overcome obstacles.
If you watch this one, I’d like to hear whether these two make a good pair. The writer of the movie certainly proceeded with care to show the whys that made the wows.
Does the type of love a Navy SEAL lives everyday make him/her a good mate? God bless our men and women in uniform and all those who came before.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=all+for+love+hallmark&&view=detail&mid=867E084D53C3853B8F8B867E084D53C3853B8F8B&FORM=VRDGAR 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Tooting your own horn

Tooting your own horn

Whenever we correspond with our teammates at RWA San Diego it is considered and ruled that we not hawk our books. However, good news, is an exception.
     
The 2017 San Diego Book Awards finalists were just announced.
My dear friend, Regan Walker, finaled for Historical (novel length) Fiction with To Tame The Wind. A story I was privileged enough to get an advance read of and fortunate enough to have read. Reading each others’ work at the chapter is another way of growing. Believe it or not there’s always something to critique. The only work of fiction I could not critique was titled and written as: For sale: baby shoes, never worn. Ernest Hemingway, the minimalist, is attributed with this gem.
Robert W Richard, that’s me, is a finalist with my entry in general romance, Autumn Breeze, for the SDBA. I have the many suggestions and critiques of my fellow authors to thank for the polishing of this story.
Regan and I have something very much in common about our works. We sweated every word. We loved our stories with abandon from the moment of creation to it’s birth (which was more than nine months in my case). Herein lies the tiny lesson for today’s blog. Don’t write for the sake of writing. Write the story that burns your soul.
Whoever wrote this review is a better writer than moi:
A complex, emotionally gripping and compelling book.
This is the best kind of novel. The kind that weaves honest, factual contemporary history (9/11 and its aftermath), into the fabric of a compelling love story. Plus a lot of intrigue and adventure. So you end up learning a lot, and getting an appreciation of actual history, while enjoying a heartfelt love story at the same time.
The Autumn of the title is a teenage girl. She's forced by circumstances to find new parents. In doing so, she gets involved with some pretty fascinating characters (well developed by the author), and some dangerous situations. But not just danger: love and romance too. The author doesn't pull any punches about the dark side of life: a terrorist is after her, and the suspense at times is intense.
One thing I like a lot about Autumn Breeze is that it doesn't take the low road that so many other novels take these days in knocking intellectuality. There is an appreciation of intellect here. Also of heroism, spirituality, and true love. Which makes it awfully hard to categorize the novel. You can't pigeonhole it because it tackles (and succeeds on) so many levels: suspense, personal interaction and loyalty, appreciation of family, romantic love, gritty adventure. And if that isn't enough (!), it's also a love story to New York.
But a word of warning: if you're looking for a lightweight, frivolous book, this isn't for you. It is complex, and intricately plotted in a way that makes you wonder how the author ever managed to weave all the threads so seamlessly into such an enjoyable book. But he does.



Sunday, May 14, 2017

The female gaze

What She Sees (The female gaze)
This post is inspired by an article in the LA Times, May 7, 2017 written by Meredith Blake. The character was seeing a blur where the man’s groin was. Blake. She’s finishes her opening story with, “I wanted the audience to see what she would be seeing.”
Generalizing women see differently than men. There are plenty of women who love the visual side of life. Be they photographers, artists, directors... There are men who are introspective.
Most men assess a female stranger in terms of their looks. Most women see that, for sure, but tend to see meaning to a possible relationship. Hence the blur as their minds go inward into the world of creation. It’s a woman’s job to decide the future of the human race. It’s the man’s job to insure it happens.
The lA Times writer, Meredith Blake, goes on to say, “...a growing number of shows are turning women into the subject of the action rather than the object of desire.” Of course, the Times writer is also stating the preferences of women in the audience as to what they prefer to see on the screen. I believe, whether male or female we want to feel—not merely see.
Here’s where I part from the article, not in spirit, but in intent.
Writing a scene through the “eyes” of a woman must be different than through the eyes of a man. But, how to do it? It’s easy to say he notices her perfect curves, lovely face and wants her. It’s harder to say she notices his body, face etc. and wonders about what kind of man he is. That’s code for will I be heartbroken and/or miserable after night one of their dual fantasy of making love. [I had never felt that way. With me, what was most important was the possible union and let the rest take care of itself.]
Do you need to write that her vision of him blurs while she considers the consequneces? Your choice. The richness in writing comes from varying as long as it fits the arc and the true nature of the character.
It is alright to write male domination into a scene because it will only make your readers invest in and root for the heroine as she sheds her shackles and teaches a lesson.
The Times article concludes with, “—use narration, direct address and subjective fantasy sequences to convey the heroine’s unfiltered point of view directly to the (TV or movie) audience.”
I’ll let Dusty Springfield chastise women for doin’ what they do around men that get them nowhere near his heart. Of course that’s just griss for our mill.
Wishin’ and Hopin’ by Dusty Springfield 1964. I strongly recommend the artwork in this video, in that it pictorially evokes what might become words while writing the heroine’s pov.
https://youtu.be/ycbgHM1mI0k

Sunday, May 7, 2017

First dates

Is your dialogue stale?
Do you worry that you are so far removed from today’s dating scene that you’ll get it wrong. Do you lurk in bars hoping your ears are good enough and that you don’t give yourself away?
Forget it.
It is so critical that you get the beginning of your hero and heroine’s arc right. Right?
Tune into NBC’s new show First Dates (Friday nights).
The show advertises “Everything they say and do is entirely up to them.”
For the sceptic of “reality shows” maybe knowing that Ellen Degeneres is the exec producer might ease your concerns.
Of course people do strange things when on camera or do they? Do they simply get comfortable or into the idea of meeting someone? You decide.
Is this show Earthshaking? No. But far the student of the written word, it can be useful if you give it a chance.
Ellen Degeneres talks about her show:
https://youtu.be/eAgerJXjy5U