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.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Doo wop is like a contemporary romance, Nov. 28, 2012

Do0 wop romance songs are like contemporary romance novels.

Both have tightly constructed harmonies that the reader is used to.  Ask any editor.

Doo wop is often mostly acapella. Today's novel still relies on our imagination presented in black and white.

Both have a consistant simplicity built around the ageless emotion: love.

I get romantic, nostalgic, and a smile I can't wipe off when I listen to Doo-Wop. Sure, every generation, every year, have their love songs. They're all good, no great. They recall first loves for many. They offer escape into a fantasy. You're in high school or college. That boy you always wanted to meet thrills you with some goofy remark. He likes you.

There are romantic arcs in many of the songs and some just capture the moment.

As a writer, capturing something that is both the same and different in romance is the trick to being remembered and "bought."

TEARS ON MY PILLOW by Little Anthony and the Imperials


Sunday, November 18, 2012


Show them what you love, a quote by David McCullough

I was struggling on how to start a scene. So much had happened in the previous scene, I needed to let the reader know how things transitioned and progressed. I started three times and erased three times. Then, I remembered David McCullough's call to excellence.

As I wrote what I loved it not only took me into the scene late (a very good thing), throughout the scene all that I had wanted to tell was shown in dribs and drabs and flowed naturally.

I took the scene to my critique group and they loved it. So I came late and left early. My group always has something to suggest. This time the revisions were minor. I felt publishable.

The male's POV here lies in what I love. But only if you ask, will I show you the scene or how I it started.


Show. Don't tell.

Show Me from My fair Lady (don't speak of love—show me)
version 1 from the movie with Audrey Hepburn (song by Hepburn—in the movie her voice was dubbed for this song).
version 2 from the Broadway play with Julie Andrews


Sunday, November 11, 2012


I've been MIA for two weeks because of the super storm and election. I miss you.

When you are simpatico with an author, you love her. She can do no wrong. You're insulted if somebody dares give them a 1 star review. The reviewer is crazy. Or is he or she?

Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips was released in 2008. today, it's Kindle version ranks ~10,000th and sells for $6.99. The novel has legs. (the paperback is less in price (from .01 to 2.49 to $7.99, i.e. less) but ranked ~150,000). Check out the current RWR magazine about ebook sales of all books as a percentage of the whole market.

First of all, I loved this story and naively thought everybody would. The sales speak for its popularity, but if you look at the reviews: 82-five star,37-four star,16-three star, 6-two star, 6-one star, you might be shocked. As soon as I noticed the 1 stars, I had to read them. I'll paraphrase to protect the guilty.

REVIEW: The girl's (quirky IMO) cute but no match for world famous, rich, and extremely handsome hero, yet in the last two chpaters he falls for her. Go figure.

Is there anything to be learned from this 'astute' observation?
1. SEP is doing just fine thank you. She doesn't need to change a thing.
2. We the unwashed could tweek our similar heroine to be either an unreliable narrator regarding what she her self image is and/or play up in the hero's mind the whys of his attraction to her.

Is this fantasy? Plenty of women want to be carressed by a romance, made to feel good about themselves. Loved. Pssst, guys do too.

It's not fantasy. It's atypical.

THE MALE POV: I used to be that 'extremely handsome' guy. Just ask any of the girls I paid highly to say that. I was not attracted (beyond primal noticing) to the prettiest girl in the room. I was most attracted to a good looking girl with a special personality which suited me. My blog readers know who/what I like.

I think reading favorite authors 1 star reviews insures your own writing's scotoma(s) will disappear' You'll increase the integrity of your own voice, and perhaps discover a nuance to punch up your writing. Like they said in Gypsy, "You gotta have a gimmick" (to be noticed).

So here's my barely applicable video (but entertaining (to me) and if you have the time. Time 5:27). For me, just gazing at Natalie Wood, well, that's all I need.

p.s. speaking about plot ideas and enriching your writing, a little culture can't hurt ya. PBS is putting on every Friday night from 9 to 11, episodes of Broadway, The American Musical. This is not only a fantastic history of Broadway, including its roots and rare footage, but for me it will be a special Christmas gift to the my best friend and best man at my wedding.