Sunday, April 27, 2014
The Hallmark Movie Channel produces 30 to 35 original movies a year many of which are romances and many of those are adaptations of romance novels and romance authors who have been well received.
Being a guy I doubt I’m telling my sisters anything they don’t know. So I’ll give this a male twist (well). Before I started writing romances I generally had a middling opinion of made for TV romance movies. I love movies like You’ve Got Mail and used to compare everything to that standard and then decide if it would be worth my time. But once I started reading romances I became more attracted to the made for TV movies. It will always be true for me that I like a meaty plot but I also enjoy the tropes and interior ruminations/thoughts involved in the typical TV romance movie.
I picked one at random. Hallmark Movie Channel, Class, July 22, 2010 (5 minutes)
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Whether you be a Christian, Moslem, Jew, atheist or agnostic, for the vast majority of people, life is a happier experience if you have love.
Today at Easter Mass our priest told a short story. He was the youngest in a very large family. Each year the number of kids hunting for Easter eggs got smaller. Finally, after visiting his neighbor he came through the front yard noticing there are no Easter Eggs. Some of them, he explained you could easily see in years past. He asked his Mom.
“Sure, Joe. Follow me.” So he walked behind her as she placed the eggs. Easy pickens’. He worried, it might be his last year—at seventeen. [Credit Father Joe, St. John’s, Encinitas.]
Then he tried to relate the story to the happiness of this day and I thought about romance and the love we have for all people and how desolate the world would be without love of any kind. Write your romances. Please.
Here’s a song, that I don’t quite understand the words to but have no trouble with what the lyrics are imparting. It’s infectious.
HAPPY, by Pharrell Williams, 2013
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Today will be short because I wouldn’t want to procrastinate and do my taxes on the fourteenth or fifteenth. LOL
The guy or gal nobody wants (by as physically superior opposite sex)
There’s an attraction (of pen to paper or fingers to keyboard) for the gal or the guy who feels because of the way they look they’ll never find their mate (and they often want the physically gifted). NBC had a show called Average Joe a few years back and it did, well, average. Susan Elizabeth Phillips plays with physically flawed (but adorable) heroines, like the gal in the beaver suit. I tried to think of a physically flawed hero other than Quasimodo (who didn’t get the girl) of King Kong (too hairy), but couldn’t think of one.
So that’s my challenge to you. In romance novels, who out there has a hero who isn’t the pro quarterback or Navy Seal, or outrageously handsome? I know we deal in fantasy to a certain extent. Maybe I’m rushing today. Who? Aren’t there some scientists, nerds, geeks, too tall, too short heroes in books you've read? Help.
Some Like it Hot, Billy Wilder, 1959, Monroe, Curtis, & Lemmon ended with an insurmountable (forgive the pun) flaw.
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Why show don't tell works differently for male and female characters
These are not only props in any story telling media, they help show the story. Of course, cigarettes do not get the play they once had because of all the discoveries: getting cancer, diminishing many organs, losing teeth, reducing sexual performance, foul mouth odors, etc.
At my critique group on Friday one of the members recommended a recently released Kindle book titled, SHOW DON’T TELL by Parnell. I started reading it and realized men on the average look at show or tell differently than women. Luckily, for romance writers, you need not adjust, but you might want to fine tune when writing in the male POV.
First, here’s a basic example of telling: She’s scared, something fell in the dark room. Somebody else had to be in the room. She felt like screaming.
Showing: She groped for the flashlight, barely holding her balance. Something banged on the floor. Not her doing. Sweat beaded on the back of her neck, somebody else was breathing heavily.
Okay, I just knocked that out, so it might not be the best example.
Tricks of the trade:
Men are sometimes totally or partially color blind. Women are not.
Men often focus on the physical aspects of who or what is before them first. Women often see beyond the physical first and it colors their interpretations of what they see.
Men rarely notice shoes. Often women can’t get enough of them and for that matter often judge by the way someone is dressed. Note to guys, dress appropriately.
For many men the consequence of touching is intimacy. For many women touching is a social bonding opportunity.
I just started thinking about this so I'll need your help with more examples.
Back to cigarettes, booze and coffee.
Regarding any addiction, if either the hero or heroine is sober, one way to show stress instead of saying they feel stressed is for them to pick up a smoke, a drink.
TELLING: Today might change her miserable life. Include more blah, blah here.
SHOWING: She brewed a double espresso instead of the regular java. She pushed the unread morning paper away and sipped. Was it worth it or appropriate for her to accidently-on-purpose talk to him at the (name a place) or should she let him come to her? She sipped again. Hadn’t noticed the birds chirping in quite a while.
She picked up her cup and walked out into her barren garden.
A word of caution. Every fictional story needs a certain amount of telling.
Casablanca, 1942, the male POV
Extra credit ladies, not that you need to practice the female POV. This scene is a mix of Rick and Ilsa but is particularly instructive in showing not telling the female POV.