Tuesday’s Industry News, Rules on words and actions

Last night as I was thinking over what today’s post could be a friend emailed me and another friend asking if we knew in romance it wasn’t ok for a man to giggle. Well I confess of the many rules and regulations, I had run across this one before. First I hate it when characters giggle, even though my critique partner makes hers giggle. Sometimes I think she sends me chapters with them giggling just to mess with me. But giggling isn’t all that I’ve run across when it comes to “No, No’s”.

A while back I had someone critique a chapter of mine and inform me that I shouldn’t have the same action done twice on one page. Well I thought “screw that, I’m doing it anyway.” So I was wrong. My editor at The Wild Rose Press quickly took those actions away.

Example: Billy caressed her cheek sending a shiver of passion through her.

Two paragraphs later: Sandra caressed Billy’s hard chest which trembled under her touch.

Another paragraph on the page: Both trembled with passion.

Ok, so those are “no no’s”, why because those actions were repeated on the same page. Now what to do, I usually write all my actions like this then go back on my second version to rewrite some of them to separate the actions and reactions so I don’t have two or more on the same page. But this also brings me to words I hate using. As I write steamy and in some cases down right erotica I have to look for words to take place of some actions I’d like to use each time. Tremble and shake are my “go to” words for my steamy scenes. But my editor at TWRP makes me look for more, her favorite “go to” word “quiver” I HATE that word. It gets under my skin and I hate it. But sometimes I need to use it.

Also I learned that it’s not acceptable in most cases to have your hero so emotional he’s crying. Now a little moisture is fine but not a lot of tears. This bothered me until I really thought about what my reaction in real life would be like. So now I have no crying heros(moisture acceptable, just not a river), no giggling, and lots of quivering. The twists and turns of the writing industry are stunning sometimes and well they just keep adding more twists but good writers adapt and make it all work. What are some rules, or words you have found that bother you and how do you adapt to the ever changing rules?

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3 Responses

  1. Interesting post, Sayde- never really thought about it- except a giggling man is something I’ve never done. LOL! Since I don’t have an editor, other than myself, I haven’t been faced with using words I don’t like. There are a few I don’t like- I am turned off by the word “cock”- don’t ask me why cause I have no explanation. It just takes me out of a story.

    By the way, don’t you have a release this week? Or am I confused? I think THAT is industry news! Love ya! OOPS- it is the 7th! Sorry, I’m so excited, I’m early.

  2. Man! This really sucks since all of the men I know in real life giggle. Like SCHOOLGIRLS! I’m not joking. They titter and giggle. They don’t laugh. It’s “tee-hee-hee-hee” and the best part? They’re manly men! Kills me every time. Okay, enough expounding on giggling men.

    I don’t think I have any words that press buttons for me except for maybe “cunt”, which I’m sorry, just isn’t sexy. I’ve watched the Vagina Monologues and I’m an empowered woman who can say cunt without feeling guilty…but I just don’t find it a word that works in a love scene. It doesn’t work for me at all.

    Good info to have though. I’ll have to be sure I don’t have repeated actions on the same page. Will work on that fer sure! *giggles* Sorry, couldn’t resist!

  3. Hey Sayde! Sorry for the late response, Cowgirl. What drives me crazy is a little different. It’s knowing there is a word that describes–EXACTLY– what I want to convey, and I can’t think of it for anything at that moment. I wind up scaring people because I tend to shout it out when it finally pops into my head–usually at totally inappropriate moments! LOL I keep a running notebook with unusual descriptive words and refer to it constantly. WIP looks odd at times, too, with ???THAT WORD??? sprinkled through it until I remember it.

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