Guest Blogger Margie Lawson: Writing Stellar Smiles

smileRead a smile you’ve never read before? Could be awesome!

Read a smile you’ve read hundreds of times? Could be loathsome.

We all know those clichéd, overused, carry-no-interest smiles and grins.

Here are a few overused smiles and grins:

  • Half-smile
  • Weak smile
  • Broad smile
  • Silly smile
  • Ear-to-ear smile
  • Smile that didn’t reach eyes
  • Infectious grin
  • Impish grin
  • Fought a grin
  • Teasing grin
  • Wicked grin
  • Lopsided grin

Compare those to Continue reading

Michille: Body Language, Lying, and Manipulation

bromanceOne of my favorite writing blogs had a post a while ago entitled 10 Poses to Show Character Development Through Body Language. The post referenced a TED talk from 2012 by Amy Cuddy about Body Language. When I was noodling around the Internet on this topic, I also came across this image on bodylanguage.com. These resources reminded me of one of the sessions I attended at RWA on “Body Language, Lying, and Manipulation” presented by Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark. Continue reading

Michille: Body Language, Lying, and Manipulation

body-languageOne of my favorite writing blogs had a post recently entitled 10 Poses to Show Character Development Through Body Language. The post referenced a TED talk from 2012 by Amy Cuddy about Body Language. When I was noodling around the Internet on this topic, I also came across this image on bodylanguage.com. These resources reminded me of one of the sessions I attended at RWA on “Body Language, Lying, and Manipulation” presented by Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark. This is good information for me because I tend to write bare bones and do a lot of telling in my first draft and have to go back and fill in details that show. How important is body language? I found one set of statistics that said 7% of communication is the words, while 38% is about tone of voice and inflection, and 55% is body language and facial expressions. Translate that to fiction and it can add so much to a story. Continue reading

Justine: How Body Language Can Project Confidence

This post is a re-boot from one I posted last year just before RWA Nationals, but it’s worth posting again. Nationals is in NYC this year and is a little less than a month away. No doubt many of us are working hard on our manuscripts (or bemoaning the lack of progress we’ve made on them lately), or we’re excited to see friends. Perhaps you’re looking forward to catching some of the great workshops being offered this year. Or perhaps you’re like me…stressing about the agent/editor appointment you managed to get. You’re wondering Continue reading

Justine: Writing Men Like…Well, Men

256px-Pauline_Bonaparte_2

Portrait of Pauline Bonaparte, Princess Borghese, by Robert Lefèvre (1806). Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

This past Sunday was just another day until I got an email telling me I was a finalist in the Rose City (Portland) RW Golden Rose contest. Woo-hoo! Talk about making my weekend!

The coordinator sent back my entries with scores and judges comments. As typically happens, there was one judge who loved it, one who thought it was pretty good, and another who thought it was so-so.

As I read through the comments, though, I was struck by one in particular. At the beginning of my book, when Nate and Susannah meet, he makes what I think is a very “typically male” observation of Susannah. Continue reading

Michille: Writing Sex Ahead of Schedule

The KissSex in fiction and on the screen is a hot topic right now, thanks (or no thanks, depending on your perspective) to Fifty Shades of Grey. Justine discussed writing sex in her recent post. I recently stumbled while writing a sex scene for my current Work in Progress because it was a little (ahem) premature. My project is a modern take on Sophocles’ Antigone that I am writing it in two stages. The first stage is a set of scenes that represent the elements/components of fiction through time (i.e., elements of Greek tragedy, 17 stages of the Hero’s Journey, Pam Regis’s 8 essential and 3 optional elements of a romance, and popular fiction’s four-act, five-turning-point structure) which will probably end up around 30,000 words. The second stage is to add the rest of the story in to bring the word count to 100,000. Continue reading

Kay: Detecting Infidelity

coupleIssues of fidelity—and infidelity—come up all the time in romance novels. Often issues of trust between characters hinge on past experiences of cheating. The key for writers is to show suspicion and distrust—or trust and confidence—in a credible way.

Imagine that on the way home from a party, your spouse says to you, “Something’s wrong there—I think X is cheating on Y.” Could this statement be true? Can you tell if people are cheating just by watching them, even for a few minutes?  Continue reading