Putting Romance into the Little Details
by Clare Revell
Writing romance isn’t all hugs and kisses. Not the way I write—where the hero and heroine are running for their lives or chasing serial killers. So I find romance in other ways—in the details. Facial expressions, body language, all mount up until every little movement counts.
I remember my editor underlining a passage and asking me to expand what I’d written. Reading it back, I knew exactly what I meant, because I could see it in my mind’s eye. The hero had just received bad news “off camera” as we were in the heroine’s POV. And being a Brit, I’d put in typical Brit fashion, Luke stormed into the room and slammed the door. Sara knew he was upset by the way he sat, and took his hand gently.
Not very expressive. I could see the anger on his face, the way his jaw was set, the darkness of his eyes, and his hands curled into fists. He threw himself onto the couch, folded his arms tightly and scowled. And the way a light touch from the hand of the woman he loved could help calm him. But had I put that in the scene? No. As soon as I did, it showed that Luke was angry, but also that Sara cared enough to show compassion without saying anything to further aggravate him. Sometimes being silent is the best option. Take that from someone who’s been married twenty-one years.
Or something as simple as the hero and heroine go for a walk. Draft one, always in note form and hand written, says A and S go to a duck pond and feed the ducks. Not very romantic.
But… here’s where detail comes in again. Not only will details set the scene for the readers, they offer much-needed change of pace. A takes S’s hand, which is cool against his warm one. Tall trees surround the odd-shaped lake; Canada geese, ducks, and ducklings glide on the water and take bread from kids by the wooden barrier under over hanging weeping willows.
He sits on the bench, pats the space next to him for her to sit. He points out the way the sunlight hits the water, sparkling. Notes the way it hits her hair too. Quiet conversations about nothing in particular, or just sitting, being together. Blissfully unaware of the gunman behind them, or the photographer across the pond watching them. Or maybe A knows this, and is determined nothing is going to spoil the few minutes they have.
Treat your manuscript like a movie. Show the reader exactly what you see in your mind as you write the book. You’ll be amazed at the difference that technique can make.
This was not the assignment Luke Nemec expected when he came to the UK—babysitting a beautiful widow. It wouldn’t be so bad if Sara wasn’t such a hostile witness. Despite her complaints and continued jibes, Luke finds himself falling for her.
When, Sara Barnes is thrown into the witness protection programme, she becomes the “wife” of Lt. Luke Nemec, an American cop on temporary assignment with the British police. Despite Luke’s American bravado, she finds he’s kind and considerate in ways her late husband never was.
But things aren’t always what they seem, and Luke soon realizes he’s fighting a battle of two fronts to keep Sara safe. Loyalties are called into question, and he’s no longer certain who he can trust. Luke is way out of his depth. As the threats against Sara escalate, it’s a race against time to find her husband’s killer before Sara is silenced forever.
Clare Revell lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from an early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fan fiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children's stories. When she's not writing, reading, or sewing, she's keeping house or doing the many piles of laundry her children manage to make. She has been a Christian for more than half her life. She goes to Carey Baptist where she is one of three registrars.
She can be found at: http://www.revell124.plus.com/clarerevell/