Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Chocolate Cafe - with Deb Raney 
I've had the wonderful opportunity to see Deb Raney almost every year for the past five years. She's a regular presenter at The Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference in Black Mountain, NC (my first writer's conference). She's also one of the first presenters I ever heard and her words held great encouragement for a floundering wanna-be! :-)

Today, I'm taking a wonderful archived post from Deb because it's DEFINITELY fit for the Chocolate Cafe. Why? It's filled with sweet things. Oh my, lots of sweet 'treats' of knowledge for you to use to develop more memorable characters.

So pull up a chair, enjoy some delicious Candy Cake and French Vanilla Mocha.
Welcome, Deb Raney!

I once wrote an article about how a writer could write a totally romantic scene without the hero and heroine's lips ever meeting. These are some preludes to a kiss that make the kiss itself almost an afterthought:

LONGING LOOKS. Long before the hero and heroine have spoken a word to each other, they communicate with their eyes. Across a crowded room, appreciative looks speak fathoms. Sharing an umbrella in the rain they play tag with furtive glances. The eyes have it, and attraction is mutual and obvious.

STOLEN TOUCHES. Once the couple begins to fall in love, any excuse will do: his hand to the small of her back as he guides her through a door, shoulder to shoulder on a narrow park bench, a lingering handshake, a wisp of hair brushed away from the cheek. And as love becomes bolder, trembling fingers entwined, and the tender stroke of a thumb. A bit of mustard wiped sensuously from a lip. A sleepy head heavy upon a shoulder, an embrace filled with longing, even a featherlight kiss atop of the head of an unknowing lover.

SENSUOUS SCENTS. People falling in love are all about smelling good. Not simply because they desire to smell good for each other and thus douse themselves with perfume. But also because, once you start to love someone, you begin to perceive everything about them as good––including their scent. So the same stick of peppermint gum that smells merely tolerable on the breath of the stranger on the bus, causes you to swoon on the breath of the one you love. Remind your reader how delicious your hero and heroine smell to each other, and you’ll have them thinking about kissing whether it happens or not.

WORDS, SPOKEN, WHISPERED, BARELY BREATHED. Often the words that draw a couple together in the beginning of a novel are words of conflict. Necessary in a novel, if not so much in real life. But the words that render a kiss superfluous are tender words. They may be eloquent and profound, but they may just as easily be simple and straightforward. They may even be unspoken, but profoundly understood.

ACTIONS THAT SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. When a heroine performs an act of kindness or gives a gift that required much thought or great sacrifice, she may as well have laid a juicy kiss on the hero. And likewise, when a hero gives something to a woman that requires self-sacrifice or real effort on his part, that selfless love says far more than any kiss ever could.

Without a doubt, most of us enjoy a good old fashioned kiss - but if you sweeten the deal with some of these tips from Deb, you're going to make the reader's experience even more delectable.

Quote for the day:
“It was scary to think of happily ever after. It was scary to think about trusting someone enough to give him your heart now, hoping he wouldn't break it later.” 
― Rachel Hawthorne


Angela said...

Thanks Pepper for sharing this. Deb's descriptive insight is great!

Pepper said...

Deb has such a wonderful way of describing things - especially emotional insight.
I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Julia M. Reffner said...

Great ideas! I love this, Deb! I always love when writers use these techniques instead of always returning to the kiss. The book I'm reading right now by Jody Hedlund has lots of examples of this type of tension building

Susan Anne Mason said...

What a wonderful way to start the weekend. I love this and will keep this list in mind as I develop my next story.

Thanks for sharing!


Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Wow...this was gooood! Love all the examples.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh my goodness... Sighs! I so need to get back to writing. You've filled my head with all sorts of romantic notions. Thanks for the wonderful inspiration, Deb! Pleasure having you on the Alley!

Mary Vee Writer said...

You were first an inspiration to me at this last year's ACFW conference. And now I am privileged to read/listen to your wisdom again. I am so blessed.

If any of you readers have a chance to hear or read Deb's work, you simply must, She is an inspired writer.