It’s The Small Things

Beautiful Woman Enjoys CoffeeI can’t help but laugh at the title. Being a romance author, I can imagine what some people may be thinking of what I’m about to post. Not THAT!

Over the years of writing (a lot) and the few years published, I learned a few minor things I would like to pass on.

Avoid naming your hero or heroine with initials, such as J.T., J.R., L.B., M.J., etc. In one of my unpublished books, I had a big strapping sheriff referred to as J.T. I got so tired of fighting with the software wanting to capitalize after every time I typed his “name.” Yes. I could’ve turned off the autocorrect, but really, that would be a hassle too. (And note how I ended the sentence above with J.T. and started the next with I. Looked odd, didn’t it?)

Continuing on about names, there are certain ones you’ll want to avoid. Of course, most authors know not to name the heroine and heroine (and other characters, if at all possible) with the same first initial. Such as John and Jane, or Mark and Mary, etc. Readers often scan over names and this may cause confusion along the way.

But this one is a little different. During my usual break each evening, I was reading a contemporary romance — even when I’m under deadline, I make myself take one hour each night to read — and the hero’s name was Woolf.

Oddly, I’m writing a hero with the same name but different spelling, Wolf as in Wolfgang (NAKED HEAT). Anyway, the other author’s heroine would say his name during sex. Common enough, but when I hear it in my mind as I read, it sounds like the heroine is barking. Think about . . . Woolf, Woolf, oh, Woolf. Yeah. You hear it too. So this is probably the last hero I’ll have with that name and my heroine is most likely to scream “Who’s my daddy?” before I’ll let her bark. (Just teasing.)

Avoid heroes with one eye, unless you’re writing a tear jerker. (No pun intended.) Oh, this one happened in my second book, CIRCLE OF DANGER. The hero had been badly burned when he was ten. He lost one eye. Do you have any idea how often eyes are mentioned in romances? Cliché warning: They are the windows to the soul. So in this book, I avoided saying, “His beautiful blue eye looked at her,” or anything like that. Too scary sounding. (Don’t come at me about being insensitive; this has to do with the flow of the story along with setting up the mood. The hero was very sexy even with one eye and scars.)

The next one I mentioned on Facebook the other day.

Authors, please do not place the heroine’s name directly after the hero’s dialogue and vice versa. Example only.

“You look beautiful today,” he said as he pulled Mary into a hug. After a long kiss, he looked deep into her eyes. He wanted her more every day.
“And yesterday?” John smiled as Mary stepped away.
“Do you want a drink?” 
“Yes. A beer will be fine,” 

*This is a better way (my opinion).*
“You look beautiful today,” he said as he pulled Mary into a hug. After a long kiss, he looked deep into her eyes. He wanted her more every day.
“And yesterday?” Mary teased.
John smiled. He loved her sense of humor.
“Do you want a drink?” He nodded toward the bar.
“Yes. A beer will be fine.”

Can you tell in the first example who is saying what after the first line? I have to read a bit more to get it straight in my mind.

That’s it for now. I’ll probably think of ten other small details (and make a few boo-boos myself.)  HA!