writing how-to, chalkboard with writing on it

Continuing the writing how-to series, another frequent issue that crops up, especially in romance/erotica novels — guys speaking unnaturally.

“You little minx.”

Now, honestly. When have you EVER heard a modern guy call a woman a “little minx?” I’m not talking a period/historical (although in those I think it’s overused too). Or a hellcat, spitfire, wildcat, or any other kind of animal other than a b*tch?

Seriously. Think about it.

One of my pet peeves is reading a story where the guy, especially if he’s a hulking, hunky Alpha guy, starts talking in a way I’ve never in my life ever heard a real guy speak.

I read one contemporary story where the Alpha dude used the word “frippery” in conversation.

Really??? No, seriously?

I would have hurled the book against the wall except it was an e-book I was reading on my BlackBerry and didn’t want to break it. (I guess that is one benefit to “real” books, you can throw them.)

When caught up in the throes of writing a story, there is a tendency to write like a romance writer instead of writing what a real character would say. Do us all a favor and write REAL. Forget purple prose, don’t even go a faint shade of lavender, and especially when writing male dialogue. Have your guys talk like REAL guys, not romance novel guys.

Also, I cringe when I read a book where the guy is talking non-stop throughout the love scenes, basically narrating what he’s going to do. Here’s a hint: switch to internal dialog or use a narrative description. If my husband talked as much during making love as some romance book heroes talk, I’d duct tape his mouth shut.

Writing How-To: He said WHAT?
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