So I was continuing my study of Kate Walker‘s 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance.. you know what it’s like; a couple of pages in the bath trying desperately not to splash the pages, a chapter while Man of the Woods checks the farming forums to see if anyone has anything interesting to say on-line…
The chapter on conflict I made sure I read twice, because first time through you don’t take it all in do you? It makes such perfect sense. Internal and external conflicts are essential in any decent fiction, whether it’s book or film .. let’s think of one…
External conflicts I would suggest might have been the fact that she was an instructor and him a mere student (is there a fan in here please?).
Another would be that after they have become ‘a thing’ he goes off to do his job and potentially may not come back.
Internal conflicts are she’s trying to avoid giving the wrong signals to yet-another-hot-shot (good try; I’d fall for that too).
In the second half of the film, Maverick is dealing with the loss of best mate Goose and contemplating his own relationship with his father who is no longer around. Lots of emotional punch there (and watching him sat alone and silent on that bed staring at the photo of him on his father’s shoulders was very powerful).
This amazing monument, called The Scott Monument is located along Princes Street in Edinburgh. I’ve admired it on both occasions that I have visited this beautiful city, both times with Man of the Woods during the last two years.
The characters in my novel spend most of the book in Italy, at a vineyard approximately an hour from Milan in one direction and an hour from Lake Garda in another.
This morning, I’ve scribbled a rough outline for a final chapter which takes place … in Edinburgh.
Now I’ve had two weetabix with a whole banana sliced over it, yoghurt, a little milk, a drizzle of honey and a few blueberries, I’m now off to type a first draft of the scene while it is fresh in my memory!
(We’ll then only have about forty thousand words to fill in, but we won’t worry about that for now 🤣)
A quick 24-hrs in the big smoke, a combine-dust-free day. A change of scene they say is as good as a rest, and I truly believe that to be the case.
I could wonder around London’s streets, paved with concrete, much more often than I do and before my daughter reaches that I’ve done London now, and I want to get off the treadmill stage, I’ll go up as often as can without outstaying my welcome (don’t worry; I have my eye on that aspect. Nothing worse than a over -bearing parent!).
The street artists who work in chalk, for the entertainment of us mere pedestrians in exchange for a pound or two, are so damn talented! I love Audrey. I love her look and her demeanour in Breakfast At Tiffany’s. Stunning and a too-early death at the age of 63.
A window display at Fortnum & Mason, at 181 Piccadilly makes for walking past an impossibility! Each window is a sight to behold.
As we idled our way towards Piccadilly Circus and the ultimate destination of Cineworld in Leicester Square for a girly viewing of the new Mamma Mia, luckily we had some time on our hands to pause whenever shop windows invited us to take a closer look.
Another beautiful shop is the TWG breakfast tea shop; oh my word! It was enough to make me want to whiz home and ditch the Yorkshire Tea box, scoop the dull boxes from the shelf and re-decorate the whole kitchen based on some of their box designs.
We oooh’d and aahh’d and then moved on out of the tea shop, for which you’d need a Barclays loan to buy a year’s supply of anything!
My daughter and I saw the stage show of Mumma Mia about 6 years ago, then subsequently the first film with Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan. I know many said he couldn’t sing. He sang well enough for the part imho, and does so again in this new film.
I’m reading a book right now about getting emotional punch into my fiction writing (hence you’ve noticed my few recent romantic offerings 💫 I’m practicing on you guys) and this film has all the emotional punch I could take. Seriously, I used the hem of my dress to wipe away tears because I had taken no tissues, the backs of my hands had black mascara streaks on them as we travelled back to daughter’s apartment and I’m sure fellow passengers turned away in sympathy at the sad woman with the swollen, bloodshot eyes who must have suffered some severe trauma to look like that 🙈
It was .. IS .. brilliant. Heartache, anguish, internal and external conflicts up the ying yang. The perfect example, and timely, of a romantic story delivering emotional punch.
(Oh, and a few ABBA songs thrown in! 😍 including at least three numbers specially written by Bjorn and Benny for this film 👌🏼)
I’m shattered. But I’m home. The combine is cutting and Man of the Woods wants me to dig up potatoes from the field for tea. Would you like to come with me while I do that?
Oooh look, here comes the boy with a load of oats to unload. Close your eyes or his dust will blow into them! (I know. Rubbish tool. I’m no gardner).
… and from that seed-potato, all these others grew…
I think boiled gently and smothered in melting butter, don’t you?
Now, THAT’S fresh 👌🏼
They are simmering, I’m going to have a nice cup of tea 🤗
An hour ago, your skin was sparking electricity. Desire flooded my veins and the need to feel you closer engulfed me. One more day, then I will never see you again. I fear the all-too brief pleasure will not outdo the pain I know is coming.
An hour ago our legs locked in twisted sheets, your breath hot on my breasts as I arched my body towards what it knew it needed. The calm I feel now, my body sated, will last a lifetime and the heady pleasure of meeting you will guide me forever.
(Inspired by the beautiful work of Jack Vettriano 🎨)
I’m reading a really good book on writing romance novels by Kate Walker. I met her at the RNA conference (and she kindly signed this copy which I bought). If you wish to check out the book on Amazon, see it here!
I love how she is blowing clean out the water, the common assumption that writing romance novels, especially for Harlequin Mills & Boom is easy peasy – anyone can do it! Because not anyone can do it. Do it well anyway.
The myth that there’s a ‘formula’ I admit even I had assumed was true, because my mother told me twenty years ago they were all ‘similar’.
The fact mother was missing is this. The titles she chose, and billions of fans continue to choose, contain the component I mention above in much greater quantity than my present manuscript contains. Emotion.
Why did JoJo Moyes’ Me Before You reduce me to tears? It was the same with The Horse Whisperer, and Sophie’s Choice. Emotion. Deep, anguished, gut-wrenching emotion.
It wasn’t a quick fondle on the village green, on a Friday night because a newsagent’s boy has a crush on the barmaid.
These stories touch our souls as readers, dreamers, hopeful and hopeless romantics. And why not? We want to escape in our reading from real life. Real life is full of flies in the fish pie (yes, really pissed off about that. I had turned my back to mash potatoes to top it with and the bastards were swimming. Don’t live on a farm and have your windows open in the summer. Gross. Binned it).
This was the pie before the offending beasties took residence.
Anyway … I’ve got my plan for Book 2 … my Post-It notes ready for plotting scenes for NaNo… and guess which story I’m going to develop??? I’m so excited!!! You know it!!! C’mon!!! Go back in time with me … Radhanagari Damsel (here’s part 4 of a serial of ten if you’re new to my blog). I always thought this story had legs. I’ve learnt so much since writing it and know it can be improved a lot, but it already has emotion and anguish. YES!
Eyes with crinkles define you, warm lips tell your world to my ears. I drink you, eat you and read you. You are everywhere. I cannot and will not live without you in my life, my dreams contain you….
Do you recall I read Book 1 of a series called The Carrero Effect back in March and I even took it to Portugal?
L T Marshall, the author behind this fast growing romantic saga set in New York was a guest on my blog back in April – see that here!
I hope you enjoy the trailer for her Book 2 which is now released in paperback!
To order a copy, visit her website here 🥂