Perfect Hero

Last time, we watched which things belonging to a woman attracts a man. And in which order. Today we are going to watch our heroine check out this guy who just came into the bar. Or restaurant. Or office building. Or television studio audience. Continue reading “Perfect Hero”


Your Hero Versus Darcy

We know we shouldn’t compare our writing and skills to anyone else, we are only in competition with our self, improving how we write now from how we wrote a year ago. But I think it might be fun to compare a modern romance hero to the pattern card of Mr. FitzWilliam Darcy. Of course, you can do a comparison of your own ideal hero, but I will go with Darcy for argument’s sake. Continue reading “Your Hero Versus Darcy”

Break the Rules

Aspiring writers are given rules and tips and formulas and charts and character sheets and plotting methods from day one. Especially Romance writers. Because there is a certain expectation that readers have for reading a romance novel. Sure, you can label it a formula, but there are millions of ways to apply that formula. Still, is it a romance if you don’t provide certain expected points? Continue reading “Break the Rules”

Is Eye Candy Fattening?

Is Eye Candy Fattening?

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I need something a little light and frothy, something cheerful and wonderful. How about you? Everyone has different tastes in Eye Candy. Cowboys, firemen, soldiers, and doctors. Tattoos or none, clean shaven or stubbled or full-on beard. Hair of any length you can imagine, or even a shaved head. We all have fantasies of our perfect man, and writers turn theirs into Book Boyfriends.

Continue reading “Is Eye Candy Fattening?”

How Does Alpha Happen?

For my NaNoWriMo project, I am writing an Alpha male who feels a bond to the heroine but she has her own agenda. When he tries to treat her like a “girl,” he damages the relationship that is barely starting between them. Of course he will have to change and let her fight her own battles to some extent. But how did he get to be that way?

I have trouble writing Alphas, I think. I like nice guys, and I don’t think they finish last. Okay, I started to write an innuendo here, and changed my mind, so just pretend I did. But back to how I am going to make Ash Leander a tough guy when he’s really a pussy cat. See what I did there? He’s a jaguar shape shifter. I crack myself up!

Here’s a list of the 25 traits of an Alpha Male: Ash scores high in 1 and 2, comfortable with himself, and passionate about life. Also 6, high morale code. Finding out his life mate married someone else is devastating to him, but he still won’t leave her side. Even if there’s no way he can be, you know, with her. Sigh.

I don’t think 9 or 10 really apply to Ash. He dresses well, but in the business of covert ops, he usually ends up in ripped shirts and shorts. Ahem. Give me a minute. Here’s the male model whose gorgeous body is my muse for Ash: Not much to go on, sartorially. And growth is something he leaves up to The Family. They run the business, he just does his job.

But the rest are very much spot on. This list narrows it down to five traits: These are the ones that make an Alpha irresistible to women. Confidence, composed, not afraid to take a risk, not given to bragging or worrying what other people thing, and not lacking in leadership skills. Okay. That’s good.

Now that we know what an Alpha is all about, HOW did he get that way? Or did he? Is Alpha vs. Beta personality a myth? So maybe in real life they do not exist, but in Romance Novels, to quote my Amazon parrot, “Heck, yeah!”

I found this list of Alpha males, and found an interesting fact about each of them. Each of these examples started out with a lack of things going for them. Either from poor backgrounds, or considered a freak, or pretty much not worth noticing. Fighting back and making it to the top is the resonating life goal for Alphas.

And that’s pretty much where Ash got his Alpha traits. He was orphaned about the time his jaguar started shifting. Chances are the people in his village would have killed him if he had not been found by the Fidel family. With the help of his foster parents, he learned to take care of himself, to rely on his own skills, and to assist the people around him to make the best of their own skills. He wants everyone to come through their various missions as winners.

I should figure out why Romela isn’t very interested in his skills. Maybe, as this last link quotes at the end of the article, “Alpha Males are jerks. I can’t stand how attracted I am to them.” I’ll be back on Sunday.

November Potpourri

Really looking forward to the chapter meeting this month. Not only is Brenda Novak the featured speaker for both sessions, but there will be the annual baskets drawing for lots and lots of great stuff. I love putting together things for the event, too. I have a cappuccino basket in the works, a tea time basket, and a couple of my potscapes. I mix some figurines with plants, sometimes do a whole scene, but more often just a bit of succulents around a cute dog or squirrel. Creativity, I has it.

Winter Blahs
I thought retiring right before the holidays was a great plan. No need to get out on cold mornings and shiver until the car heater warmed up. (Give me a break, I’m a California native and 65 degrees F seems freezing to me. Let alone when we actually have frost in February or March) But I’m thinking it’s likely I’ll start hibernating any day now. Luckily our daytime temps are in the low 90s. If I start early, I can get some work done before the day gets too hot, and then an hour or so in the afternoon before it gets too cold and dark. I wonder now why weather and temperatures don’t figure more often in my stories. I guess after you mention everyone sweated through their Regency gowns or naval uniforms, you get back to the interesting stuff.

Waiting Room of the Mind
I mentioned before that I have a mental image of a waiting room in my head. There, all the characters from stories and ideas that ever dawned in my brain are waiting for their turn. There’s the alien warrior and her POW love interest, there’s the contemporary romance homeless man and the woman whose life he saves, there’s the rescued dog who tells the story of his owner and her love interest, there’s my Captain Kit Dash and the farm girl who sells supplies to his ship, there’s the hydroponics farmer who falls in love with a basalt harvester – okay, I’ll stop. But it’s really, really crowded. At least I got my shape shifter jaguars out for NaNo.

If it’s not BROKE!
I mention Scribophile frequently, because it’s the place where I talk to other writers and hang out with fun people. Sometimes I post a work or a chapter, and wait anxiously for critiques. Right now there’s a change going on that makes me nervous. It impacts those who post more works for critiques than I do. To put it simply, prior to the change, you had to pay 5 Karma points to post anything. A poem, short story, novella, chapter, etc. Some people thought that unfair. And I understand, if you post a poem, and then are expected to read your first critiquer’s 5,000 word novella in exchange, AND it cost you both the same amount of Karma to post them, you might feel miffed. Squeaky wheels just got oiled. Now it cost 5 Karma points for the first 3,000 words, and a pretty stiff increase for every 500 over that. For those who write longer pieces, Scribophile may have just jumped the shark in terms of usefulness to us. And it’s not a democracy, it’s the place where one person makes the rules because, hey, he invented the thing. Stay tuned for more, because reactions are just starting to boil to the top.

Inspirational Music
I’m out of touch with current music hits in any genre, so when thinking of a good song for one of my two shape shifters, I seem to come up with Peter Gabriel or James Taylor or even the Beatles. I guess it’s not a big deal, since no one will be hearing the music except me and my characters. The female is from Panama. So I really need to look into some salsa and Latino trends. Who knew NaNo would require so much research?

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back on Thursday.

The Candy Dish

In my Scribophile romance writers group, Writers Who Love Romance, we have a thread in the group forum called The Candy Dish. Because, as you can expect, we are predominantly female, this thread is full of male eye candy. We do have eclectic tastes, and we do post females now and again.

Recently a new member admitted she hadn’t looked at the thread because she thought it was a visual writing prompt involving a delicate crystal bowl and designer sweets. When she took the plunge and looked at the contents, she was hooked.

We have our favorites, and recently I devoted a post on a group blog I write for to David Gandy. He’s one of the writer’s inspiration for her main male character, and that’s exactly how the Candy Dish started. We posted our muse for whatever story we were writing.

I’ll just share a few of the links to these delightful gentlemen. You can thank me later.

We do like showers and pools.

We appreciate smiles. We can get into that serious gaze. And we know we need to embrace a healthier life style.

Who doesn’t like a man in uniform?

Just ask, we’ll take one for the team.

Heaven help the working man.

I could do an entire post on the fascination for men in kilts.

We try to keep the pictures to a PG17 rating, but this one might be pushing that some.

Enjoy the candy, and I’ll be back on Sunday.