Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Romance Writers Weekly Blog Chat for August 18, 2015

Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well, you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all…… About our writing of course! Every Tuesday we’ll all answer the same questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site, we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride. Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.

Welcome everyone! So glad you stopped by. If you hopped over from Tessa Gray http://www.tessagray.com/tessas-blog-page/ then I'm glad you're here. If you missed Tessa, then please go back and check out her blog. I'm sure she wrote something terrific!

Today we have been asked by the amazing Carrie Elks http://carrieelks.com/blog/ to share our 'darlings'. What are 'darlings', you ask? 'Darlings' are those pithy, well written, fabulous to read statements... those special lines of prose that we absolutely love, but do almost nothing at all for the story. Well, Stephen King once said that it's necessary to 'kill your darlings' when editing your work. Carrie has asked if we are brave enough to share a 'darling' that we've had to kill.

I have quite a few darlings that, for one reason or another, have lost their place of residence in one of my manuscripts. I selected one 'darling' in particular that I have a love/hate relationship with, and had to cut for two reasons. One, it did nothing to move my plot forward, and two, my heroine was sounding so piteous and whiney I was starting to hate her. I figured I had better take this out or my readers would vote to kill her off at this point.

Ready? Here goes -

          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

  By the time I made it back into Georgetown, it was early evening, and M street was already beginning to glow with a soft wash of colored neon. I turned into my drive a few minutes later, pulling into the detached garage. Leaving the car gurgling as the engine began to cool; I stepped out of the garage locking the door behind me and headed along the sidewalk to the back door of the house.

  Slipping in quietly, I began to turn on lamps in the downstairs rooms. Ever since Richard had left, I hated to be in a quiet, dark house. Even while I was sleeping, I usually had the television or radio playing.

  Flicking on the stereo system, I reached for a Billie Holliday CD. I had a passion for blues and jazz, especially from the 40’s and 50’s. Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn were just a few of my favorites. When I was particularly depressed, and lately that was fairly often, I played Billie’s "Lady Sings the Blues" CD. The songs were melancholy, filled with images of lost love. As Billie’s raspy voice filled the room, I settled into my favorite chair to wait for Miller. It was a little after six o’clock and he had said he would be over around six-thirty.

  I picked up a pile of mail that I had stacked on the small table next to the chair and absently flipped through a couple of magazines. Closing my eyes, I let the soothing throaty sounds of Billie’s voice fill my mind as she sang several ballads.

  The doorbell rang jolting me awake. In a sleep-induced fog, I opened the front door to find an overly enthusiastic Miller standing there, just bubbling with energy and good humor.

  "Lexie! We’re here to celebrate your new job and we’ve brought take out," he said, giving me a quick peck on the check as he pushed past me.

  "We…?" I asked, my voice bleak. Why did he always turn every event into a party? I didn’t know where he found the energy.

  "Alexis! Hello, again!" William was all smiles as he followed Miller into the hallway, carrying another bag of food and a couple bottles of wine.

  "Hey there, William." I sighed as I closed the door behind them.

  "Billie Holiday, Lex?" Miller looked at me with disapproving eyes. I shrugged my shoulders in a ‘so what’ gesture and looked away. Now my music choices were the focus of criticism. Was nothing in my life sacred?

  Turning to William, he said, "Alexis has this thing about old music, particularly the blues. When she’s in a funk this is all she ever listens to."

  Setting the bags of food down on the hallway sideboard, he headed for the stereo and began rummaging through the CDs.

  With his back to me, he said, "This music has got to go. I am officially taking over the role of DJ here, and Billie Holiday is not on the list. We need something more high energy… ah this will do. The Black Eyed Peas; definitely better party music. Do you like this group, Will?"

  While the two of them stood over my music collection and reprogrammed my CD player, I moved the bags of takeout food into the kitchen and spread out the contents on the center island.

          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Okay - enough! See why I cut it? Alexis is even making me depressed.

Will I ever use this again? I seriously doubt it. While I liked some of the imagery in the first paragraph and might reuse those words elsewhere, the rest is not resuscitation worthy.

Well, after baring my soul to you and letting you see some not so great writing, let's stop here. I now invite you to jump over to the fabulous Betty Bolte www.bettybolte.com/blog.htm, who I'm sure has some excellent examples of darlings.

Thanks for coming by, and I hope to see you next time!



  1. Hold onto the scene. You never know what you might be able to use don the road. Some great imagery in there. =)

    1. Thanks Xio - it's in the file. I try never to delete anything.

  2. I agree with Xio, it's a good scene. Maybe not an opening scene though, but still worth saving

    1. Thanks Sarah - yes, it was sliced out of the first 1/4 of the old manuscript. It just slowed things down. But it does have a few redeeming characteristics.

  3. Yes, I don't throw away scenes. I keep them in case they can be used later, or parts of them. Thanks for sharing! http://flossiebentonrogers.com/blog/