Read Out Loud by Becky Moore
That’s some of the best advice I can give to anyone who writes anything. And even though my second contemporary romance just went on sale over the weekend, reading out loud has served me well in the thirteen years I’ve been a professional writer outside the world of romance.
My first job out of college was at an advertising agency. I can remember sitting in the traffic area, keying in edits and copy changes that filtered through me from the editors and writers, listening to the writers reading aloud. They’d act out and intone appropriately. Sometimes I gave a thumbs up. Sometimes I’d giggle and sometimes I winced. But what I always took seriously was how the copy that finally came to me was much different after they’d read it aloud.
Words sound differently when you say them out loud than you imagine them in your head, whether it’s a magazine article, news story, grant, or press release. It’s sort of like when I squeeze into a sexy pair of size eight jeans and strappy sandals for a night on the town—when really a size 10 or twelve would be more appropriate. That outside sound registers in your mind.
My husband is a huge fan of reading aloud. Particularly romance … and particularly my stories. As a voracious reader, I’ve generally got two or three novels going at any given time, plus the books my son and I read together before bed. My husband might read one in that same time frame. But when I’m working out a scene in my mind for stories I’m writing, he tunes out everything to give me his undivided attention. I can get him everytime with a scene like this (from my first book, The Right Words):
She was going to have to go up there.
She was all the way at the attic landing outside Amber’s door, knocking with the flat of her hand, when she realized she was in her summer jammies. The only thing covering her little bikini panties were an old threadbare T-shirt with ‘Marauders’ emblazoned in pink rhinestones across the chest. She groaned and let her head drop back on her shoulders, Great. Staring at the ceiling, she reached out to knock again—but instead of the solid door, her hand met solid, unyielding flesh. Crap!
She sucked in a quick breath, jerked her head up and came face to face with a tanned Adam’s apple. Ooh and little dribbles of sweat trickled down it.
Hooked him with the word “panties.” Works every time. I can also reel him in with dialogue. Narrative gives him the great descriptions, but dialogue generally invites him to think along with me. How about this excerpt, also from The Right Words:
“The house was quiet without you,” he growled.
He leaned in and kissed her on the neck, in that sensitive junction between her earlobe and the curve of her shoulder. Before pulling back, he gave her a light lick.
Her breath whooshed out and, dear Lord, she had a little orgasm. She opened her mouth to chastise him, but squeaked instead at her body’s release. His deep, gravelly voice made her shiver. He was so intense, so…sexy. Her reaction to him was startling.
“But I enjoyed the chocolate cake you left on the stairs. It’s not often that a beautiful woman cooks for me.”
I can guarantee that Peter Mayle or Tom Clancy, or Stephen Hawkins’s books don’t read the same as a romance novel. They may be just as riveting or just as exciting, but they’re not nearly as titillating. I love to read such a wide variety of books, but I always come back to the romance genre. Life is hard. Everyday we’re faced with difficult choices, or read sad news on the Internet and are bombarded with dramatic and traumatic stories of the day.
As an author, and as a reader, I choose romance because of one big glaring obvious facet: a happy ending. A little adventure, a little drama, a little mystery and suspense. And a happy ending. That’s my favorite kind of story. And if you can read it out loud with your partner, it’s even better.
· You can read more about Becky Moore at www.beckymoore.net
· Follow her on Facebook: BeckyMooreRomance
· Chirp along with her on Twitter: @beckym_romance
· Buy The Right Words: http://ow.ly/2EN72
· Buy The Penalty Box: http://ow.ly/2EN8l