Thursday, May 5, 2011

Okay, I'm going to use my post today as a bit of a brainstorming session. This is an excerpt from A Christmas to Remember, the novella I just sold to TWRP.

The chatter combined to create a hushed cacophony. One diner caught her eye.
The man sat alone. Was he waiting for someone or was he by himself like she wastoo? His dark hair looked tousled, as if he’d recently run his fingers through it. Or had liberal use of gel cultivated the casual disarray? From across the room she couldn’t tell. He sat tall and straight in his chair. She unconsciously shifted to adjust her own slouched posture. An ivory sweater complimented his tanned features. Either he lived some place warm or he’d already been out on the slopes. She imagined his eyes to be green or hazel.
His lips quirked and he raised his beer bottle in a toast.
She jerked her gaze away. Damn. Chagrin washed through her to have been caught staring. Her face heated with a blush that had nothing to do with the red wine she sipped.

I have the description in there, but it seems to be a little flat overall, and there's not a whole lot of plot going on. My editor's comments are this: "Can you get more emotion in this? Right now it’s kind of like a play by play. What sort of person does he look like? Many times when we view someone for the first time, we notice their looks but also think about what sort of person they are…Does she imagine anything sexual about him? With Champagne stories it’s okay to go a little deeper than your average description."

I agree with her. Any suggestions for spiffing up this scene?

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. Hi,

    Keeping pretty much with what you've got, but shuffling the deck a bit and trumping internal arousal:

    Chatter became mere hushed cacophony. A celebrity sudden spied amidst the diners, perhaps? A surreptitious glance about her suggested no celebrity: nor anyone of interest. Tell a lie. Sat alone, dark hair tousled as though raked by fingers, he sat tall and straight. Who was he, and was he waiting for someone?
    Something about him disconcertingly wowed the senses. She shifted from relaxed slouch to perfect posture. Why had she done that? Why couldn’t she peel her eyes away from his tanned flesh? Hell. His ivory sweater complimented broad shoulders, and . . . No, do not even think further. She drew a calming breath. Either he lived some place warm or had been out on the slopes for days.
    Hell. A slight movement, eye-to-eye contact, and she gulped. Were his eyes green or hazel? She couldn’t be sure. His lips quirked and he raised his beer bottle in a toast.
    Her heart lurched.
    Of all the stupid things, to be caught ogling a hunk and by the man himself. Damn. Chagrin washed through her, the red wine in glass and cupped to lips not in the least responsible for fearsome flush to cheeks. ;)


  2. Debra, I need to go to work, but I'll think about this today and post this evening.

  3. Oh, Francine, you truly have a gift with words.

    Now why can't I do that?!?

  4. Hi Debra,

    If only: gift with words!

    Cindy WhatsHerName (Champagne line SE) doesn't agree. Author intrusion, something I've never been accused of before became her hitting-stick. I read a sample of her work (hee hee) and, pity she's not taken heed of the saying: people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones! Her editing skills, at best, are mediocre compared to the professional eds I've dealt with in the past. An editor who can show by example I admire, one who tells gets a thumbsdown because it also implies the editing skill base of a publisher is low.

    Best confess I did a bit of freelance editing for a publisher wayback, and the criteria always to show by example don't expect an author to understand criptic comments and line refs.


  5. Debra, I'm overloaded at the moment so can't put my head around it, but anyway, don't think I could improve on Francine's effort :-)

  6. I agree with Francine. She has some great suggestions!

  7. Thanks Ladies,

    I just kind of needed a morale boost. I was a little over-whelmed when I got some of the edits back on my mss, but I think I have a handle on things now! (I didn't expect you do write my story for me!!) :)

  8. I'm actually envious that you got some REAL edits, as all I got were the galleys, with strict instructioions to correct only the 'mechanical' errors like typos, misspelling, punctuation etc.
    I was less than happy with the lack of a real editing process!

  9. The dining room was crowded, but the combined chatter created a hushed cacophony that helped her feel safe and invisible. She sipped her burgundy wine and looked around.

    One diner caught her eye—a man, sitting alone. An ivory sweater complimented his tanned features. Either he’d come from some southern state, or he’d already been out on the slopes. His dark hair looked tousled, as if he’d combed it with his fingers, fresh out of the shower. She was too far away to tell the color of his eyes, so she fantasized they were green and deep.

    His frame was athletic, and he sat tall and straight in his chair. She realized she was slouching and threw back her shoulders to mimic his pose. Her breasts rose more prominently and she felt elegant and desirable.

    Still watching him, she ran her fingertips up and down the stem of her glass and imagined what he might say if he approached—he knew her from the hotel bar in Vail, or they’d shared a chair lift in St. Moritz. A smile played at her lips, at her little secret.

    His mouth quirked and he raised his beer bottle in a toast.

    Her face heated with an uncontrolled blush and she jerked her gaze away. Damn. He’d caught her staring, and probably thought she was _____________