Friday, August 12, 2016

F is for Feelings

Margaret talks about expressing feelings.  

Feelings are possibly the most important part of a romance novel. We have the story line, the conflict, and whatever else is going on but feelings are vital. As we read a book we (hopefully) experience the character’s feelings and emotions. I know I’ve felt tearful, surprised, joyful, as well as lots of other emotions while writing and also reading other authors’ books. I actually called one of mine Feelings where my heroine was jilted the day before her wedding. Naturally it put her off men but eventually the inevitable happened. Not that it was love at first sight when she met the man she was to ultimately marry.

Here’s how they met:

“Melly, love, I’d like you to meet Benedict Burton. Beebee for short. And this Beebee, is Melissa Sutherland, the daughter of a very dear friend of mine, and a very competent secretary.”
Melissa was horrified. This was Beebee? And she was expected to work with him for the next three days? It was not a woman as she had expected, but a man. The despised sex. She couldn’t. She wouldn’t! But she was forgetting he wasn’t interested in her. All she had to do was be good at her job. There would be no unwelcome advances.
He nodded his head curtly in acknowledgement of Vivienne’s introduction, but did not offer his hand. “Have you experience in advertising, Miss Sutherland?”
Vivienne answered for her. “No, she hasn’t, but she’s a quick learner, and I have no doubts that she’ll fit in. And you can’t call her Miss Sutherland. It’s Melissa, or Melly if you prefer.”
Benedict Burton clearly had doubts about her qualifications, many of them. His smoky grey eyes were taking in every inch of her, from the thick reddish-brown hair scraped back from her shining face, her eyes which looked smaller without mascara on her pale lashes, the shadows beneath them, her bloodless lips, right down to her feet in a pair of flat-heeled sandals.
Melissa caught Vivienne’s eye and accepted the challenge. “I’m sorry, Mr Burton – or may I call you Benedict? – if I don’t exactly conform with the image you have in mind. I’ll just have to make sure that my work more than compensates for my lack of – beauty.”
His lips thinned. “It’s nothing to do with me what you look like.”
“But I did hear you tell Aunt Viv that I looked like a mouse – or was it a lame duck? I’m not sure.” Melissa did not know what was driving her. She simply wanted to humiliate him as he had her.
“Didn’t you know that eavesdroppers never hear good of themselves?” His voice was ominously quiet, betraying his anger far more than if he had shouted.
“How could I help it when the door was open and your voice was loud enough to be heard in the street?”
“Children, children,” intervened Vivienne. “I think that’s enough.”
Melissa felt the blood rush to her cheeks. “I’m sorry, Aunt Viv. That was very rude. I don’t know what came over me.
The older woman smiled. “I think I do. Beebee can be extremely overpowering. You’ll soon get used to him.” And in a louder tone, “Won’t she, Beebee? Tell her your bark’s worse than your bite.
He merely grunted and turned back into Vivienne’s office, this time closing the door firmly.
Vivienne shook her head, smiling broadly. “I should have warned you about Beebee. He’s a law unto himself. He’s my godson; you must have heard me mention him?”
Melissa shook her head.
“He worked his way up in the business until eventually I made him my partner. I don’t know what I’d do without him now. I love that boy.”
Boy? Melissa did not class him as a boy. He was a man, all man, as masculine as they come. Ruthless, arrogant, domineering. And she did not see how she was going to work amicably with him for the next three days. Although, on the other hand, it might be fun proving she was not the dimwit he had dubbed her.

Feelings are an integral part of our lives, the emotional side to our character. Do we have feelings when we write romantic fiction? Most definitely. We feel everything that our heroine or hero goes through – we live their lives for them. You simply cannot write without entering into that person’s mind, whether you’re writing romance, crime, science fiction or any other genre.


  1. You're right, Margaret. As writers, we have to feel the emotions as we write them, otherwise, our readers won't feel them when they read.

    1. It's why I always tell everyone I've had X number of love affairs!

  2. The best books to read are those that bring us to tears or set our hearts pounding as if we were the characters ourselves. When a book feels that real, an author has done an amazing job.

    1. I absolutely agree, Debra. When you read a book like that you don't realise what hard work it is for the author.

  3. I agree although it was something I found very difficult to do. As a person who keeps her emotions to herself it was not easy to put them into writing even for a character. Hopefully I'm getting there.

    1. I'm sure you are, Carol. I'm not a very open person myself as far as feelings go but when I'm writing I feel I can let go.

  4. I agree with Carol. Writing feelings is hard to do well. Feelings are feelings... intangible but very real. One can readily describe anger and feat. Hate isn't too hard, either. The harsh emotions have lots of verbs.
    Love, tenderness, sadness, apologies, disappointment... I need to bolster my arsenal of ways to describe these feelings.
    Great post, Margaret!