Wednesday, February 8, 2012

On My Desk

Ever get to a point where you know what you want to say but can't quite figure out how? There are three books I use like a professional juggler to defeat this road block. (hopefully before I decide to take a bite out of my computer)

To find that word that's sitting on the tip of my tongue, mocking me, I often turn to my handy Webster’s Dictionary. Everyone needs a good dictionary and it doesn't have to be anything extensive or fancy. Just a good ol’ worn out dictionary with messed-up bindings.

The second is good for anyone with trouble with homonyms . . . like me. If you’re talking about your lead character, the last thing you want to call her is a heroin . . . that would be heroine. The doctor doesn’t have patience, he has patients. Though, in my opinion doctors should have both. You don’t want to peak someone’s interest, you’d like to pique their interest. And last, it’s not a cue you’re lining up in, it’s a queue. These are just a few examples, but having a book like the NTC’s Guide to Tricky Words is a useful tool.

The last book I keep on my desk, The Romance Writers’ Phrase Book by Jean Kent and Candice Shelton is probably one of my favorite books. It takes a large chunk of the nice little phrases we saucy writers use and puts it at our finger tips. These aren’t the phrases that make you want to gag, these are the ones that have worked out well over time. Like, “his voice echoed her own longings” (pg 66), or “her anguish peaked to shatter the last shreds of her control” (pg 99). This isn’t something that you would use word for word in your writings, but let’s say you get stuck and don’t know how to adequately communicate a flip of the hair being some sort of erotic play. You could flip this book open, see what has worked in the past and then form your own ideas.

What books do you keep on your desk to turn to in times of need?

About R. Renee Vickers:

Born in Florida but raised in various towns in New England, R. Renée Vickers now lives in a small town just outside of Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband and children. And although work and family life leave her little free time, she spends every available moment indulging in her favorite passion, writing.

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