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Romance Writer's Phrase Book
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Romance Writer's Phrase Book

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  83 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Emotion, physical descriptions, and sex are the staples of the romance industry. But finding new and inventive ways to describe them can be difficult. Particularly when you get to, you know...those body parts. Now there is a book to help you: The Romance Writers' Phrase Book. Organized into sections such as emotion, sex, and physical characteristics, this ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published March 21st 1984 by Perigee Books (first published 1984)
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I just found this book on the sidewalk. The copy is beat up and has phrases that the previous owner(s), each of whom I'd love to meet, checked off. The introduction may be the funniest/most fascinating pieces of writing I've ever read. Then the very first "tag" in the "Physical Characteristics - Female" section-

"her hose felt like sheaths of clammy cloth on her exceptionally pretty legs"

Logically I sat at the nearest bus stop and read the whole book. One of the checked-off phrases-

"he stared at
Oh, wow. I found this at a used bookstore, completely by accident, and I couldn't NOT buy it. It's awful and hilarious, a list of phrases that you can use to inject your writing with "romantic tension." Apparently, by "romantic tension," they mean "adverbs." The phrases are largely things like, "she countered icily," and "he kissed her devouringly," and "she smiled nastily" and on and on. There are also many WTF phrases, like, "mentally, she caressed his qualities." Okay!
Huma Rashid
A totally solid guide for fiction writers in general, and I personally really liked the section on colors toward the end.
Brina Brady
Excellent book. I use it every day when I write. Love it!!!!
Rebecca Graf
Writers have a way with words, but sometimes they get hung up on the same ones over and over again. Any genre can do that including romance writers. So, what do they do? They get resources such as Jean Kent and Candace Shelton’s The Romance Writer’s Phrase Book.

This is not a book on how to write romance. It is a resource book to help you get your phrases just write and not keep using the same ones over and over again till the reader can’t take anymore. The book is divided into several sections d
Sean Jacobs
I had written five historical nonfiction books and most recently three creative nonfiction novels. This book by Jean Kent and Candace Shelton has greatly helped expand the emotions in my narrative style of writing creative nonfiction. It has over 3,000 descriptive tags. Don't let the name fool you, The Romance Writers' Phrase Book. The tag lines are a God send for spicing up the emotions throughout a novel in any genre. They did for mine when writing Adversity, Faith, and Sisters of Mercy.
Sidney Elmer Struss
After five books published I finally found a book that contains over 3,000 descriptive emotion tags. Instead of "he said," or "she said,", this book is arranged for quick and easy reference for authors wanting to add real 'sparkle' to their novels. It is guaranteed to stimulate the imagination.
Word can hardly express my romance junkie/ writer love of this book. I got it at a used bookstore and I adore it.

The best way to describe it is a thesaurus for romantic writing, though it might work for any fiction writer who finds themselves searching for another way to say 'he smiled.'

While the phrases included are mockable and cliche, they are also helpful. I'd recommend this to anyone writing fiction.
Susabelle Kelmer
Way fun book filled with typical and not-so-typical romance phrases. Broken down into sections like physical characteristics, body movements, facial expressions, humor, eyes, voices, emotions, sex, and miscellaneous, and includes a section on how to describe color. A great way to job your imagination...there are some really funny turns of phrase that will get you giggling.
This is a book you have to find secondhand. It's best if someone has already dog eared, highlighted and pencil marked all the best bits. Then you want to open it up and see how many phrases you can just string together nonstop for a good instant DIY romance novel! I would honestly be hard pressed to ever give this book up, just based on how silly it is.
This is one of those books I'm kinda embarrassed to admit I own. Still I think it's a good resource for people looking to brush up the quality of the attributives in their prose fiction or in their writing generally.
Amanda Patterson
Terrifying to think that every phrase you will ever need for Mills & Boon is contained in this slim volume. Now if you could just figure out how to weave them together? You would be writing four of them a year.
Dana Wright
This book is one I have had on my shelf for a very long time, but just picked it up again on a whim. Hidden goldmine for ideas! I love it.
I think it's very helpful when writing. Some examples seem dated, but it's nothing you can't vamp up on your own.
Fun to pass around the dinner table when you are out with the Moore family!
Aug 31, 2011 Katie marked it as to-read
OMG, this looks amazing and hilarious!
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