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Romance Writer's Phrase Book

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  151 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Have you ever had your romance manuscript rejected because it lacked romantic tension? Now there's The Romance Writer's Phrase Book, the first word book designed especially for romance writers everywhere.
The essential source book for every romantic novelist, this helpful guide contains over 3,000 descriptive tags all arranged for quick, easy reference. Now you too can add lif
Paperback, 144 pages
Published March 21st 1984 by TarcherPerigee (first published 1984)
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  151 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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-of
Sep 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
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!
Books By Hala
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was amazed to see this kind of books, I've never seen anything like it. Basically, as its name suggests, the book includes phrases that are creative, novel and interesting but designed mainly for romance writers. I can assume the authors may have the same concept for other themes.
This is useful for anyone who wants to write essays, prose and poems that are romantic or sentimental in nature.
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great book indeed.
Jade Laredo
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Invaluable tool for the serious minded writer! My book is nearly in tatters. Will have to purchase a new one. Great for brainstorming!
Rebecca Graf
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 severa
Kym McNabney
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was a bit of a life saver. It's helped me to express what I've read so often and wanted to write, yet couldn't find the right words at the moment I needed them.

Yes, one could think of it as cheating but really, couldn't we say we've all cheated. Don't we get much of what we write from our own experiences from watching others, from other stories we've heard, and from all those books we've soaked up over the years.

Face it, for most of us, writing is a learning experience. On
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As someone who writes a LOT of fan fiction in the romance genre, this book is an absolute godsend. From the moment I first picked it up and flipped through the pages, I was completely amazed at how much it changed my writing. It's not a book that lectures on how to write romantic phrases, but rather it's a 'dictionary' of sorts that I find myself using all the time. There are sections in this book for every possible descriptive act, some as simple as two characters looking at each other to descr ...more
Sep 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sean Jacobs
May 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Susabelle Kelmer
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Kari Trumbo
May 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
I picked this paperback up at a library book sale without opening it first. At least it was only a quarter. While it was an interesting peek into what romance tags looked like in the '80s, things have changed drastically since then.

Sidney Elmer Struss
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 27, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Jul 31, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
Abigail (Abbie) Osborne
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This has really helped my novel. See my full review here:
Huma Rashid
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
A totally solid guide for fiction writers in general, and I personally really liked the section on colors toward the end.
Dana Wright
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing, phrases, how-to
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.
Aug 31, 2011 marked it as to-read
OMG, this looks amazing and hilarious!
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked 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.
Mary Roya
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May 07, 2014
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Jan 22, 2018
Carolyn Rogers
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Dec 30, 2015
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Jun 24, 2019
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Nov 23, 2014
Dawn Tomasko
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Mar 16, 2016
Cherie Williams
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Jan 24, 2015
Leigh Duncan
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