Sunday, November 16, 2008

12 Steps to Intimacy

Desmond Morris, a behavioral scientist, became interested in why some couples stay together for life and why some divorce. He theorized that taking time with each step along the way created a bond. What has this to do with writing - especially writing romance? A lot if you give your characters time to get to know each other. Yes, through conflict and various ups and downs in their relationship. Try out the steps with your characters.

1. Eye to Body: Looking at someone's face or glancing over his/he body can be memorable. We often make instant judgments about a person after one look. So it is in romance. One look and there's a connection. The earth moves, figuratively. Love at first sight.

2. Eye to Eye: Eye contact is powerful. Too much can be off putting or frightening. Can a powerful man intimidate others by coolly assessing them with his eyes? It'd feel like being strip searched.

3. Voice to Voice: Your characters begin to talk to each other. This can be fun if your heroine is trying to extricate herself from a situation she'd rather avoid. In my book, Isabelle's Diary, my hero, Dan Conway was so intrigued by my heroine's voice, he wanted to meet her. He has a rather nice Welsh accent that intrigued her. Describing voices is important. How do you show it?

4. Hand to Hand: That first touch. It may be casual, him touching her arm, briefly. Or he may sweep her into his arms! A bit fast at a first meeting but he may save her from falling as she trips on a pine cone (I did once) or a stone and started to fall. Can be a cliche so use carefully! Touching her elbow as they make their into a ballroom. Something a gentleman would do.

5. Arm to Shoulder: This signals intimacy at some level. A character may not be comfortable and duck away. Probably because it affected her emotionally and she's nervous about getting involved. Conflict possibly with what he wants and what she wants. Slow everything down!

6. Arm to Waist: Can signal comfort in a relationship. The characters are moving closer to deeper intimacy. Are they ready for this? In a romance, many things can happen at this point. A crisis. New information that casts doubt on one of the characters. Conflict. Move the story to a different level.

Tomorrow I will finish the 12 Steps to Intimacy. In the meantime, here is the cover for my historical romance, A Very Difficult Man. Catherine Thurston, my heroine, didn't have time for #1, Eye to Body, before Lord Glenmore threw a book at her.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Armistice Day - In Flander's Fields


In Flander's Fields the poppies grow between the crosses,
Rrow on row to mark our place
and in the sky, the larks still bravely singing fly, scarce heard amidst the guns below.
We are the dead. Short Days ago we lived, Felt dawn, saw sunset glow.
Loved and were loved, and now we lie in Flander's Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe,
To you, from failing hands we throw the torch.
Be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flander's Fields.

The poem was written by a Canadian doctor, John McCrae who served in World War I. He was killed later in the war.
I wrote the poem from memory! I learned it in Grade Eight and have never forgotten it.


Friday, November 7, 2008

A Very Difficult Man

I am so pleased with the review from Romance Junkies I have to tell the blogging world about it. Here's a little taste.

"ANITA BIRT has filled her novel, A VERY DIFFICULT MAN, with rich detail and interesting characters. I really enjoyed the pacing of the plot because it allows the reader to get to know the many characters well and get a feel for the setting."

There's more: "The novel is very romantic. The way Catherine and Richard flirt with one another is funny and sweet but there are also enough misunderstandings and obstacles between them to keep things interesting and make the ending that much more satisfying for the reader.I recommend this story to anyone who enjoys thoughtfully written historical romances."

My book will be released in paperback shortly. Buy it now in e-format and make my day. Go to my web site, for an excerpt of A VERY DIFFICULT MAN and discover my other books. Isabelle's Diary, Isabelle's Story, Ring Around The Moon and Too Young To die. Enjoy