Thursday, December 30, 2010

Those Pesky -ly words

Did you know the -ly words (also known as empty adverbs) are listed as one of the top ten most avoidable mistakes that will get your manuscript thrown out by a prospective editor or agent? The reason I bring this up is because I've been noticing A LOT of them in my current WIP. I realize I'm still only on edit #1, but holy cow (and no, holy does not count!) there are a ton of them suckers. Quietly, softly, quickly, blah blah blah. It really amazes me how fast they suck the enjoyment out of a scene. She touched his face softly. Really? I think I may go throw up loudly. Do you mind? No? Good.

I want to fix them right now! There's a small problem with that, though. I'm over half way done with my edit. It will take all of the motivation I have (which is a complete surprise, so I'm not willing to do anything to comprimise it) and toss it out the window to start from square one here.

So, I have a plan, and you may want to do this with your own WIP. That is, assuming you are at the edit phase of the story. WHEN I finish with what I'm trying to do (which is clean the story up in general and fill plot holes) I'm going to go back to the beginning and I'm going to hunt down every last one of those little plot parasites. Because that's exactly what they are. They're worse than weeds, and the only way to fix the problem is to kill them. You can call me Haley Jo, -ly Hunter! Well... maybe I could use a little more work on the title.

But how do you fix this problem? What can you do to get rid of all those pesky -ly empty adverb words? Here's an example of how you can do it:

He pulled her into his arms and kissed her hungrily.

That's the sentence I wrote the first time around. I have to be able to say the same thing without telling, using passive voice, or that (bleh) -ly word hanging there at the end, poisoning the whole thing.

First of all, how is someone kissed hungrily? What exactly does it mean? Better yet, what does it look like? Feel like? It could look something like:

He pulled her into his arms, his full lips crashing down onto hers, molding them against his as he tasted her sweetness on his tongue.

Too corny?

On the bright side, that nasty -ly word is gone and this sentence gives you so much more than the last. Getting rid of 90% of those words, might get me to my 70k goal alone. I just have to be careful. If I get rid of too many of them, the story might become a little wordy. (EEK!) And no one (me) wants that.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

An exerpt

If you've been following me, you know how bad I've been dreading the romance novel thing. Well, I finished the novel and am in the process of editing. I am happy to announce that I have finished with what I call "steamy scene #1." And I am so proud that I managed it, that I feel like sharing. *READER BE WARNED* 1: This scene is naughty, so if you aren't for that thing, you shouldn't continue reading, and 2: This is my first and I just did my first edit, so it may be a little rough around the edges yet. If you feel the need to comment or critique, please be gentle.
That is all...

So, here it is-an exerpt from my new novel, "Beginning Near the End"

They stopped at a light and Amelia smiled at him. Jeremy gazed at her and his blood came to a flash point watching her play with a strand of her thick, dark hair. He reached over and touched her face; the shock of that small touch almost taking his breath away. He leaned over the center counsel and pressed his mouth to hers, reveling in the softness of her lush lips.

She gasped and his tongue found hers, caressing it, tasting the sweetness of the champagne she had at the reception.

Her response was automatic. She threw her arms around his neck and tangled her fingers into his hair, her heart pounding so loudly she was sure he could hear it, too. Desire coiled tight inside her and she wanted nothing more than to press herself closer to him.

A car honking behind them broke them apart, and Amelia couldn’t believe how fast he pulled away from it, speeding toward the house.

He was quick to cut the engine when they reached the house and rapidly picked up where they left off in the car. His mouth left a burning trail on her jaw, ear, all the way down to her neck.

Amelia didn’t see the yard passing her, or hear the front door opening or closing. All she was aware of was his large, calloused hands rubbing gently up and down her arms, the way his lips were like satin on her shoulder.

He picked her up and cradled her in his arms, claiming her lips again. Her fingers dug into his back as he carried her up the stairs. When he reached his bedroom he sat her back on her feet and pulled away for a moment. “Is it too soon?”

She shook her head and closed the gap between them, pressing herself fully against him. She gasped at the bulge of his manhood straining against his pants.

After a moment, she stepped away and turned around. “Help me with this, will you?”

He hefted her thick brown hair over her shoulder and tugged the zipper down to her waist and leaned in to plant a kiss at the nape of her neck. She turned around and slipped the dress from her arms revealing lacy black lingerie that clung to her every curve.

“You are so beautiful,” he whispered as she eased the dress down over her hips. He lifted his hand and let his fingers graze her arm. Gooseflesh rose where their skin met and her breath quickened.

She stepped up to him and grabbed the hem of his shirt. “Let me help you with that.”

He smiled softly and lifted his arms as she pulled the shirt up, watching her throw it aside after it was over his head. He pulled her into his arms and cupped her face in his hands, kissing her deeply.

He released her mouth and moved to her shoulder, sliding the straps down to her arms with his thumbs while he tasted her soft skin. His entire body throbbed with her so near.

Amelia reached down between them and unbuttoned his pants, releasing the pressure and his manhood. She stroked the length of his erection and her eyes widened. She turned away from him and climbed onto the bed. Jeremy pushed his pants down and followed after her.

Lying beside her, he pushed the black lace slowly up her stomach, tracing the contours with his mouth. As he neared the top, he lifted her up and pulled the scanty fabric over her head. Her chest heaved with every shallow, erratic breath.

He gently pushed her back against the mattress and moved to her breasts. He cupped them for a moment, enjoying the way each perfect mound filled his hands. Taking one bud and rolling it slowly between his fingers, his lips moved to the other, grazing it with his teeth before pulling it in and sucking hard. He glanced up when she gasped and felt her hands tangle in his hair as her back arched off the bed. She let out a soft moan and he moved to the other nub, rousing it to a peak.

Returning to her mouth, he moved one hand to her flat stomach, taking his time with his exploration of her body.

When his hand dipped lower to her thigh, Amelia’s heart hammered in her chest. She wrapped her arms around him and found his mouth. Her body was ablaze with sensations she had never known before. She felt she might shatter into a million pieces at any moment.

His finger penetrated her inner folds and found her core moist and hot. He stroked her hidden nub and smiled as her back arced and she screamed his name. He slid a finger deep inside her and felt her contract around him, anticipating the moment that his shaft would be moving inside her, filling her.

With every stroke, her moans and trembling grew until she gripped him and let her nails drag down his back. He pulled away from her, sat up quickly, and pulled his boxers off before straddling her, his erection lying against her belly.

“Please,” she moaned.

He smiled and slid back, letting the tip rub against her lower lips. He fought for control, not wanting to go too quickly, but relish in every second of this moment.

He lifted her hips and slid the tip into her moist heat. She sucked in a breath and threw her head back. Again, he moved inside of her, feeling her body stretch to accommodate him, a little further than before. A low moan rumbled in her throat.

He pulled out once more and pushed back into her immediately, filling her completely. He stayed there for a moment reveling in way her muscles clenching around him before moving back and forth inside her.

Heat built inside her with each thrust he gave. With her body and mind in tempest, she saw only Jeremy, heard only his grunts and moans, felt only his mouth on hers and his manhood moving deep within her.

With every plunge, his tempo increased until both were teetering on the edge of climax. Amelia screamed as Jeremy gave one final thrust, spilling his seed in her. He rolled away, pulling her along with him, cradling her to his side where they both fell asleep.

Well, that's it! I hope you liked it!