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Monday, April 21, 2014
As a writer and a reader I come across what some of us call flow issues in stories. In my own writings I get so involved in the story that I forget to show the situation and clog my story with a ton of tells. It is not very fun to read and it tends to disconnect the viewer with the scene and the characters.

I have noticed it these past few weeks while I was away for a much needed stress relieving break. I read a lot of erotica romances and have found that in a few of the novellas, it is overwhelmingly obvious that the author has the same issue I have.

Lets be honest for just a second and review a passage from a book that I will not name. The scene is a sex scene so forgive me while I post the text and then rewrite it the way I would like to read it.

He grabbed my hair and pulled it. Jerking my head back as well as my body towards his lap. He shoved himself inside of me so quickly that I came instantly. 

This is boring. "Really?" was my first reaction to this horrible scene. I was neither stimulated nor involved. Here is the same scene with how I wished it had been written.

He wrapped his hand around my long brown hair and forced my body to become flush with his. The moment his skin touched mine I could feel his throbbing need. Pushing down onto his pulsing flesh gave me an instant sense of fullness. I felt my core reach volcanic  levels. My sex began to squeeze him as he thrust inside of me. I knew that each second he was inside was going to make my sensitive flesh boil over flooding him with my lava bringing him closer to filling me with his seed. 

I know this is not perfect but I was attempting to make it sound less robotic and more lyrical. Not everyone is going to agree with me and I have been told that I tend to flower a scene a bit to much. I like it that way. I love using descriptive words to set the scene because I know what makes me hot and bothered and I hope that it makes others feel the same way.

When writing often times we forget that the reader cannot see the picture of the scene in our minds. We have to spell it out to them. Missing a section of scene setting can push the reader off the bus we want them on to finish the story on. We want them to feel each speed bump, smell each pheromone and taste the heat that we put into each scene. If they can't see what we see then they are driving through our manuscript blind.

I would love to say that all the books I have read in the past several weeks were awesome and didn't have these flow issues but that would be lying. The erotica genre wasn't the only genre I read during this break. I read several others and it was there too. No author is exempt from having this issue, that I have ever talked to, especially in their first draft. However the issue should be resolved after several drafts, beta readers and editing sessions. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Some authors actually write their books with the intent of leaving out all of those "useless" descriptors.

Let me show you another example of what happens when we forget to use our words to describe a scene, even one that has literally no importance in some readers opinions.

Kelsey walked to the kitchen. She opened the cabinet door and took out a glass. She poured orange juice into the glass that she got from the refrigerator. She stood next to the sink as she downed the juice and then rinsed her glass. As she did all this she thought about her situation and how she was going to handle the changes that will be happening soon. 

Some will say there is nothing wrong with that paragraph and others will scream that it is an information dump that we just didn't need to know. I think that if she is going to be thinking about something while she is doing all that , then not only do we need to know some details of what she is thinking, but also the details in the scene around her. While it will not mean anything for someone to know what color the wall is in the kitchen, describing the scene may give the audience the feeling that they are standing in the kitchen with her.

I am not a professional writer, nor am I perfect with my own writing as you can probably tell by just reading this, but I had an opinion and I wanted to share it. I hope you don't mind.

So, tell me what things have you run across in your reading/writing that bothers you?