He Stoked a Gently Growing Fire

Romance Writers Phrase Book coverRomance Writers’ Phrase Book
Kent and Shelton

What a hoot!  What do you do when you’ve used the word “manhood” too many times in your romance writing?  You turn to the Romance Writers’ Phrase Book, of course!  Pour yourself a cocktail and read this book for the fun of it, whether you write romances or not.  Check out these excerpts from the “sex” section. (Don’t give me that look.  Of course I’m giving a sample from the sex section!)


Romance phrases

more romance phrases

  1. “he was so disturbing to her in every way”

    I don’t think I would interpret that one a romantic…

  2. Considering that most romance novels read like they were created by a Mad Libs program, this book may still be of some use. Unfortunately.

  3. Does the book contain anything other than the sex section? Hmmm…I really don’t think “his eyes traveled over her FACE and searched her EYES”.

  4. HOO-boy! What a riot! You might want to post about this as some “fanfic” sites, too – I’m sure their readers could use a break from throbbing members and heaving bosoms…

  5. Oh Lordy – I just checked this out over at the Amazon in the used book section. Love the description – “Pages have some check marks.” I can’t help but of think some aspiring writer out there: “Hmmm… OK – ‘powerless to resist’… Check. ‘Stoked a gently growing fire’… Check. ‘His mouth softened’… Check…

  6. I’ve heard of being raked over the coals, so when somebody’s eyes do that, I have to wonder how romantic that is. Unless he goes out with leaf piles. Then raking is completely reasonable.

  7. This sounds like that episode of “Friends” when Chandler’s mom comes to visit and tells Rachel how easy it is to write a romance novel…

  8. The new tiny fonts. If I do ctrl-mouse wheel forward to enlarge the page enough to make them readily legible, the ends of the lines disappear off the side.

    It used to be so readable, I never even gave it a thought.

  9. Holly, I really think this book could help us with the postings. I also see potential to really jazz up my board reports.

  10. Her feet seemed to be drifting along on a cloud.

    What – how is that – I… seriously, I don’t even

  11. The actual concept of a book containing “seeds” — that is, sentences and snippets designed to spark something in the mind of the stalled writer — is hardly a bad one, but the sample pages we see here are just wretched. And not only for the plainly obvious reasons, either.

    Maybe I’m reading far too much into these passages, but there seems to be a running theme throughout them; the man is the active, dominant party in the encounter, while the woman is passive and submissive. She only reacts to what is done to her, and rarely if ever does anything on her own to further the intimacy. So not only are these “starters” trite, clichéd and far too easy to abuse, they’re also horribly dated in terms of gender roles.

  12. Most Romance novels actually read like this book, only with the phrases rearranged. I’d check this out from my public library…. if it were catalogued under ‘humour.’

  13. My sister and I always warned each other about using the phrase “throbbing shaft” in any of our writings. It’s just too funny they made a whole book of such awfulness!

  14. Most of these phrases sound awkward, even on their own, but “his gaze roved and lazily appraised her” was especially bizarre to me. When would you use this one, in a romance novel about a surveyor and a real estate agent?

    This reminds me that my high school English teacher swore she had obtained The Magic Formula for romance novels, with a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of what needs to happen. She wouldn’t share, however, as she wanted to have something to sustain her – she claimed her interests were primarily financial – in her retirement…

  15. I’m with you Devin!

    How freakin’ creepy is the theme here… man is critical, arrogant and passing judgment on woman’s appearance. Subservient woman is to swoon at this point and try even harder to attract her man. Some sort of codependent crap.

    Oh yes, this will be a great relationship!

    YUCK!!!! How about run for the hills and find a nice guy who will love you for who you are and treat you nicely!

  16. “His stare was bold and assessed her frankly”

    Hey Mister, I can put up with a lot of stuff, but assessing my frankly? Not cool, dude.

    Now if you’ll excuse, I’m off to the boudoir to, uh, throttle the dizzying current, so to speak…

  17. Lol I actually own this book! I think I bought it from the sale bin at Barnes & Noble or something. This is a fun book for a writer to have. As Pheslaki said, it is a useful sourcebook when writing parodies.

  18. She was complacently buoyant, like a booey in a lake or ocean, signaling to her man that he was approaching shallow water.

  19. She was complacently buoyant, like a the booey in a moonlit lake, signaling to her man that he was approaching shallow water.

  20. “his gaze fell to the creamy expanse of her neck”

    really? “creamy expanse”? what is she, an albino giraffe?

  21. My wife is an aspiring romance writer, and I’m fairly certain she has this book around here somewhere.

    (Bingo! It was on the bookshelf within arm’s reach!)

    “…his voice was low and purposely seductive.”
    “…the heavy lashes that shadowed her cheeks flew up.”
    “…in ways that alternately thrilled and frightened her.”
    “…his mouth throbbed with a passionate message.”
    “…the admission was dredged from a place beyond logic and reason.”

    I love how cheesy this stuff is!