incredible writing

The Meet Cute

on September 4, 2009

If you’ve ever watched The Holiday (and if you haven’t you must watch it ASAP!) you might remember Walter telling Iris how all the best classic films started with a meet cute. That cute, usually funny, totally random moment of coincidence when the hero and heroine meet. The moment that marks the beginning of their journey to their very own HEA.

Since I am a fan of the meet cute, in movies or books, it should come as no surprise that I’ve made an effort to create a meet cute in my WIP. Mine includes a close call, an exchange of insults, plenty of sarcasm (since that’s an ingredient I can’t seem to shake), and a touch of attraction. Unwelcome attraction, but attraction all the same.

To set this up, Bryan has just nearly run over Celi in her apartment complex parking lot. For the record, and because Bryan would never forgive me if I don’t make this clear, it’s completely Celi’s fault.

Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit.
Heart racing out of his chest, Bryan ignored the rocks digging into his skin as he knelt over the woman he might have just killed. Her eyes were closed, her body still. Only when her breath brushed his cheek did Bryan realize he’d been holding his own.
She’s alive.
A glance down the length of her body revealed a magazine open across one leg and a scattering of white envelopes, but no blood or obvious broken bones. A head injury would be hard to determine through the mass of chestnut curls spread across the pavement.
Reaching to move those curls brought him nose to nose with the woman and Bryan nearly jumped to his feet when her eyes flew open. Staring into blues eyes the color of the sky before a storm, his heart not only stopped racing; it stopped completely.
“Am I still alive?” she asked calmly.
“It seems that way.”
“Damn.”
The woman made an effort to sit up; groaned and laid back. Looking up to the sky once more she said, “Where the hell did that car come from? It almost killed me.”
Adrenaline still pumping, fear for her life changed to irritation at the idea this was somehow his fault. Bryan sat back on his heels. “Where did I come from? Where did you come from? I only almost killed you because you walked out in front of me.”
“You’re the idiot that almost ran me over?” she asked raising her head as far off the ground as she could without getting up. Her eyes grew darker and a wrinkle appeared between her brows.
“Idiot?” She called him an idiot. Amazing. “I’m the idiot? You walked out in front of me. You’re lucky I was able to stop at all.” Talk about ungrateful.
“Lucky? I’m the one laying on the ground and I’m the lucky one?”
Bryan raised his voice to match hers. “You’re only laying on the ground because you walked in front of a moving car. You never even looked. How can that be my fault?”
Sure he couldn’t get any angrier, the banshee proved him wrong with her next statement.
“Of course, nothing could be your fault. Typical male.”

Needless to say, the scene goes down hill from here. Celi comes out of it with a broken cell phone, a broken heel (on her shoe), and a badly bruised hip. Bryan comes out of it with a damaged ego, a good dose of frustration, and pity for the man who ends up with this crazy woman. Ha! Little does he know.

This is one of the few scenes to survive the great deletion of 2008. I’m glad it did. I kind of like it. A furious exchange of insults is something with which I’m well acquainted.

Next time, we’ll move to the second run-in. Right now, I’m working very hard to turn my limited POV into deep POV. Wish me luck.

Why I want to be Susan Elizabeth Phillips when I grow up

on January 4, 2008

I was fortunate to be introduced to Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ books in the last year and I can’t tell you what a treasure these books are. And I’ve only read TWO! Well, I’m about to the last chapter of the second but this book is incredible. It’s hard to explain how powerful this writing is but let me try.

On Wednesday, I was in a stressful situation in which I was anxiously awaiting someone. Well, with lots of time to kill, I ended up reading. After more than an hour, it just so happened that the person I was waiting for pulled up just as I had read the *black moment*. And oh what a black moment this was. There I was, more than 500 miles from home trying to stay warm in my truck, and I’m crying. The crack of these two broken hearts was like a gunshot to my gut. I wanted to rant and rave and cry and I was shouting, “If he’d just told her he loves her!!!”

Now, since the person I was awaiting had shown up and we had many miles to go, I couldn’t continue reading. I was left hanging there. All that angst and sadness and heartbreak sitting in my chest like a dead weight. I learned it’s not good for me to combine literature induced heartache with extreme stress and exhaustion – I cried for the first four hours of the trip.

But then tonight, just now, I came to the moment when all the heartache is washed away and the moment of triumph lifted me as high as the black moment had dropped me. I caught myself yelling again and realized I was going to wake up my daughter if I didn’t get a grip.

So, why am I going through all of this? Because this is what I want to write. I want to have this kind of power, to make my readers scream and cry and yell and want to celebrate. I want them to have a hard time staying in their seat as they read and then turn around and have to buy another box of tissues.

I’m not saying I’ll ever get there for sure. But I figure, if you’re going to aim high, aim for the Stars. LOL! And yes, Stars is meant to be capitalized. You see, I’m reading the first in the Chicago Stars series and I can’t get over this book was written 14 years ago and I just found it. How could I have missed it all this time?!?!

So, if you’ve never read a book by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, run – don’t walk – and get one today. Hell, get all of them. I’m still working on that part but I can promise you, I’ll have them ALL before long. The first in the series is It Had to Be You and let me tell you, it’ll knock your socks off.

Do you have any SEP stories about when you found her books? Or is there another author that does this for you? I know Sherrilyn Kenyon fans are rabid and JR Ward’s would walk through fire for those bad ass boys of hers. And if you’re a writer, who do you want to be when you grow up? LOL!