Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Creamy Cliches and Sticky Adverbs

Courtesy of Awful Library Books, here are a couple of hilarious pages from a "Romance Writer's Phrasebook."

Every single example here is bad.  You would think that, statistically, someone spewing this much stuff would come up with one evocative phrase.  But the figurative language never once manages to be novel or clever or particularly apt.  This is like a field guide to telling-not-showing.

Also, some of these phrases get bonus points for improper grammatical construction.  

This book, incidentally, is not merely an anthropological or historical artifact. While the copyright date of 1984, it is still in print. Readers are powerless to resist.


  1. Wow, those are awful. Really really awful.

  2. If you check the "look inside" in the Amazon listing, you get the first couple of chapters which are all horrible character descriptions, most of which are either cliches about eyes or contain the word "pert." It's like a field guide to getting rejected.

    And this book has been in print almost as long as I have been alive.

  3. Ahhh poorly written romance novels. Ever a source of amusement between me and my friend. We were in a bookstore the other day, and picked one up. The heroine was names "Smokey Powers". Seriously. I almost died laughing.

    Prior to the discovery of Ms. Powers (oh the puns I could make!), the former champion of names was a male love interest named Blackie. He was a small town vet. Named Blackie. Good times.