I remember when the style for my novel VANESSA – a Love Story was conceived. I had been in a creative writing class, and had been told by one of the male students that I had a “seductive” way of writing. That description supplanted anything else I had ever been told about by writing style. The fact was he was not referring to anything remotely related to my novel. He was talking about a non-fiction book that I had written. It was an amazing and unusual compliment.
When I hear of women reading VANESSA in a day because they cannot put it down, obviously something has been carried over and implanted itself in how I wrote this novel. (What a blessing that is!). Whether one is writing dialogue, a descriptive scene, or a romantic scene the reader must be engaged to want to read more. They want to be living in the moment with the characters. What is given below is an excerpt from VANESSA that I frequently read at book-signings. From hearing this do they know what is about to happen? Of course they do. At least they are hoping.
EXCERPT from Vanessa – a Love Story Copyright 2008, 2016
Vanessa waited for him in the lobby of the Grand Hotel. Why did I agree to come here? she thought. She hardly knew him. Last night his poetry reading caught her attention and plunged her into an ongoing fantasy. She liked his face, admired his hands, sought his voice, felt his smile, and reveled in his conversation. He only invited me here out of politeness, she thought. She had asked to see his art (awaiting exhibition) and he felt obliged to accommodate her. That was it. No need to make a big deal of it. It was a courtesy, or was it?
Miguel appeared to react to her energy last night, or more specifically, to the energy that seemed to exist between them, so she thought. But had he also cautiously concealed any presumed interest in her in, given the presence of the others at the impromptu supper that followed his reading? Although her eyes were riveted on his face, he conversed casually, spiritedly, emphatically with everybody, as he discussed art in politics and politics in poetry. He was the consummate artist, and she was now consumed with him.
The ornate lobby bustled with people confirming their reservations and seeking information. Vanessa sat tensely in a red velvet winged back chair, physically comfortable but emotionally knotted. She felt beautiful and vulnerable. Her hair hung in gentle tendrils like little flowers draping her face. Her body was warmly wrapped in soft moss green wool, a one-piece body of a dress that screamed for attention. Black stockings and pumps completed her outfit. She reached into a black velour purse for her compact. She checked out well: skin smooth, eyes bright, lips reddened, just like last night’s wine.
She could not face the elevators. She would seem too anxious. When the elevators chimed, she was not surprised that he caressed her shoulders hello.
“Have you been waiting long?’ Miguel’s eyes met her lips.
“No, actually I haven’t.” She smiled.
“You look wonderful.” His eyes swept her face, hair, neck and dress.
“So do you,” Vanessa returned, enjoying his deliberate attention.
“Come. I made reservations for dinner.” Miguel reached for her hand, and she gave it to him and stood. He talked while leading them into The Blue Peacock. “Are you very hungry?”
“Only sometimes,” she flirted.
“That could get dangerous.” He met the look behind her eyes, appearing to savor the energy that she generated.
“But,” she said, “Only if this is one of those times.”
I believe it makes you want to keep on reading. In a later post I will share how I keep the energy of a plot moving. Stay tuned!