Girls Write Out
Thursday, December 08, 2011

While the cover and title sometimes give an indication of the type of book you’ll be reading, the overall tone of the book is normally set up in the first scene. How the book will make you “feel.” Are you in the mood for something funny? You should know it from the start from the tone of your book. For instance, in Kristin Billerbeck’s “With this Ring, I’m Confused,” she opens with the heroine’s thoughts on a wedding dress. Here’s an excerpt:

“I want sequins and crystals and a bum bow the size of Brazil, leg-o'-mutton sleeves, and a train that practically explodes onto the scene. I want something that screams, I'm the bride! lost in a snow flurry of white. Bring on winter, baby! Ashley Stockingdale is getting married!”

I love that! We can tell right away this is going to be a fun read.

Colleen Coble’s book grabs me with the first punch, in Lightkeeper's Daughter, with dark skies, thunder, and an explosion! Adventure all the way!

And Denise’s love stories always make me swoon (I never say that word but it seemed appropriate here). In “A Cowboy’s Touch” we immediately know that Mom is pressuring the heroine to find a man. I know within the first couple of pages that the book will be lighthearted, fun, and more-importantly, romantic.

My opening line in Hot Flashes & Cold Cream pretty much guarantees you’re not reading Sci-Fi, Murder & Mayhem or a conquer-the-world sort of book:

“With one glance at my body in the bedroom mirror, my suspicions are confirmed. Everything has gone south--and I didn't make a reservation.”

So when writing get into the mood of your story. Music helps, or maybe going to a certain place that makes you think of your book. Right now I’m writing winter scenes, so the snow and chilled air are perfect for pushing me to write.

What helps you set your tone?

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Diann Hunt  
posted at 8:55 AM  
  Comments (4)
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At 10:45 AM, Blogger Timothy Fish said...

I’m very much a visual thinker. For me, tone is set by the colors and the brightness of the images that I see in my head. A bright sunny day with warm breezes blowing is different from a damp foggy morning or from a dark night. All stories grow darker as we progress, so a story that begins in the dark will be very dark throughout. A story that begins in bright daylight may grow dark, or it may have darkness in the shadows, but it also has room to be bright throughout.

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

Wow, that was a great post Di. IT reminded me how to be funny actually. I needed that boost. LOL

At 11:38 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Interesting insight, Timothy! Thanks for your comment!

K, I laughed this morning as I re-read your opening of that book. Loved the description of the wedding dress!!

At 10:06 PM, Blogger Jackie S. said...

I just finished reading Colleen's Lonestar, it was great. She is such a great writer; it held my attention with its mystery!! 'Course all you girls are great writers, and I appreciate each of you.....LA is just so fresh in my mind!!!!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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