Wednesday, February 24, 2010


As I hope most of us recognize by now, it’s those first lines, first paragraphs, first pages, and the first chapter that are all-important in catching the attention of an editor, agent, and reader. The opening makes a promise of good things to come. Sets the stage that will, hopefully, keep the pages turning all the way to The End.

In a romance novel or novel with strong romantic elements, there’s an especially critical ingredient--that moment when boy first meets girl. In screenwriting, it’s called “the cute meet.” But “cute meet” doesn’t necessarily mean warm, fuzzy, and funny. It’s an all-encompassing generic term for the moment the hero and heroine first interact, the point where the romance launches. Ideally the scene should grab a reader’s attention. Make a promise that this first hero/heroine interaction is just the tip of the iceberg for a rollercoaster relationship about to unfold.

With this in mind, I pulled a few older videos off my “keeper shelf” to see which “first meets” I could actually recall.

If I started humming the tune to “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” I’m guessing 99.9% of you would immediately envision Tom Cruise’s “Maverick” doing his best to pick up Kelly McGillis’ “Charlie” while surrounded by his crooning fighter pilot pals. Only too late does he discover she’s one of his Top Gun instructors.

I’m guessing, too, that you remember the whirlwind encounter in a South American jungle between Kathleen Turner’s timid romance author “Joan Wilder” and Michael Douglass’ swashbuckling “Jack T. Colton” in Romancing the Stone. She’s looking for a hero and he has no intention of being one.

And who can forget Leonardo DiCaprio’s charming drifter “Jack Dawson” and Kate Winslet’s upper-class “Rose”--she’s balanced on the stern of the Titanic, intent on throwing herself overboard when he steps in to make her acquaintance and turn her world upside down.

And of course we can’t leave out the classic introduction of Jennifer Ehle’s clever “Miss Elizabeth Bennet” to Colin Firth’s “Mr. Darcy” in Pride & Prejudice. Darcy makes a point of snubbing her at a dance, yet can’t keep his eyes off her.

So what do all these “cute meet” scenes have in common and what can we learn from them in writing a romance?

CONFLICT IS REVEALED, usually at several levels. The classic “opposites attract,” of course, but often opposing goals, values, or motivation.

A QUESTION IS POSED that holds interest. How are these two EVER going to find enough common ground to come to a happily ever after?

CHARACTER IS ESTABLISHED – The scene show who the hero and heroine are internally through speech, dress, mannerisms, thoughts, attitude, values.

CHEMISTRY IS EVIDENT – Even though the hero and/or heroine may deny it, this “first meet” scene is where they need to be made strongly aware of each other.

A MEMORY IS MADE – This is a tough one to pull off. But in each of these movie “first meet” examples, there was something unique about them. Something that made the characters, the setting, the situation stick in my mind. Something that made them larger than life.

I don’t know about you, but I always enjoy hearing real-life “how did you meet?” stories. I mean, aren’t they fun? Almost like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. So what do YOU like to see in a fictional first meet? And what are some “cute meets” you’ve encountered among family and friends in your own real-life world? Share them with us today and, if you’d like to be entered in the drawing for a copy of my first book, “Dreaming of Home,” leave your email address, too (remember, use “at” and “dot” so phishers won’t easily pick it up).

An ACFW "Genesis" and RWA Faith, Hope & Love "Touched by Love" award winner, GLYNNA KAYE'S first published book DREAMING OF HOME is a Steeple Hill Love Inspired release.


  1. Don't you just love WRITER SPEAK? "the cute meet".
    (Occurs somewhere near "the inciting incident")

    I have a feeling this is going to be a busy day, so I'll start the big industrial coffee machine.

    Here's a 'cute meet' paraphrased...
    "Who is that awful man looking up at us? He acts like he knows what I look like without my shimmy."

  2. Well, my own "cute meet" happened many years ago and it started out with me asking someone "Who is Kato's weird friend?" The rest was history between me and the weird friend. However, we didn't start a whirlwind courtship for a couple of years. I think that is why I prefer my fictional "cute meets" to be a little high on the conflict side and wait for both to realize they're in love.

  3. Good morning, Debra! Thanks for getting the coffee started. I almost used Scarlett/Rhett as an example, too, but figured our Julie was bound to pitch that one in without my prompting. :)

  4. Hi Debbie! Oooh, I sense a great "rest of the story." Are you going to let us know why you thought Kato's friend was weird -- and what changed your mind? :)

  5. Morning, Glynna!

    Thanks for a great opening of the day...cute it! Hubby and I met in the Club at Fort Knox, KY, at a dance. I was with a girlfriend. He stopped by to join the guy my girlfriend liked. We danced, talked, danced some more. One week later, I knew he was the one for me. Took me a long time, right?

    Those opening meets in our books are so important. They hook the reader and drag him or her into the story. Love your 5 requirements for those first moments together: conflict is revealed, a question is posed, etc. I'm cutting and pasting and keeping them as a reference to ensure the openings in my stories work.

    Thanks, Deb, for starting the coffee. Tastes great!

    Seems the Debs are the early birds this morning! :)

  6. Oh, Glynna-kins, how fun!

    Cute meet...

    Oh my stars.

    One of my faves is Hitch meeting Sarah in the Manhattan bar and pretending he's her husband/guy/better half to chase off "Chip" the poor guy who's trying way too hard to make a connection and fails miserably.

    I LOVE THAT MOVIE. Talk about total magnetism. Yum.

    Of course it's got Will Smith and Eva Mendes, there's a volatile situation in and of itself.

    In Winter's End (oh, by the way, did I mention that WINTER'S END is in stores NOW?????) :) Sorry... I can't help myself!!!

    In Winter's End, Marc and Kayla are instantly at odds because her presence means death... As a hospice nurse, she's on the job for one thing, and one thing only...

    Somebody's not making it out alive.

    And Marc's not ready to say goodbye to his father or deal with a past that trods the heels of the present. But he has to.

    And that royally ticks him off.

    In Waiting Out the Storm, Sarah is trapped in a room with a man who dislikes her family for very good reasons, but she can't leave, can't create distance, can't opt out because he's a vet and he's treating her beloved dog.

    Even though the last thing he wants to do is treat her dog, deal with her or her family. It brings back too many memories of things gone wrong.

    So they're trapped there together until he's done with the dog, both fully aware of every possible reason they DON'T want to be in the same room, not now, not ever.

    So there's not the gunfire Mary embraces, but (I HOPE!!!) you realize right off that there's precious little short of God's amazing grace (and a shot of hormones) that will ever bring these two together.

    Too much to lose.

    Hey, we need food!!!

    Panera, where are you????

    Bring on the stuffed croissants, turkey, potato and sausage....

    And the Danish...

    And the amazing plate of breakfast breads. Try the Asiago Cheese bread toasted.

    With garlic butter. But don't breathe on anyone today, LOL!

  7. Great post Glynna, Speaking of "cute meet" I'll always treasure the pirate Meg encounters on "talk like a pirate day" in DREAMING OF HOME.

    Great post. Thanks for making that moment concise and clear with the five points to remember.

  8. Good morning, Debby! How cool that you knew your hubby was "the one" right off! I have a number of friends who've known on the first date, too.

    I'm sure there are many more critical "elements" to a cute meet that hopefully others will share today, but these are a few that jumped out at me.

  9. Wonderful movie "cute meet" examples, Glynna! Thanks for the excellent list of criteria for that first meeting between the hero and heroine.

    I love inciting incidents that sizzle with conflict and chemistry. Though less controversy is fine as long as the attraction is powerful. And unwanted. :-) Can't have the hero and heroine falling in love on page one. I especially like the ending of the book to come full circle and return to the "cute meet" in some way. In the ending of Courting the Doctor's Daughter my heroine gives the formula for a remedy for happiness. The book opened with her going toe-to-toe with the hero over what she saw as his phony medicine. The hero enjoyed the humor in that and hopefully, the reader did too.

    A real life "cute meet" story involves my parents. They met for the first time when my mother was on a date with my dad's brother. They knew they had a blind date the next night. From what I've been told my dad fell in love at first sight. It took my mom longer to know her heart, but I can just picture the scene.

    I brought cinnamom rolls warm from the oven and drizzled with frosting. Grab a cup of Debra's coffee.


  10. Good morning, Ruthy! LOVE your "Winter's End"!! It's in my local Wal-mart right now, as is Janet's "The Substitute Bride." Isn't it wild to go into a store and see YOUR book on the shelf? I read Winter's End in manuscript form and am looking forward to reading itin its published form!

    Great examples of an opening conflict!

  11. Hi Sandra! I probably shouldn't be speaking to you considering that only a few hours north of your sunny 70's, northern Arizona's had TEN FEET of snow so far this winter. And our snow season often drags into April. May. I've just about had it with the shoveling--eats up too much of my before-work writing time.

    Glad you liked "Dreaming of Home's" cute meet, the opening lines of which I'll share here! "At precisely one o'clock on a sunny September Saturday afternoon, Megan McGuire spied the pirate."

  12. Janet -- I think a wonderful example of a low-key meet is between Sandra Bullock's "Lucy" and Bill Pullman's "Jack" in WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING. No overt conflict between the two, but she's "engaged" to his in-a-coma brother and that stands between them, keeps them from acting on their interest.

    Ah, another love at first sight story! It will be fun to see how many of those we hear today!

  13. Look's like I will be hitting WalMart this weekend. Thanks for the reminder.

  14. Thanks for sharing these first meets, Glynna! I love writing the first meet. My hero and heroine are about to meet in my new WIP. He's going to think she's the cutest thing he's ever seen and she's going to think he's an idiot. LOL! She can instantly tell he's not who he says he is.

    In my other WIP, the H/H meet when he saves her from being kidnapped. That was really fun!

  15. What can I say about cute meet? I met this obnoxious boy in 4th took twenty years for him to shape up and be the hero I adore, LOL!

    I love this timely post, Glynna. I'm starting a new book right now and these elements MUST play into the opening.

    They must play into ANY opening.

    I loved your movie examples, too. I'm such a goner for Jack T Colton : )

    Great way to kick off a Wednesday. Come noon and we'll be on the downhill slide of the work week.


  16. Oh, GLYNNA, LOVE this subject!! And love the title and the picture of Cruise!!!

    The "cute meet"??? Cool!! I'm with Debra, of course, that the GWTW "cute meet" is one of my favs!!

    I tend to like a LOT of sparks in my cute meets ... be it a forced kiss or an angry encounter or stupefied shock (A Hope Undaunted). No sweet encounters for me, thank you.

    Fun, FUN topic, Glynna, and I hate it that I have to run out the door and can't gab like I want to, but I promise I'll be back because this is just too fun of a subject!


  17. Hi, Melanie! Yes, aren't the "meets" fun to write? I could enjoy writing them all day, one after another. Yours sound like good ones!

  18. Audra -- that IS a cute real-life meet! You thought he was obnoxious in 4th grade and he thought YOU were.... ?

  19. Julie -- Yep, you have some fiery first meets with your Irish heroes and heroines! I wish I could stick around throughout the day for a continuing chat on the topic, too, but alas my other life awaits!

  20. When Belle and Silas first meet in The Husband Tree she hires him, reluctantly, as a drover for her cattle drive.

    They're at a diner and they've been verbally sparing as Belle considers hiring him out of pure necessity, she's not happy about it.

    Libby owns the diner.

    The Husband Tree

    Belle tilted her head to study him. “You’re too good-looking and you’re too blasted smart, I can see that already. I’ll probably have to shoot you down like a foam-at-the-mouth, rabid skunk before we’re two days down the trail.”
    Silas froze. He had no idea how to react to that.
    He’d shoot a man for less than calling him a rabid skunk.
    He’d kiss a woman for less than saying he was smart and good-looking.
    Their eyes met and the moment stretched. Her shining hazel eyes widened, and he felt his own narrow. They were locked together until something almost visible vibrated between them.
    Into the dead silence Libby spoke. “That means you’re hired.”

  21. Nice. When I saw that "cute meet" I thought of the movie The Holiday, with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet. When Kate meets her neighbor, he mentions this phraase. I thought it was pretty cool.

    Great post!

  22. Oh Glynna,
    what a wonderful post. I LOOVE cute meets. You already listed one of my favorites, Pride and Prejudice, but I liked the one in Almost Heaven too. And Romeo and Juliet

    In my wip, it's more like 'love at first repulsion', but that's part of the cute=meet too :-)
    I'm copying these helpful hints so I can make sure they're in place in my wips.

  23. Oh yeah, Lynn
    The Holiday is a great one too. That's where I first heard the term 'cute meet"

  24. Top Gun is one of my FAVORITE movies - as is Pretty Woman.

    The "buzz" with my hubby? Was constant - a look, comment, touch. Never dimmed in the 20 yrs we had together.

    In one of my novels the hero reminds me SO MUCH of Terry - I described the attraction as "oodles and oodles of charm and charisma by the case"

    That was my husband LOL!

    Love the post.

    Good luck and God's Blessings on your writing/sales - This applies to EVERYONE here at Seekerville!


  25. Hi Glynna:

    In the beginning one of Mary’s books (there are too many of them to remember details) the heroine saves the half-dead hero from a flashflood and almost dies herself. Saving a guy’s life is a good way to make a lasting first impression. I just loved this one.

    I do think your book has the ideal conflict because it lasts the whole book and applies constant pressure, like in a water pipe in your home, and it’s so realistic. Both hero and heroine need and deserve the same job and if they don’t get it, one will most likely have to move out of the area. I like conflict best when both sides are fully justified in their goals and the conflict is real – that is, not based on a misunderstanding.

    “Dreaming of Home” is just ideal. I can still recall how enjoyable it was to read. It’s the number one book on my list to read a second time. Thanks for writing it.


  26. that's Petticoat Ranch, Vince.

    Let's see.
    Calico Canyon. They meet right when she's getting ready to thrash one of his sons (whom she affectionally nicked named the Five Horsement of the Apocalypse) with a ruler...for putting a snake in her teacher's desk and a tack on her chair.
    She gets his sons kicked out of school, he gets her fired. They're married the next day.

    Gingham Mountain, they meet when he--a single man--adopts two children off a train and she accuses him of taking them home for slave labor.

    Montana Rose, they've met before, her as a married woman, but the book opens with her overhearing him gossiping about what a worthless man her husband is...while he digs the man's grave. She attacks him and nearly knocks them both into the open grave.
    They're married an hour later.

    Cowboy Christmas. They meet when she, weak from hunger, slips and falls off a step up into a stagecoach. He catches her, feeds her and she falls asleep on him.

  27. Black Hills Blessing is releasing march 1st. It's got three books in one, set around a buffalo ranch in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

    In Buffalo Gal they meet when one of her buffalo escapes from the ranch and the neighboring rancher almost shoots it to save his sons from being killed. She didn't know his sons were over that rise. Otherwise she might not have yelled at him quite so loudly for shooting at her buffalo.

    In Clueless Cowboy she heard a noise at the derelict abandoned house deep in her woods and goes to find a stranger chopping down a tree. She tackles him to stop him. Trouble ensues.

    Bossy Bridegroom, well, they are a separated couple who are trying to revive their marriage.
    They meet when he comes storming into her apartment raging at her, demanding to know if it's true she gave their daughter up for adoption. (the daughter he hasn't seen of supported for two years)

    And he was hoping to make a good impression and convince her he had his bad temper under control.

  28. Mary - that's a hoot. Love it!

    All the real life stories are enjoyable.

    Guess I'll dive right in, seeings as to how we're on an island an all...

    After the divorce (isn't that just a great opening)... (Ok ok - he left me for another, younger woman... sigh)

    After the divorce, I licked my proverbial wounds and chucked the career, started a new one. Took a sales course in which one of the books stated that a person should write down a list of what he/she wanted in a job/career. There was a parenthesis behind that idea stating something like (Not a bad idea for your personal life too.)


    So - over the course of 2-3 years, I added to the list. He said to be VERY specific, so I was. Ended up with - yes - count them - 85 things on my list. I carried it with me everywhere.

    Thought I had a winner on a trip to Israel one time, but he only hit about 55-60. I was holding out for all 85.

    Then one day - ahhh - it was a business after hours get together kind of thing - at a Dave & Busters. We small biz owners had an opportunity to meet the "big boys" at this event. I signed up for bowling and lo and behold, he did too. He smoked at the time and I was relentless in hacking, coughing and making remarks.

    Who'd a thunk it? After about 4 months he phoned. As soon as he identified himself and his company I thought - WAHOO - HOT DOG. Finally have a foot in the door with this big company I'd been trying to break into.

    He chatted for a moment. Silence. Gulp. He said, "Are you attached?" I said, "Nope."
    He said, "Would you like to go out?" I said, "Yep."

    We met in March 1994 for our first date and I felt like I was coming home. Been together since.

    Oh... and about that list... Yeah - he hit 83 in 4 dates... The other 2 had to wait until we were married. ;D

  29. I have yet to meet someone, but my parents have an interesting love story. They met in a Bible class in college and my mom just walked into the room, took one look at my dad and thought "Hmm. I could marry him." They had yet to meet! That is what blows me away. :) And the rest they say is history.

    Great post, I am still trying to get down the romantic element without being sappy. :)


  30. Whoa, KC - WHAT A STORY!!!!
    Can that even be called a 'cute meet' - that's like a 'cute life' or something. Oh
    Please say you're writing that one down!! :-)

  31. Ha!
    Y'all are great... Thanks.
    Only the Lord could do this right?!
    No, I'll have to leave that to you romance writers...
    Personally, I'd like to see it as a YA work. I've been prowling the bookstores and the "stuff" (trying to be POLITE here) that passes for literature for young uns is appalling. I'm sorry, I just don't think blatant sexual innuendo or worse is appropriate for 11-13 yr olds.
    Call me crazy.
    There was more to the story so if anybody wants to collaborate - let me know! It's been an awesome life for sure, and more to come!!!
    Now... if I can just get off this island...
    Thanks y'all. You made my day. :)
    forgot to enter the contest, though I don't want to appear greedy. ksf895 at citlink dot net
    OH - one more thing. If you are looking for an amazing read - a memoir with a completely different perspective of WWII in the Pacific, I HIGHLY recommend Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Diebler Rose. Read it in 2 days. I'm in awe.

  32. Mary -- NOBODY but nobody can rival your wonderful "first meets!"

  33. Hi, Lynn! I'd forgotten that about the movie. He was a screenwriter or something?

  34. Hi, Pepper! "Love at first repulsion" -- that reminds me of Meg Ryan & Kevin Kline in "French Kiss." When the afraid-of-flying heroine got stuck next to a despised Frenchman on a flight to Paris!

  35. Pamela -- thank you for the writing blessings on Seekerville! Sounds like your hubby was a winner for certain--so I know your fictional hero will be, too!

  36. WOW! Thanks for the kudos for "Dreaming of Home," Vince!! I loved writing Meg & Joe's "cute meet." I'm honored that it's on your "read this one again" list!

  37. For cute meets, I have to go with how I met my wife.

    Three friends and I went to resort island off the coast of Kobe. It was during the off season. We were trying to get away from it all. We succeeded. The place was dead.

    The only thing going on that weekend was a violin concert at a nice hotel. We went inside to ask about ticket prices. When the desk clerk saw our foreign faces, she freaked out and grabbed my wife, who worked at the hotel and was in the hotel and was in the lobby at that time.

    The concert was too expensive for us, so we left. The owner of the hotel asked my wife, "What did the foreigners want?" when she told him, he told her too tell us that we could come from free. (We were already out of sight by that time however.)

    An hour later, we passed in front of the hotel as the only Coke vending machine on the island was located nearby. My wife saw us, rushed outside, and told us the good news. We went to the concert that night and a party afterwards, where I got to know her. The rest is history.

    We were lucky that my wife saw us pass by. A minute earlier or later either way and she would have missed us.

    Of course, a minute earlier or later either way and the Titanic would have survivied. :-) (If my wife see that, she'll give me a hard time for that one.)

  38. Mary -- I can see right now that I need to catch up on my Connealy reading!!

  39. WHOA, KC! Now that's some story! All 85 things on the list? Amazing. Did he have a "list," too? :)

  40. WOW, Casey! Yet another love at first sight event!

  41. love the post and the examples (plus the stories)

    my "cute meet" occurred on a dive boat. i was finishing my re-certification for diving - future hubby was first mate on the boat.

    after my first dive i began to feel queasy - he noticed and got to me just in time to barely avoid my urping all over him. i spent the next two hours feeding the fish while he checked on me in between taking care of the other divers.

    he was such a gentleman that whole day trip. our interest in each grew as he helped me finish my check out dives since my original dive instructor couldn't do it for some reason.

    rest of the story? got married on the dive boat four years later and now have a four month old little blessing whom we've dubbed "Guppy" (since daddy is a big fish, therefore baby boy is little fish)

    when people ask how we met, i tell them it was love at first upchuck. not overly romantic, but partially true *heh*

    nm8r67 at hotmail dot com

  42. WOW, Walt! Talk about God having his timing right down to the second! Off the coast of Kobe? Where's that? Anyplace near Seeker Island?

  43. How romantic that you got married on the same dive boat! And how cute -- a little "guppy!" Love it!

  44. Love the post today! I love the meet-cute!! The Holiday is one of my fave movies and I love how Iris and Miles meet.

  45. Glynna,

    I doubt the island where we met is close to Seeker Island. It was the epicenter of the earthquake that rocked Japan in 1995. (Can't imagine eartquakes on Seeker Island.)

    The hotel where my wife and I met no longer exists. :-(...


  46. DebH - great story.

    All these are too fun!

    Sorry about the hotel Walt M. Hard to lose those memory vectors. The infamous bowling alley at D&B's, alas, is no longer there either.

    Glynna Kaye - no, he didn't have a list BUT... the reason he put up with me is ~ it was love at first sight for him. NEVER believed in it before my own tale, but it seems like that is just about a theme today isn't it?!

    On date #4 he told me where I was standing when he first saw me, what I was wearing, etc. I was amazed, especially since I'd been completely obnoxious about the smoking. I thought he was scrumptious when we sat together during the bowling, but thought it inappropriate at a business function to drool.

    His admin asst was the one who finally made him call me 4 months later. She was tired of hearing about me and said she was dialing if he wouldn't.

    God bless her. She came to our wedding party too!

    I'm loving these stories today!

  47. Would love to read this book...please enter me! Thanks!!!

  48. Very helpful blog, Glynna! I'm trying to come up with a 'cute meet' for my next book.

  49. Okay, Glynna ... because of you, I've been humming not only "You've Lost That Loving Feeling," but "Take My Breath Away" ALL FREAKIN' DAY!!

    Man, what a day to be out of the office!! Sooo many fun stories of cute meets that I'm ready to write a love scene right this minute!!

    Ruthy, LOVE Hitch -- it's one of my favorite movies too, and LOVE LOVE the "not so cute" meet in Winter's End ... Marc cold and icy, because OH MY, it is soooo much fun to watch him warm up ... :)

    And, Mary, LOVE that cute-meet scene between Silas and Belle ... heck, LOVE the whole darn book ... my favorite so far of all your wonderful books.

    My own personal "cute meet" with the love of my life was not really all that cute, I'm afraid ... or at least 50% of it wasn't. We met at work and my husband was the new artist in the building, the hottie that turned every gal's head but mine. Quite frankly, I wrote him off because A.) I heard he was engaged and B.) He was WAY too good-looking to notice me. Although I didn't bay at the moon back then, I KNEW I was not in this guy's league, so I didn't even entertain the thought.

    And then one day in the office, he stopped me in front of the president's secy.'s desk and asked if it was me he saw buzzing around in a little, red Honda (the early really tiny roller-skate ones). I said yes, and he wanted to know where I go at lunch. I remember being shocked and very confused, thinking What the heck should it matter to him? Next thing I know, he asks me to lunch, I say yes, and he moseys on, leaving me and the secretary open-mouthed. I still remember her staring at me in awe, saying "I can't believe it -- Keith Lessman just asked you out!!" I'm afraid it was pretty shocking to everyone in the building, but no more so than to me, who is still happily shocked some 32 years later!

    Thanks for allowing me to travel down Memory Lane ...


  50. Hi Mary:

    You’re right, I checked, and it is ‘Petticoat Ranch’. But why did you leave all those other books out? You don’t think anyone is going to believe that that’s all of them?

    Wildflower Bride, the two Alaska books, three Nebraska books, Pride And Pestilence, and who knows how many more?

    BTW, I ordered “The Bossy Bridegroom” twice and both times, before they could mail the book, it was sold out. So finally I had to order it from, A1Books,WESTHAM EAST SUSSEX, United Kingdom. They have 19 copies left now so if anyone else is trying to locate a copy, here’s a source. I just loved the descriptive copy for the book so much that I had to have it.


  51. Hi Glynna:

    I forgot to answer about my ‘cute meet’.

    I think I have a one-of-a-kind ‘cute meet’ in my “Characters in a Romance”. (First draft finished.)

    The heroine is in hell, on the bottom level, with Judas and Brutus as neighbors. She is buried up to her neck in the frozen lake at the bottom, (it’s Dante’s hell – cf. The Inferno). This is the lowest level of hell reserved for traitors.

    Her offense: she is a romance author, who in life, wrote TSTL heroines. (Another romance writer, who is the hero’s neighbor and passing through hell with him, says: “Let her stay here,” when the hero tries to rescue her.)

    The hero, Victor, a kind of philosopher guy, cleverly reads her a page from a Blaze romance. She quickly melts the ice around her and everyone escapes in the ferry that takes people out of hell. (Read Dante. It’s there.)

    This is absolutely true. Does anyone else have anything like this? I think I’m still six months away from a polished manuscript. The whole book is like this: all 120,000 words. If I say so myself, I think this is edgy.


  52. Julie, I'm not the least bit shocked that Keith thought you were the cutest thing in that office!!!

    Oh, Yeah. ;-)

  53. Glynna:

    I've already had the pleasure of reading your book. Picked it up last time I was in the city visiting my daughter.

    Keep it up.

    No 'cute meet' here. He was my pastor.


  54. Vince - you take the prize!!!

    But Julie, that was pretty cute!

    I had an orange "Duster" way back when... Remember those? Wawzah.

    Y'all have a great evening with your "cute meets". :)

  55. Vince ... "one of a kind" is right. I think that story may be a little too "hot" to handle, even for me! :)
    And talk about "edgy ... both your imagination AND the book!

    Aw, Mel, thanks sweetie, but did I tell you the man is half-blind? Which I don't consider a bad thing at all ... :)

    Helen ... no "cute meet" with a pastor??? Come on, girl, I just KNOW there is a story there ...

    Thanks, KC, but nobody tops yours ... 83 things in four dates?? I agree with everyone else, honey -- you need to get that down in a book!

    Glynna, this was SUCH a fun blog today -- thanks for a great time!


  56. Great example, Glynna! I loved While You Were Sleeping. Proof not all inciting incidents require conflict.


  57. Oops, I should've said no overt conflict. Sorry.


  58. While we're on topic, if anyone wants to check out the Books & Such blog from yesterday - here is the topic: Romance Keeps Growing

    I think y'all will find it interesting and will have some good commentary! :)

    I know, I know - that list. I was VERY particular and VERY specific. An innocuous one was: "Opens my door." Just shows where his thinking is and he still treats me like a princess. Ahhh.

  59. Walt -- no earthquakes on Seeker Island yet. Just LOTS of fireworks!

  60. KC -- you must have made quite an impression if he was still talking about you 4 months after your "first meet!" Funny that his admin assitant had to get him to make a move just to shut him up!

  61. Julie -- why do I have a hard time believing there was a guy so handsome he was out of your class? I bet HE has a different version of the story to tell!

  62. Vince -- What can I say? You've left me speechless! (I haven't touched Dante since college.) Which publisher are you targeting with this edgy 120,000 word tome?

  63. Helen -- So glad you enjoyed "Dreaming of Home!" But I agree with Julie, I sense there's more to the story of your very special pastor!

  64. Thanks everyone for stopping in today! I've been out of the Seekerville loop for the past few months due to trying to get my next manuscript out the door. Kept my nose to the grindstone writing --and shoveling 10 feet of snow! But it's good to be back! :)

  65. Hi Glynna:

    Right now I’m looking at Fireside, a division of Simon & Schuster. They published a book called: “Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches Guide To Romance Novels” by S. Wendell and C. Tan.

    This is the nearest book I can find to the one I am doing but the "SB's" are kind of mean spirited. They are the ones who claim that romance writers are ‘too nice’. I have a pair of ‘SB's’ in hell too but I don’t name them.

    As far as length goes, I’m an old advertising copywriter. I’ll write the book to any word length the publisher wants. To the exact word.

    The plot is based on the "Wizard of Oz" so I can always cut out any adventure I want to.

    BTW, I even have a “Wicket Witch of the Eastern Establishment” who I think is a hoot. She runs a an all female college and is famous for giving commencement speeches in which she condemns the romance novel. Every time she says something negative she gets uglier and the students love her the more for it. (But she is actually the biggest romance fan there is and even supports an entire country devoted to writing romances: Romancelandia.)

    Spoiler: (The uglier the Witch becomes on the outside, the more beautiful is on the inside. By the end of the book, she is a saint).

    I can’t guarantee how much of this will make the cut because I’m in big, big, need of an editor.


  66. Glynna and Julie:

    Actually, he was from the same small town. But when a guy's a senior and a gal's an eighth grader, he doesn't know she exists. And I certainly had no idea about him.

    I was totally taken off guard when the guy pulled me aside as people were leaving the church one Sunday and asked if I would like to attend a gospel concert with him. I was the high school senior by then.

    After one year of college and a year of working for a doctor, he asked me to marry him. I'm sure it was because I played the piano and trumpet and sang.

    As for letting him persuade me to change colors (maiden name was Brown), I loved his Old Spice shave lotion. Always told my kids that's why I married their daddy. They were satisfied.

    As for the music, I spent a lot of years as a church music director. So I still think that's why we're together.


  67. Helen said:
    After one year of college and a year of working for a doctor, he asked me to marry him. I'm sure it was because I played the piano and trumpet and sang.

    Uh ... nice try, Helen, but I don't buy it. I haven't met a man yet who married a woman for her voice or musical ability. :)


  68. Julie:

    Someday maybe I'll run up the road and give you all the 'edgy' details.


  69. Hi Julie:

    I should make something clear. The book is G rated. There are no bad words and no sex scenes. I don’t remember right off if there is even any behind closed doors sex. So it can’t be very memorable. : )

    Also, romance itself is the real heroine. The “Wicket Witch of the Eastern Establishment” by reading romances and becoming more beautiful inside was turned into a very good person. Not a very pretty person but a good person just the same. She even paid a noted writer to pen the Romancelandia classic: “Handsome and the Beastette”. This is the long awaited answer to “Beauty and the Beast”. It finally gives the hero a chance to demonstrate genuine character and the true meaning of love.

    I am really just edgy in my satire. I hope that’s clear. In fact any of your “Passion” books will have more sensual emotion than my book. : )


  70. My husband & I went to high school together in California. I had a crush on him but he was oblivious. Thirty one years later he came looking for me via and found me. He was living in Indiana pastoring a church and I was still in California. He contacted me in January, came out to see me in March, proposed, and we were married in Indiana in April...we have been married now for nine wonderful years! There is so much more to the story but it was really a GOD thing!

    The 'cute meet' was when he flew into the airport and his plane had been delayed about four hours. When he came out of the walkway he was peeking around the corner as I was peeking around the column I hid behind. It truly was a magical moment.

    Please enter me into your drawing.

    God Bless You,
    Cindy Woolard


  71. Vince, I think your book sounds really good! It almost sounds like a YA, if the heroine were in her early twenties. I would read it.

  72. Great blog Glynna! I'm a day late, but dh lived in the same community and knew each other "in passing", except we went to different schools and different churches.

    The first time I found out he had noticed me was at the funeral home! lol

    Then he asked me out through his cousin. I accepted throuh her, on the condition she went with us on our first date.

  73. Glynna, I'm a day late! I'm sorry I missed this yesterday. Excellent post!!

    I've been studying my book this week (it's half done) and figured out I need to beef up the first scene in my heroine's pov. (I open in the hero's pov.)

    Great reminder of these movies!

  74. What a wonderful story, Cindy W! Amazing what God can do!

  75. A funeral home, Pam? Now THAT'S a unique one. Sounds like an opening out of one our very own Mary C's stories. :)

  76. Thanks, for stopping in, Missy! I still love your "cute meet" to Her Unlikely Family: "If there was one thing Josie Miller knew, it was the smell of a rich man. And whoever had just walked into the diner smelled like Fort Knox." :)