Thursday, July 22, 2010


How Eating A Chocolate Kiss Can Help You Describe Your Hero
By Ruby Johnson
Almost all writers, particularly romance writers, love chocolate.
In fact chocolate has a long history of association with romance.
Valentine’s day and the sale of chocolate is a good example.
 So how can you use chocolate to enhance your ability to use your five senses for description?
If you don’t like chocolate, you won’t develop a passion for it now.
But if the existence- not to mention the taste- of chocolate is one of the ways you know ecstasy on a daily basis, you will love the following exercise from my many years of chocolate appreciation.
 I’m not going to preach to you about the health  or the psychological benefits associated with chocolate, those are well documented.  An ingredient in chocolate is said to react inside your body causing you to feel  much the same as you did when you got your first romantic feelings. Oh, and don’t try this outside in the heat of the summer.

Take a piece of good chocolate (I prefer chocolate truffles) or lacking that a chocolate kiss. Close your eyes and hold the piece of chocolate in your hands, feel the texture, smell it, rub it on your lips, savoring every part of the experience. Then place it in your mouth and pay close attention to how the taste unfolds. Do not chew. Suck on the chocolate and let it melt in your mouth. Notice the explosion of sensation on your lips, tongue, and throat. Notice the difference between sucking on a piece of chocolate and quickly chewing it. Let two or three rapturous minutes pass and open your eyes. Now apply this experience to your hero. This also works well for the heroine.
So lets describe your hero.

 What does your hero look like?

 What color eyes does he have?
 Is he tall, or  average height? Is his build muscular, slender, rugged, wiry?

"The golden lights in his whiskey colored eyes were surrounded by absurdly long lashes."
He was so tall he made her feel petite and she was six feet tall.

What color of hair does he have? Is his hair black, brown, blonde, grey, or any of these with highlights? Is it long, short, curly, straight, thick, thin, or non-existent?

"It went with the slightly shaggy sun-streaked brown hair."
"He was at least forty and his hair was beginning to thin, but it only made him more desirable."

What types of clothes does he wear? Is he a suit and tie man, casual jeans, tee shirt, leather jacket, golf shirt and kaki’s? Does he wear expensive loafers, or boots or tennis shoes?

"He had broad powerful shoulders that strained the fabric of the expensive suit he wore."

Now, consider hearing. What does he sound like? Does he have a soft voice, deep voice, high or a loud one?

"He had a beautiful voice. Deep and rich and curiously fluid."

Does he have an accent?
 Is his accent southern, a western twang, fast New Yorker, or foreign?

"His voice was soft with a western drawl."

"His voice was smoky and rich, thickened by an authentic southern accent."

Next, consider smell. What does your hero smell like?
Does he wear a distinctive aftershave? Does he smell like spice, grass, fresh like a winter afternoon or horses?
" He smelled like the rain of a summer storm.'

Consider the sense of touch and ask what your hero feels like. Does he have smooth hands, soft hands, calloused hands, or hard hands? Is his body rock hard, muscular, or soft?

"She could feel the cowboy's work roughed hands against her skin."
"His well defined shoulder and chest muscles were rock hard. He looked as if it would hurt to bump into him."

Does he have  smooth or roughened skin? Is it enjoyable to touch? Can you feel his beard? Is it a five o’clock shadow or is it longer? Rough or soft? Is his facial hair soft, wiry, spiky? Would you want to run your fingers through it? Are his lips hard, soft,smooth, rough?

"His features were craggy and weatherbeaten and he had at least a two day growth of beard on his face, but his smile took her breath away.. His straight, jet-black hair tumbled over his forehead."

Last, but not least is taste. Imagine kissing your hero. What does he taste like? Whiskey? Mints? Champagne and chocolate?

"He gave her a slow lingering kiss. He tasted of chocolate and champagne and something more earthy".

All five senses have been used in the description of your hero. Not so hard if you start with a piece of chocolate.

What hero's description stands out in books you've read?


Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

Enjoyed your use of chocolate to describe your hero. Makes lots of sense to a writer. :-)


Caroline Clemmons said...

Ruby, what a yummy post!

Anonymous said...

OMG! What a great post. I'm definitely trying the chocolate exercise and applying it to my hero. Hero pictures are great too.

Anonymous said...

I'd have to say Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, but then maybe it was seeing Colin Firth in the role..

Ruby Johnson said...

You have a point about Colin Firth. Thanks Jeanine, Andra, Caroline, and Jeanmarie for your kind comments. It was fun!

Link Within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...