Squawk Radio

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Okay Squawkers,

I have a great question from Elsie. Elsie runs a book club, and she writes that during a normal meeting, they go around one by one and say the books they've read and give mini-excerpts, opinions etc..then they discuss the read of the month (Elsie usually goes to the author and asks for a list of questions).

But she adds: "It's sort of getting monotonous lately. What can a readers' group do to liven things up and make it more interesting for the group?"

Well, this goes to the heart of a problem I often hit as a Shakespeare professor: there is nothing more tragically bored than the face of an undergraduate who just read Romeo and Juliet for the third time. What I do is use the fact that we are all creative -- every one of us! And romance readers are not only creative, but they're often so well-read in the genre that they know better than the author what they'd like to see in a particular scene.

So why not ask everyone to pick one scene from the monthly book and write an extra sentence: the sentence the author missed? They could add it to a sex scene (which would be fun!), or to the hero's grovel scene, or to the declaration-of-love scene. Then you could go around and read them, and I bet you'll all end up screaming with laughter...and it will lead to an interesting discussion of why certain sentences were needed. You may not want to pass the sentences on to the author, but you'll have a great time writing them!
Eloisa James, 11:23 AM