This is topic Is this sappy? in forum Fragments and Feedback for Books at Hatrack River Writers Workshop.

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Posted by Jennywinnie (Member # 8510) on :
OK, I've a love interest in my story and I'm a novice at romance. Take a looky and tell me if this strikes you as sappiness. Please give suggestion for a change. They are both empaths. Of course this is just the beginning of things, but I want know if I'm on the right path. Should I be more obvious, or less so? Cailun is surprised to see her budding fighting abilities.


She dodged again and countered, only striking air as the mongrel passed. Then ducking, barely missing a snapping jaw over her head, she located the leader. She gave him another dose of the stimulating imagery and he lunged feral lust clouding his judgement. She leaned away thrusting the blade with precision into the animal's gut.

She had never been able to read Cailun, or any of the masters very well but now something was coming through. He was surprised, and then there was more.

'No not from him, he's just glad I'm not dead. That's all.'

It comforted her to believe this, even though she knew she was only kidding herself. It seemed impolite to feel this from him, and even more uncomfortable to know that he might be to able

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited September 18, 2010).]

Posted by PB&Jenny (Member # 9200) on :
I don't know if Kathleen cut out the 'sappy' parts, but all I can see right now is the lack of two comma's, here

She gave him another dose of the stimulating imagery and he lunged(,) feral lust clouding his judgement.

and here


'No(,) not from him(, go with a period here) he's just glad I'm not dead.

It reads very exciting. Not seeing any sappy parts, TTTT.


Posted by TrishaH24 (Member # 8673) on :
I too don't see anything sappy. I read (and on occasion write) romancy-things. I'd be happy to take a look at the parts you are worried about if you want. It's very exciting, so I'd read whatever you want to send!

You can email me at if you are interested in getting more feedback.


Posted by Lissa (Member # 9206) on :
Agreed; no sappiness at all.


Posted by DevinAethnen (Member # 8776) on :
If she had dropped the sword and exclaimed, "Oh, I love you, too!" and they had kissed, *that* would be sappy. Sappy is the feeling you get when something is *unrealistically* romantic and sentimental, right? So, just keep it real, the way you are doing.

I think you, the author, are feeling more emotion in this scene than you are conveying with the words. That's why it feels "sappy" to you, even though it isn't. The same thing happened to me -- I felt such strong feelings between my characters that every romantic scene felt overblown, but I only felt that way because they were a part of me. None of my readers even mentioned the possibility of sappiness.

Your scene as posted here is actually so vague as to not even come across as romantic at all. I specifically mean this line: "He was surprised, and then there was more." More what? More surprise? More fighting? This is so little information that only your description of the scene as "romantic" tells me that it's supposed to be some kind of romantic feeling, although whether it's lust, love, passion, affection, I don't know. There's no indication of his facial expression to back it up, either.

It's much better to be clear exactly what emotions she feels coming from him. Without that, we don't understand her reaction. She feels disbelief and embarrassment, but *what* is it that she's disbelieving of and embarrassed about? And how can we sympathize with her feeling that way unless we see the cause?


Posted by WouldBe (Member # 5682) on :
Nothing new to add over what the others have said. I just vote that it's not sappy. Seems like normal angst. She might chide herself for allowing those thoughts during a tactical situation, though.


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