Thursday, March 21, 2013


As one Yiddish grandma said to another, "fancy-schmancy, I prefer plain!"

I have a horror of making my characters sound schmaltzy (overly sentimental).I think we all like to read a romance ending on an uplifting note, but here's where I need some input via different 
viewpoints. That is, from both readers and writers out there.

In the next to the last paragraph of one of my novels, I'm winding up with the following  example below and feel uneasy about it. To put you in the picture, - as in most stories - the male and female characters have had a difficult time getting together. They are now on board a ship heading for a future full of promise.

How does it make you feel? Is it too, too sentimental? A cliche? Better to cut it? I'd love some constructive criticism as I'd really value your opinions. 

As they stood together, contemplating the vast expanse, an ominous storm cloud was transformed into a silver-edged colossus. Shafts of sunlight sliced through, scattering showers of sparkling diamonds across the sea. He turned to gaze into her sweet face. ‘There’ll always be the storm clouds, my beloved, but He will direct us together along His paths.’

I worked out another paragraph, but I'm still unsure whether it's any better.
This M/S comes from my second book in the Watermark Women series. Its title is THE TIE THAT BINDS. It is complete except for this last paragraph. You ICFWers  are the closest I can get to a critique group. 

Do any of you struggle with your endings and have to edit several times? I want it to be memorable. 

Rita's first book in the series, SIGNED SEALED DELIVERED,
How could she believe in her future when she couldn't escape her past? Published by Ark House Press.

At the moment she is working with an editor on Book 3, title A Parcel of PROMISES.

Please feel free to email her at: rita galieh at gmail dot com  (No spaces) or leave a comment right here. 


  1. Beautiful writing, Rita, but I'm a bit concerned about the "silver-linging" cliche. What does your second version say?

  2. Love the photo and the passage of writing, Rita. The one word that didn't gel with me was 'sweet.' Could you use something else?

    1. I agree. It does help to have some input. Thanks girls.

  3. Personally, as a romance reader I liked it, Rita. However, it really does need us to read the few sentences before it to really know. If there was more "sentimental" before it may be too much?? And yes, sometimes those endings just "happen" but I usually have to rewrite....rewrite...rewrite

  4. You're very brave, Rita, asking for our public comments! I love that second sentence, with all its alliteration--well done to you! However, I probably wouldn't use the term 'my beloved' in the last sentence as that sounds a bit 'schmaltzy' to me, but it depends when your novel is set, I guess.

  5. This was so helpful to me. Thanks Mary & Jo, and all the other girls, I'll rewrite and skip "beloved".

    I felt uneasy after reading it, so that's a good sign it wasn't 'up to scratch'.

  6. I stumbled on the "was transformed" bit.

    I'd rewrite to "an ominous storm cloud split, becoming a...."

    The "was transformed" made it too passive, like it was happening slowly. I agree with the comments above, the "sweet" and "beloved" were a little over the top. But I loved the alliteration in the "Shafts of sunlight" sentence.

    Of course, I'm a Dr. Seuss fan. I love alliteration and rhyme and play with words.

    Can hardly wait to read the entire book.

  7. Hey! I call my hubby Beloved all the time. But I agree that reading more perhaps as much as the last page would help me decide if it is to schmaltzy. If the hero went through something that makes those sentimental words powerful showing a change that is what you want. I didn't care for the cloud description. However, it may fit perfectly with the rest of the book. Like the closing line to Gone With The Wind once you have travel along with Scarlett and Rhett the last line is the perfect ending.
    Let me know when your book is out.
    Cindy Huff

  8. Thanks Judith & Cindy.
    Yes, I guess it's difficult for you to judge without really knowing the characters.

    But I've taken these comments aboard.