Tali Spencer: A Visual Writer

on Jul 18, 2013 by

Thanks for letting me stop by, Michael!

Though I use words as my medium, much of the time I’m attempting to create images. As a species, humans are incredibly visual. We gather more information about the world through our eyes—up to 80%—than through any other sense. So when it comes to portraying a world, or a person in that world, description is an important component. Like it or not, the reader is probably going to build a picture in their head. The better cues I give as a writer, the better vision they will have of the world.

Inexperienced writers often focus a little too much on describing their characters. It doesn’t really require many words to effectively describe a human being. For one thing, we all know what one looks like. So the description can be spare and still achieve full realization. In one of my novellas, I never describe the POV character. He doesn’t think of himself in visual terms and I never have him look in a mirror. He knows he’s good-looking because his dealings with other people have taught him this. But he does take note of the appearance of every other character, including their reactions to him.

In Thick as Thieves, the appearances of the two main characters get more fully developed because their looks play an important part in the story. Some of the most memorable physical details of the characters are embedded not in direct descriptions of them, but in comparisons that anchor a detail to something inanimate but familiar. Like Vorgell’s early take on Madd, the pretty male witch:

A smile like a fisherman’s knife flashed his way.

The simile suggests Madd is being sharp and deliberate, his smile wielded by an expert. Later, a metaphor adds depth to the depiction of Tagard, the witch thief, by giving sound a visual component:

Tagard had a pleasant voice, deep but soft, with the texture of morning.

And of course description is necessary to build the world around the characters and to frame their actions when in it.

During the day, Gurgh milled with color, wealth, and life. At night, the city became a deadly playground for the dregs of its society. Wizards wandered the streets with their fiends, looking for the insane and those with visible magic. Caped lords and corseted ladies paraded among revelers, panderers, and thieves. The sound of scuttling on a roof or in an alley might mean rats—or assassins. The woman in the shadows might be a whore—or a priestess of the deadly goddess Kom. Painted and false, Gurgh laughed and taunted and wheezed its way through the night.

In the end, I hope my writing serves to entice the reader to enter my created world and get to know it and my characters so well the world becomes real, at least for a while, long enough for readers to enjoy the adventure. A novel comes to life only if there are readers to bring it into their minds.

Blurb:

After Vorgell the barbarian fucks himself with a unicorn horn, he ends up in a cell with Maddog, a pretty young thief. It’s lust at first sight for Vorgell—but honestly, he can’t help it. Unicorn horn is a potent aphrodisiac, and now he can’t stop thinking about sex. Luckily, Madd is one male witch who knows how to put Vorgell’s new magical body to good use when he tricks Vorgell into a kiss that helps them escape.

Vorgell may desire sex in general—and Madd in particular—but Madd has no intention of being screwed by a man twice his size. He has problems of his own, including an enchanted collar that causes him to desire his most hated enemy. He wants that collar off as soon as possible, but that requires stealing a basilisk egg from the castle they just escaped.

Drawn together by lust and magic, the two men join forces and soon find themselves up to their necks in witches, wizards, and trouble. Vorgell and Madd might just be perfect for each other, but first they have to survive long enough to find out.

ThickAsThieves2

Excerpt:

“Let’s go!” Madd grabbed at him. “You don’t have to kill them. The city guards are coming. We can’t stay here!”

Heeding his partner, Vorgell joined him, and they fled.

Buildings in this part of the city pressed close to the street, and the alleys were narrow. They ran until the crowd thinned and they could no longer hear the shrieks and cries of the still-blinded onlookers. Even with that in their favor, they could not return to their room. Too many people had seen them. Fortunately, neither of them owned enough yet to have left any possessions behind.

Barely avoiding the contents of a chamber pot being dumped into the alley, they slowed to a walk and recovered their breaths. The sun had dropped low enough that a few rays pierced the clouds and cast the alleyway in shadow.

“That was close.” Madd shook his head, his cheeks flushed prettily from exertion. He still clutched the bundle they’d gotten from Ibeena, his fingers curled anxiously into the thick hide. Beads of sweat trickled near his ear. A wild impulse to lick those drops swept through Vorgell, and he pushed Madd in one rough movement against the nearest building. Madd looked up at him in alarm.

“Are you all right?” Vorgell bent near to breathe more deeply of the masculine scent of sweat and skin. He could feel Madd’s body casting off heat, and he wanted nothing more in the world than to feel his skin slide slick and wet against the other man’s.

“What’s wrong with you? Of course I’m all right. You’re the one who was fighting! I’m surprised you’re not bleeding!”

Madd was still breathing hard, but he didn’t try to struggle out of Vorgell’s grip on his shoulders. Vorgell moved close, only stopped short by his cock—erect again—touching Madd’s belly.

He smiled at the glare he received for that trespass. “I’m glad you didn’t run away after all. If you’d run, I might have lost you. I rather like having a partner.”

His words earned him a smirk of triumph. “The moonblind trick worked pretty well, didn’t it?”

Vorgell could barely breathe he was so ensnared by Madd’s dark eyes, shining and lined with a fringe of thick lashes. The moon, not the sun, glowed in those liquid depths. Everything about the young witch male invited thoughts of bedsheets and night and the tender joys of the flesh. Vorgell was torn between wanting to keep this man safe and wanting to plunder him like a lovesick swain.

“They might still be looking for us,” Madd said. “I suggest we keep moving.”

ThickasThieves-Spencer_headerbanner

Author Bio

Tali Spencer fell in love with writing at an early age and never stopped. Thanks to a restless father, she grew up as a bit of a nomad and still loves to travel whenever she can. Her longest stint in one place was Milwaukee where she went to college and enjoyed a series of interesting careers including respiratory therapist, airport executive, and raising three surprisingly well-adjusted sons. She later married her true love and put down new roots in Philadelphia, where she lives in an ongoing Italian American family sitcom. At least she’s learned how make good pasta. When not writing, Tali reads everything from sweet goofy romances to Lebanese cookbooks, manages her fantasy football team—go Gekkos!—and takes long walks with her loving, if slightly neurotic, poodle.

Visit Tali’s blog at http://talismania-brilliantdisguise.blogspot.com
E-mail: tali.spencer1@gmail.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/tali.spencer
Twitter: @tali_spencer

 

Buy Links for Thick as Thieves: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4002

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thickasthieves-1228425-143.html

http://www.amazon.com/Thick-as-Thieves-ebook/dp/B00DTNALTK/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1373317387&sr=8-5&keywords=tali+spencer

Thanks for letting me stop by, Michael!

Though I use words as my medium, much of the time I’m attempting to create images. As a species, humans are incredibly visual. We gather more information about the world through our eyes—up to 80%—than through any other sense. So when it comes to portraying a world, or a person in that world, description is an important component. Like it or not, the reader is probably going to build a picture in their head. The better cues I give as a writer, the better vision they will have of the world.

Inexperienced writers often focus a little too much on describing their characters. It doesn’t really require many words to effectively describe a human being. For one thing, we all know what one looks like. So the description can be spare and still achieve full realization. In one of my novellas, I never describe the POV character. He doesn’t think of himself in visual terms and I never have him look in a mirror. He knows he’s good-looking because his dealings with other people have taught him this. But he does take note of the appearance of every other character, including their reactions to him.

In Thick as Thieves, the appearances of the two main characters get more fully developed because their looks play an important part in the story. Some of the most memorable physical details of the characters are embedded not in direct descriptions of them, but in comparisons that anchor a detail to something inanimate but familiar. Like Vorgell’s early take on Madd, the pretty male witch:

A smile like a fisherman’s knife flashed his way.

The simile suggests Madd is being sharp and deliberate, his smile wielded by an expert. Later, a metaphor adds depth to the depiction of Tagard, the witch thief, by giving sound a visual component:

Tagard had a pleasant voice, deep but soft, with the texture of morning.

And of course description is necessary to build the world around the characters and to frame their actions when in it.

During the day, Gurgh milled with color, wealth, and life. At night, the city became a deadly playground for the dregs of its society. Wizards wandered the streets with their fiends, looking for the insane and those with visible magic. Caped lords and corseted ladies paraded among revelers, panderers, and thieves. The sound of scuttling on a roof or in an alley might mean rats—or assassins. The woman in the shadows might be a whore—or a priestess of the deadly goddess Kom. Painted and false, Gurgh laughed and taunted and wheezed its way through the night.

In the end, I hope my writing serves to entice the reader to enter my created world and get to know it and my characters so well the world becomes real, at least for a while, long enough for readers to enjoy the adventure. A novel comes to life only if there are readers to bring it into their minds.

Blurb:

After Vorgell the barbarian fucks himself with a unicorn horn, he ends up in a cell with Maddog, a pretty young thief. It’s lust at first sight for Vorgell—but honestly, he can’t help it. Unicorn horn is a potent aphrodisiac, and now he can’t stop thinking about sex. Luckily, Madd is one male witch who knows how to put Vorgell’s new magical body to good use when he tricks Vorgell into a kiss that helps them escape.

Vorgell may desire sex in general—and Madd in particular—but Madd has no intention of being screwed by a man twice his size. He has problems of his own, including an enchanted collar that causes him to desire his most hated enemy. He wants that collar off as soon as possible, but that requires stealing a basilisk egg from the castle they just escaped.

Drawn together by lust and magic, the two men join forces and soon find themselves up to their necks in witches, wizards, and trouble. Vorgell and Madd might just be perfect for each other, but first they have to survive long enough to find out.

ThickAsThieves2

Excerpt:

“Let’s go!” Madd grabbed at him. “You don’t have to kill them. The city guards are coming. We can’t stay here!”

Heeding his partner, Vorgell joined him, and they fled.

Buildings in this part of the city pressed close to the street, and the alleys were narrow. They ran until the crowd thinned and they could no longer hear the shrieks and cries of the still-blinded onlookers. Even with that in their favor, they could not return to their room. Too many people had seen them. Fortunately, neither of them owned enough yet to have left any possessions behind.

Barely avoiding the contents of a chamber pot being dumped into the alley, they slowed to a walk and recovered their breaths. The sun had dropped low enough that a few rays pierced the clouds and cast the alleyway in shadow.

“That was close.” Madd shook his head, his cheeks flushed prettily from exertion. He still clutched the bundle they’d gotten from Ibeena, his fingers curled anxiously into the thick hide. Beads of sweat trickled near his ear. A wild impulse to lick those drops swept through Vorgell, and he pushed Madd in one rough movement against the nearest building. Madd looked up at him in alarm.

“Are you all right?” Vorgell bent near to breathe more deeply of the masculine scent of sweat and skin. He could feel Madd’s body casting off heat, and he wanted nothing more in the world than to feel his skin slide slick and wet against the other man’s.

“What’s wrong with you? Of course I’m all right. You’re the one who was fighting! I’m surprised you’re not bleeding!”

Madd was still breathing hard, but he didn’t try to struggle out of Vorgell’s grip on his shoulders. Vorgell moved close, only stopped short by his cock—erect again—touching Madd’s belly.

He smiled at the glare he received for that trespass. “I’m glad you didn’t run away after all. If you’d run, I might have lost you. I rather like having a partner.”

His words earned him a smirk of triumph. “The moonblind trick worked pretty well, didn’t it?”

Vorgell could barely breathe he was so ensnared by Madd’s dark eyes, shining and lined with a fringe of thick lashes. The moon, not the sun, glowed in those liquid depths. Everything about the young witch male invited thoughts of bedsheets and night and the tender joys of the flesh. Vorgell was torn between wanting to keep this man safe and wanting to plunder him like a lovesick swain.

“They might still be looking for us,” Madd said. “I suggest we keep moving.”

ThickasThieves-Spencer_headerbanner

Author Bio

Tali Spencer fell in love with writing at an early age and never stopped. Thanks to a restless father, she grew up as a bit of a nomad and still loves to travel whenever she can. Her longest stint in one place was Milwaukee where she went to college and enjoyed a series of interesting careers including respiratory therapist, airport executive, and raising three surprisingly well-adjusted sons. She later married her true love and put down new roots in Philadelphia, where she lives in an ongoing Italian American family sitcom. At least she’s learned how make good pasta. When not writing, Tali reads everything from sweet goofy romances to Lebanese cookbooks, manages her fantasy football team—go Gekkos!—and takes long walks with her loving, if slightly neurotic, poodle.

Visit Tali’s blog at http://talismania-brilliantdisguise.blogspot.com
E-mail: tali.spencer1@gmail.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/tali.spencer
Twitter: @tali_spencer

 

Buy Links for Thick as Thieves: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4002

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thickasthieves-1228425-143.html

http://www.amazon.com/Thick-as-Thieves-ebook/dp/B00DTNALTK/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1373317387&sr=8-5&keywords=tali+spencer



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