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Hi Cathy, how are you?

I've come across a passage and have problems with understanding it.

Bono and Larry are talking about one of their songs and Bono says: I remember Larry saying the verses need to be much tougher and that is when I came up with the opening line: "I'm not afraid of anything in this world..." which is just a throw-down. A pop song that starts with that, you have to back it up. I thought Michael (the person this song has been written for) deserved a lyric that wasn't mawkish or sentimental, the way two friends would talk to each other: "what is going on here? There's nothing to be afraid of". It's got that attitude of when your jaw sticks out, like before a row: "I'm gonna stand up straight, carry my own weight, these tears are going nowhere."

1. What does he mean by "throw-down"? What does it mean?
2. "Back it up" I think he's saying that this song has to have some lyrics that could back up the first line. Maybe...
3. When he's saying: "what is going on here? There's nothing to be afraid of" - does he mean that these words are sentimental and mawkish?
4. And then he adds that his song, his lyrics have an attitude of when you jaw "sticks out"? But what does it mean that a jaw "sticks out"?

All the best Cathy!

1. A "throw-down" is shorthand for throwing down the gauntlet---a challenge. If you're going to make a challenging statement of "I'm not afraid of anything in this world," you have to back it up.

2. Yep.

3. No, he's saying that the words COULD HAVE been sentimental,and he didn't want them to be. So he chose the words very carefully, because the character deserved careful words.

4. When someone is standing really aggressively, right before a fight, the person often moves their head forward but leaves their shoulders in place. The jaw sticks out further than when the person is standing normally.


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Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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