Tag, You’re It: How to #Write Spectacular #Dialogue Using This #Trend

Dialogue is a way for characters to react and communicate in a story.  It can also be a method to move a story along by adding action rather than paragraph after paragraph of details.  Placing tags before or after the quoted text reveals who is saying what – like “he said” or “she replied”.  Seems cut and dry, right? With emphasis on the dry, these tags don’t give the dialogue much pizazz.

According to Whitney Hemsath, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.  Her delightful post sheds light on a trend that can take a writer’s dialogue from ok to spectacular. Read below.

Photo: Morgue file (diannehope)

Whitney Hemsath

In writing, there are trends. Some people like the trends, others don’t, but knowing the trends and what following them (or not) says about you as a writer can make the difference between getting traditionally published or not.
 
One trend is in regards to dialogue tags. There used to be a time when people wanted variety, not just “he said” and “she said.” So more authors would use phrases like “she questioned” “he commanded” “she responded” “he replied” “she barked” “he stated”. However, these days professionals look at all those words as signs of amateur writing. The current trend is to only use “said” and “asked” (and maybe an occasional “whisper” or “shout” if the volume they are using is important to note and is otherwise unclear from context.)
 
The reasoning behind this is that words like “said” and “asked” become invisible to a reader. They are merely…

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11 Steps for #Writing the Perfect Scene

Ever have a great scene in your head, but when you write it all down, it seems flat?  I’ve certainly been there.  It can be frustrating to visualize everything, and even come up with a bunch of eloquent words that do absolutely nothing for the story.

A writer can show and tell all they want.  But when a story feels dull, chances are the book will be placed on a shelf or table to collect dust.  I certainly don’t want that.  So I enlisted the trusty assistance of Google to help me figure out how to improve my scene.

Lucky enough, I found Continue reading “11 Steps for #Writing the Perfect Scene”

How Do You Get #Readers to Trust You?

This post is so profound. It gives every writer something to think about.

When I’m reading a story, I like learning new words or about situations that I’ve never experienced. But if something sounds outlandish, I will side-eye it and get to Googling to confirm whether accurate.  The findings are what determine whether I deem the story or author trustworthy.

My intentions are to write fictional stories that appear as realistic as possible.  This makes the stories believable and more likely to draw the reader in.  As Jacqui mentioned, building credibility helps to build trust.  And my goal is to create the bond that forms a lasting relationship with the reader.

A Writer's Path

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by Jacqui Murray

I went to my bi-weekly writer’s critique group last night. We get submittals ahead of time, gather our thoughts and comments, and then each of us gets 5 minutes during the meeting to share our suggestions. This week, we were reviewing the work of one of my favorite group authors–we’ll call her Mari. She is writing an amazing piece about a family coping with Alzheimer’s. It’s character-driven fiction, but could also be classified as creative non-fiction so detailed and realistic are the scenes.

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Community Writing: #Critique Thy Neighbour

At the moment, I am actively involved in one critique group.  We call ourselves the Book Markers. Clever, huh?  🙂

It’s easy to write in a bubble where everything we write sounds good.  As Nthato mentioned, being a part of a group helps to vet story ideas, receive beneficial feedback, and build a supportive network with other writers.  These are essentials for good writing and helping to stay motivated.

 

A-Scribe To Describe

writing-group

I’m part of a writer’s group. Several in fact,  although I’m far more active in the more social group than the others and that’s just because it’s more convenient for me. The great thing about writing groups is being able to share writing and let others give insight as to what you wrote. A lot of times we talk through ideas, explain what an official sending address looks like, what sites are perfect for getting people’s names, and occasional debates about Twilight, Fifty Shades, and other heated topics. *I may have played the devil’s advocate on a number of occasions.

However, most importantly, we encourage each other to write. This include adding short excerpts and asking for feedback, because as a writer, feedback is important. Rachel Poli wrote a blog post some time ago about exchanging stories with her sister Kris, and how they critique each others work. It’s a…

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The Shack: When Your Favorite #Book Becomes a #Movie And Misses the Mark But Teaches a Valuable Lesson

Awhile ago I wrote about my writing observations from the novel, The Shack.  When I heard about the movie coming out, I got excited.  Not just because it was one of my favorites, but because it furthers my belief that dreams can come true.  So, my husband and I made a day of the movies, making sure to catch this film.

Like some book-to-movies, there are noticeable differences.  The plot is shortened, some characters don’t make the cut, or the storyline is tweaked.  Regardless, the significance of these alterations, for the better or worse, is up to the reader/viewer.

And so it saddens me

Continue reading “The Shack: When Your Favorite #Book Becomes a #Movie And Misses the Mark But Teaches a Valuable Lesson”

5 Reasons Why I Love The #Emotions Thesaurus

The Emotions Thesaurus has been the greatest tool in my arsenal.  Sometimes I know what emotion to write about, but have a hard time illustrating the body language. I rummage through my head for situations where I felt like the character, but the past actions I used escapes me. This handy book takes the stress out of guessing and remembering. 

It’s definitely helpful with showing instead of telling. The only thing I wish could be different is for new editions with added emotions such as grief. 

Paving My Author's Road

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I didn’t get to do this kind of post, a review of sorts about writing guides/books. I’d planned to last year but better late than never, right? Besides, it’s long overdue to shout from the mountain tops how much I love The Emotions Thesaurus.

How much do I love it?

Well to quote Elizabeth Barrett Browning, ‘let me count the ways!’

I love how it reminds the writer all the ways a character can speak without the use of their mouth. When I got back into the writing game after a long detour, I admit my characters were one dimensional. They spoke but they rarely moved on the page. Literally and figuratively. And then I purchased this wonderful book and my eyes were re-opened. I remembered that body language too spoke volumes.

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#Diversity in #Writing

Diversity in a story makes it more realistic.  If you look at our world, you will see people from all walks of life.  Backgrounds and experiences just as similar and different as the sun is to the moon.

Also, the depth of a character’s makeup can be a learning experience for the reader.  At the very least, a cause to research and evolve so that what is foreign is now familiar.

Photo: Sharon Drummond Before You Even Knew You Wanted Them via photopin (license)

TheBoomCrunch

Diversity of characters, in my opinion, is one of the most important aspects of a story. I don’t just mean making your characters have distinct personalities. I’m talking race, gender, religion, sexuality, and much more.

Regardless of whether or not most stories are about straight white people (they are, at least the ones that get super popular), it is still important to have diversity.

The way I see it, good, well-researched diversity has two effects: it shows those people who identify with the character that they are not alone, and it educates those of us who have not experienced life the way the character and other people like the character have.

Now, there is something to say for not having diverse writing. I’ve seen people complain about how they always imagined their characters one way and then get upset when people suggest they make their stories more diverse. The response…

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