I tend to write with my eyes. What this means is that – when I started out – I tended to see my characters and see the action. I didn’t hear their voices, or smell the air and feel the textures. It took years of training to learn to ‘hear’ and ‘touch’, smell and ‘taste’. Other beginner writers have problems visualizing a scene, but can write dynamite dialogue.
This sensuous writing might seem like a basic tool in the writing kit, but it is surprising how many people forget that writing – like all skills – is a mixture of training, talent, and practice. Lots and lots of practice. Teaching yourself to notice details. Trying to think of unique ways to describe an experience. Getting out and having experiences so you can describe them!
So, next time your a reading a descriptive passage, don’t dismiss as ‘purple prose’. Some hard-working person has put some thought and effort into that paragraph!
I’ve not been doing much writing over the last month. Normally, if I’m not writing, I am on edge. Itchy. Like a small child who is overtired, I tend to forget things; things like appointments, the right words, and I leave cups of coffee to go cold. I’ve been a bit like this, but sadder and out of sorts. Melancholy. I still cry when I remember my brave-hearted mother is dead.
This week, I made the decision to cimb back into the saddle. I won’t be galloping just yet, but I’m going to try a gentle trot, and get back into my writing rhythm. I’m using riding metaphors because I am doing some writing about the Duke of Wellington. He rode his steed, Copenhagen, for seventeen hours during the Battle of Waterloo, and when he dismounted the animal tried to kick him in the head. Let’s hope my muse doesn’t do the same!
Looking for something with one of my stories! Here you go!
Well, it’s been an exciting few months. What do you want first? The good news or the bad news?
Bad news? Well, since January, my mum broke her hip, I’ve had a skin cancer cut out of my ankle and it is taking a long time to heal (it is still a scab and hurts), and my computer back-ups died and I thought I’d lost ALL MY WRITING. I’ve been crying a bit more than usual.
Good News! The company Computer Fixperts were able to recover 99% of my writing. The skin cancer was completely removed and I don’t need radiation treatment or chemotherapy. My mum had a clean break, they pinned it, and she is back at home and recovering well.
More good news: I have had FIVE acceptances since January. And a publisher is interested in my turning a short story into a book. Below is a link to one of my newly published stories!
Greetings and Felicitations. I’ll bet your wondering where I’ve been?
I’ve been spending more time out in the garden, exercising, and writing. Yes. Writing. Writing short stories and sending them off to market, writing articles, writing job applications (still no luck), volunteering for the Queensland Writers Centre, and getting ready to write my new novel – nicknamed the Train Book. I started writing it this week, now that I have enough reseach under my belt, and I have written my timeline and outline.
But what about my Steampunk novel, you ask?
It is ‘resting’. There is a point in the editing process when need to stop. I could edit forever. The Steampunk novel still needs work, but at the moment I need to step away from it and gain some perspective again. I was ‘fussing’ rather than editing. I keep wanting to add in new stuff. I need to look at the story, write a new outline, and STICK TO IT!
I hope to have the Train Novel’s first draft written by Christmas. I’m aiming at 120,000 words. (And no, I’m not doing NaNoWriMo, even though I could). I’m looking writing at 10,000 words a week for twelve weeks. That is approximately 1500 words a day, which is doable. I’m on a writing high at the moment.
However, I know I have severely neglected this blog. And I can’t promise that things are going to change too soon. However, I will TRY to update you all once ot twice a week.
In other news … my hair is now green-blue. I am losing weight, but I still have no neck and no waist.
Good dialogue comes down to six factors:
1. First and foremost, it advances the plot. Indeed … I know this goes without saying, but if I didn’t mention it I would be letting the team down.
2. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. However, when it comes to characterization, dialogue is one of the best methods for adding depth to a character. How they say what they mean is just as important as what they are saying.
3. It should seem natural, without actually being natural. Real conversation is full of ums, ers, and broken sentences. Unless you are writing ‘slice of life’, written dialoque should skip ninety percent of this ‘filler’ waffle.
4. Make it snappy and witty. Memorable. Channel Oscar Wilde or Terry Pratchett. Don’t bore your readers.
5. Dialogue should do more than just be about talking heads. It should also be adding to the underlying theme of your narrative. What are the underlying implications of your dialogue?
6. Alice might think a book without conversations is dull, but remember that your narrative should be more than just dialogue. If you want to have a masterclass, read Isaac Asimov to see how a dialogue can move a story along, and still be full of action.