Advice on Writing Great Dialogue #FridayFunReads

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Crafting Dynamic Dialogue: The Complete Guide to Speaking, Conversing, Arguing, and Thinking in Fiction (Creative Writing Essentials)

Edited by Cheryl St. John

 

What Amazon Says

 

Write authentic dialogue that invigorates your story!

 

Exceptional dialogue isn’t just important when writing fiction–it’s essential. In order to impress an agent or editor and keep readers turning pages, you need to deliver truly standout dialogue in every scene. Crafting Dynamic Dialogue will give you the techniques and examples you need to impress your readers.

 

This book is a comprehensive guide to writing compelling dialogue that rings true. Each section is packed with advice and instruction from best-selling authors and instructors like Nancy Kress, Elizabeth Sims, Steven James, Deborah Halverson, James Scott Bell, Donald Maass, Cheryl St. John, and many others. They’ll show you how to:

 

  • Bend the rules to create a specific effect
  • Understand the role of dialogue in reader engagement
  • Use dialect and jargon effectively
  • Give every character a believable, unique voice
  • Set the pace and tone
  • Reveal specific character background details
  • Generate tension and suspense
  • Utilize internal dialogue

Whether you’re writing flash fiction, a short story, or a novel-length manuscript, Crafting Dynamic Dialogue will help you develop, write, and refine dialogue to keep your readers hooked.

 

My Thoughts

 

I like how many of the authors who contribute to this book provide excerpts from published works to emphasize certain points about dialogue. Some of the novels and stories referenced I haven’t read at all, and others I haven’t read in years. Some contributors suggest exercises, one of which, in part, inspired last Thursday’s six-sentence story post.

Although some of the advice is conflicting, it’s still advice you can take or leave. I hope to use some of these authors’ techniques in my own writing. I’m a firm believer in showing and not telling. If you want to learn how to write effective dialog that shows your reader your story, this book is for you.

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By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Image contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

Books

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A Compelling Tale of Loss and Reconciliation #Friday Fun Reads

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

The Return

by Nicholas Sparks

 

What Amazon Says

 

In the romantic tradition of Dear John, an injured Navy doctor meets two extremely important women whose secrets will change the course of his life in this #1 New York Times bestseller.

 

Trevor Benson never intended to move back to New Bern, North Carolina. But when a mortar blast outside the hospital where he worked sent him home from Afghanistan with devastating injuries, the dilapidated cabin he’d inherited from his grandfather seemed as good a place to regroup as any.

 

Tending to his grandfather’s beloved beehives, Trevor isn’t prepared to fall in love with a local . . . yet, from their very first encounter, Trevor feels a connection with deputy sheriff Natalie Masterson that he can’t ignore. But even as she seems to reciprocate his feelings, she remains frustratingly distant, making Trevor wonder what she’s hiding.

 

Further complicating his stay in New Bern is the presence of a sullen teenage girl, Callie, who lives in the trailer park down the road. Trevor hopes Callie can shed light on the mysterious circumstances of his grandfather’s death, but she offers few clues—until a crisis triggers a race to uncover the true nature of Callie’s past, one more intertwined with the elderly man’s passing than Trevor could ever have imagined.

 

In his quest to unravel Natalie and Callie’s secrets, Trevor will learn the true meaning of love and forgiveness . . . and that in life, to move forward, we must often return to the place where it all began.

 

My Thoughts

 

I’ve enjoyed several of this author’s books, and this one didn’t disappoint me. The myriad plot twists kept me engaged. At the end, I was afraid that one detail might be left to the reader’s imagination, but I was pleasantly surprised and relieved when it was unexpectedly resolved in the epilogue. I like how the prologue gives us an idea of how the book will end. If you like a feel-good story about loss and reconciliation, The Return is for you.

***

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Image contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

The Diary of Ashley Sawyer #Open Book Blog Hop #Wednesday Words

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s prompt is: “Dear Diary. Write a diary entry or a letter from your character’s point of view.”

***

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

 

My name is Ashley Sawyer. I’m fifteen years old, and I live in Colorado Springs with my parents, my sister Julie, who is seventeen, and my brother Thomas, who just turned thirteen in June. In case you’re wondering, we do have a Tom Sawyer in the family. My dad, an English teacher at the Colorado State School for the Blind, and my mom, a bestselling author, named him after that character in the Mark Twain book. Tom also had an Aunt Polly and, I believe, a cousin Mary. Why my sister and me weren’t named after them is beyond me. Of course, my dad has a sister in California named Polly. So, having two people in the family named Polly would have been confusing.

Anyway, my friend Sylvia got this book called The Diary of Anne Frank for her birthday last week. She and I mostly like to read romances like what my mom writes, but when I slept over at her house last Saturday, we stayed up late, taking turns reading sections of it to each other out loud. It’s a fascinating and tragic story about a Jewish girl in Holland during World War II who keeps a diary while her family is in hiding from the Nazis.

Sylvia said I could borrow the book, but I wanted my own copy. So, I asked my grandpa, who runs a bookstore in Fowler, if he had it. He was surprised but glad I was broadening my horizons, so to speak. He said he would have to order it, but it would be there the next time we visited.

Meanwhile, I’ve decided to start my own diary, although my life isn’t nearly as interesting as that of Anne Frank. Then again, last summer was amazing! Mom reconnected with an old college roommate and a former best friend she hadn’t seen in years. Julie got a steady boyfriend, and I made a new friend in California. I also got to attend a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game, where my new friend’s brother caught a ball for me. I gave it to Thomas, who was over the moon, being a Colorado Rockies fan.

Oh, gosh, I don’t have time to write any more now. Mom’s calling us all down to breakfast. Then, I’ll have to hurry, so I don’t miss the school bus. I’ll write more tomorrow. I promise.

***

Want to know more. Read The Red Dress. If you’re a blogger and would like to participate in this week’s Open Book Blog Hop, click here.

***

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Image contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

Exploring Desert Regions #Friday Fun Reads

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Virga and Bone: Essays from Dry Places

By Craig Childs

Copyright 2019

 

What Audible Says

 

“” From the author of The Secret Knowledge of Water and Atlas of a Lost World comes a deeply felt essay collection focusing upon a vivid series of desert icons – a sheet of virga over Monument Valley, white seashells in dry desert sand, boulders impossibly balanced. Craig Childs delves into the primacy of the land and the profound nature of the more-than-human. ””

 

My Thoughts

 

Rick Adamson, the narrator of this Audible version, does an excellent job. I enjoyed reading about the author’s desert adventures in California, Mexico, and other locations. Having grown up in Arizona, I was especially interested in his experiences with and perceptions of the dessert outside Tucson and the Navajo reservation. At times, I was reminded of the geology classes I took in high school and college. If you’re interested in deserts and enjoy reading about outdoor adventures, this book is for you.

***

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Image contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

A Story of Love, Heartbreak, and Everything in Between #Friday Fun Reads

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Better Luck Next Time: A Novel

by Julia Claiborne Johnson

Copyright 2021

 

What Amazon Says

 

“Do you want to read something funny? Let’s say, a novel set at a divorce ranch in Reno in the 1930s? A book with memorably eccentric characters, sparkling dialogue, a satisfying plot twist, and some romance and sex?  A feel-good literary comedy/western? Here it is, then, the book you’ve been looking for: Julia Claiborne Johnson’s Better Luck Next Time.”—Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members and The Shakespeare Requirement

The eagerly anticipated second novel from the bestselling author of Be Frank with Me, a charming story of endings, new beginnings, and the complexities and complications of friendship and love, set in late 1930s Reno.

It’s 1938 and women seeking a quick, no-questions split from their husbands head to the “divorce capital of the world,” Reno, Nevada. There’s one catch: they have to wait six-weeks to become “residents.” Many of these wealthy, soon-to-be divorcees flock to the Flying Leap, a dude ranch that caters to their every need.

Twenty-four-year-old Ward spent one year at Yale before his family lost everything in the Great Depression; now he’s earning an honest living as a ranch hand at the Flying Leap. Admired for his dashing good looks—“Cary Grant in cowboy boots”—Ward thinks he’s got the Flying Leap’s clients all figured out. But two new guests are about to upend everything he thinks he knows: Nina, a St Louis heiress and amateur pilot back for her third divorce, and Emily, whose bravest moment in life was leaving her cheating husband back in San Francisco and driving herself to Reno.

A novel about divorce, marriage, and everything that comes in between (money, class, ambition, and opportunity), Better Luck Next Time is a hilarious yet poignant examination of the ways friendship can save us, love can destroy us, and the family we create can be stronger than the family we come from.

 

My Thoughts

 

I like how the author tells the story from Ward’s first-person point of view. It’s as if you’re visiting him fifty years later, and he’s telling you his story. Some of it is funny, and some of it isn’t. This book offers a variety of life lessons on not just marriage and divorce. The ending will surprise and move you.

***

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Image contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website