On Dialogue #OpenBook BlogHop

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is:  “Do you use said or asked after a ? (quotation mark) or tag your interruptions? Any punctuation that bugs you? What’s the hardest for you to get right?”

What a coincidence this topic should come up now. I recently read Crafting Dynamic Dialogue, edited by Cheryl St. John, which I reviewed here. In this book, several fiction authors provide great advice on writing dialogue, some of which I already put into practice.

First of all, I try not to use elaborate dialogue tags such as “he announced” or “she proclaimed.” These distract the reader from what’s being said. It’s better to stick with “said,” “answered,” or asked” and let dialogue speak for itself. Unless there may be some confusion as to who is speaking, I don’t tag interruptions because that disrupts the story’s flow.

That having been said, there are times when it’s better to use a stronger verb than an adverb in dialogue tags. For example, instead of “I hate you!” my teenaged daughter said loudly before dashing upstairs and slamming the door to her room, I would write “I hate you!” my teenaged daughter yelled before dashing upstairs and slamming the door to her room.

I don’t have trouble with punctuation. So, let me share one more thing I’ve learned about dialog tags. It’s more natural to place the person’s name or a pronoun before the verb. Take this passage from The Red Dress.

***

“Oh, look at this!” said Charlene.

***

I should have written this.

***

“Oh, look at this!” Charlene said.

***

I’m not about to republish my novels just so I can correct dialogue tags. But I plan to incorporate tips I’ve learned in my future work.

How about you? Do you like elaborate dialogue tags, or, like me, do you think they’re unnecessary? How do you feel about the use of adverbs and the placement of names or pronouns and verbs in dialog tags? I look forward to reading your answers in the comment field. If you’re a blogger and would like to participate in this week’s 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

 

 

 

 

Advice on Writing Great Dialogue #FridayFunReads

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

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.

***

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

 

 

Twenty-Six Letters #Open Book Blog Hop #Wednesday Words

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s prompt is: “It never fails to amaze me that ALL the books ever written are made up of just twenty six letters.”

***

Actually, this doesn’t surprise me, especially since there are only twenty-six letters in the alphabet, a fact for which I was grateful when I was growing up. Because of my visual impairment, I learned Braille before being taught to read and write print. In Braille, a dot or series of dots stands for a letter or word. Some words like “and,” “the,” and “of” have their own symbols. Since Braille dots take up more room than print letters, contracting such words saves space. The down side is that after learning all the letters of the alphabet, you need to learn all the contractions. But the benefits of using Braille, for people like me, outweigh the inconvenience of learning a bunch of new symbols.

I started learning to type when I was in the eighth grade and discovered, to my dismay, that I now had to write out such words as “for” and “like” instead of using their contractions. By this time, I was in a public school, and it was important that I provide assignments to teachers who couldn’t read Braille without relying on my mother to transcribe them into print after I wrote them in Braille. So, I adjusted. Now, I write with both a Braille and standard computer keyboard and utilize all twenty-six letters of the alphabet.

***

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

 

 

Bring Back the Classic Editor #Reblog

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

If you have a self-hosted WordPress site, and you’re sick and tired of fighting the Gutenberg editor, you can still use the classic editor. However, this editor will only be supported for another year or so. As I understand it, all WordPress users will still need to learn how to use Mr. Blockhead, as I like to call the Gutenberg editor. Despite complaints, WordPress isn’t listening to its customers. If we move our sites to different platforms, we risk losing followers. So, they have us where they want us, and they know it. That having been said, here’s Casey Matthews with Web Friendly Help to explain how you can still use the classic editor on a self-hosted site, at least for another year.

***

Sometimes You Just Need a Classic—car, burger, or in this case, a WordPress editor. I won’t go on a diatribe about WordPress woes with the new Gutenberg editor. WordPress loves it and is pushing it, but throughout the internet, you’ll find people who aren’t as enthused, disability or not.

Read more.

***

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