Writer to Writer - April 26th, 2005
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Dialogue Make it Realistic
© Cheryl Wright All rights reserved
Dialogue is a very temperamental animal. If you dont get it right, you risk spoiling an entire story.
I spend a lot of time eavesdropping on other peoples conversations and make no apology for it. Take the time to sit in your favourite coffee shop, or better yet, go to the mall. Pick out some interesting looking people and . listen in! Seriously.
This is not something to do for five or ten minutes. You need to sit and listen intently for as long as possible. I generally order a nice long drink of hot chocolate! then take it all in. Usually over a period of an hour or so.
Take note of the way unsuspecting victims er, people - speak with each other, and also the way they talk to people of other age groups. More often than not, it will differ greatly.
Notice how the forty-something mother of three uses a totally different language to the forty-something professional sitting not far away. And the nineteen year old male, along with his late-teen friends, will have a language all of their own.
People of varying occupations will speak in another language too. For instance, lawyers will use legal terminology, whereas police officers have their special lingo.
Dont let your hairdresser character speak like a police officer, and dont let your office girl talk like an animal trainer, or a mechanic, and so on. Each occupation, and each character, needs to have their own unique language, just as teenagers do.
This is called talking the talk" and needs to be spot-on to ensure credibility with your stories.
Each one of your characters should be instantly recognisable simply from the words or phrases they use.
Your teenager might say:
"Man, that is sooo cool!"
Whereas a young mother would probably say:
A lot of writers get very confused between dialogue and internal thoughts. Let me simplify the concepts for you.
Dialogue is where the character is actually speaking. "Boy it was hot today!" But internal thoughts are what the character is thinking. For example: Could it get any hotter? These internal thoughts are generally shown in a story in the published form as italics.
Your story would thus read as: "Boy it was hot today!" Joe wiped the sweat from his forehead. Could it get any hotter?
When writing dialogue, think seriously about who is speaking, and what language they would use. Make sure internal thoughts are also in the language of the character. Getting it wrong could mean the difference between getting published or not.
About the author: Cheryl Wright is an award-winning Australian author and freelance journalist. In addition to an array of other projects, she writes a monthly column for a subscription website for writers, and is the author of "Think Outside the Square: Writing Publishable (Short) Stories" and "I Wanna Win! Tips for Becoming an Award Winning Writer". Her debut novel "Saving Emma" was released January 2005 by Whiskey Creek Press. Visit Cheryls website www.cheryl-wright.com
Win writing contests! Become an Award Winning Writer!
Whether you want to win contests or just want to hone your skills, you need "I Wanna Win! - Tips for Becoming an Award Winning Writer" written by Cheryl Wright; award winning author of Think Outside the Square: Writing Publishable (Short) Stories.
In a recent twelve month period, Cheryl entered eight writing contests, short listing in six, and placing second in three. So can you!
Now available! Full details can be found here: http://www.writer2writer.com/win.htm
*Bonus Product included.
Change your entire mindset about writing short stories
If you're serious about writing short stories - and making money from them - "Think Outside the Square: Writing Publishable (Short) Stories" is for you. Written by award-winning Australian author Cheryl Wright, this best selling ebook will guide you toward publication.
For full details and immediate download, go to
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Creating Ideas for Children's Books
© Robyn Opie - All Rights Reserved.
Ideas are everywhere.
All of the time. It's our job, as writers, to find some
ideas and turn them into entertaining stories.
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Ilona Hegedus' sci-fi poem, 'Promise' has just appeared in the April issue of Beyond Centauri, Samsdot Publishing's magazine for kids.
Visit her Web site at: http://ilonahegedus.topcities.com
Cynthia MacGregor's 49th book, MOM, INC., has been published (by Taylor Trade, a division of Rowman & Littlefield). The book helps moms who have any sort of business background, whether they occupied the corner office or took orders from the occupant of that office, to apply the principles they learned at work to the serious business of raising their kids.
And Cynthia's 50th book, JIGSAW PUZZLE FAMILY, will be published in April (by Impact Publishers). This book helps kids in blended families with all the problems and situations they encounter when they find themselves suddenly part of a new family with a new stepparent and perhaps step-sibs and other step-relatives as well.
To learn more about Cynthia's books, go to her website at www.cynthiamacgregor.com.
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