Friday, March 22, 2013

Sounding Real from the LBW blog

The following article was previously
published on my
Amazon Kindle blog
Living, Breathing, Writing [Kindle Edition]
on March 16, 2012...

If you are writing dialogue into your story, it should sound like real people actually talking to one another. Say the words aloud – if it feels awkward to say, it probably is.

Your character’s way of speaking should sound like a person of their class, background, ethnicity and style. That doesn’t mean that every word (or even every sentence) needs to be personalized to the point that the words become unreadable, but insert a word, phrase or accent every so often that is unique to that character

Think of a popular TV show or movie and the catch phrases that were always associated with a particular individual, like Joey Tribbiani in Friends and “How’re you doing?”, or Ricky Ricardo in I Love Lucy and “Lucy, I’m home.” Let your readers identify the person speaking by their style and not just “so and so said”.

If the character is uneducated, or crude, or drunk then they should sound different from the person who is well educated, prim and proper, and possibly snobbish. If they have an accent remember that it would probably be too confusing for your readers to decipher every word, but throwing in the occasional “accented” word will get the point across.

You can even use an occasional foreign word, but try to keep it simple so that your readers are not confused.

Si senor, I do know that yoo can not see…”or “Sir, I can tell that it is not in your view…”or “Hey dude, ya ain’t seeing it…”

The same sentiment, but as you read those three lines, didn’t you get a vision of a different person each time?

Your narrative should be short and simple as well. Don’t use a thesaurus to write just so you can use multiple words to say the same thing. If it doesn’t sound natural, it will likely distract your reader.

You can add expression to your words by using descriptions rather than excess adjectives or needless exclamation points.

Are you in here?” He whispered through the open door. or “Are you in here?” He yelled as he kicked the door open. or “Are you in here?” He spoke haltingly as he looked around the room.

Writing exercise: Write a few paragraphs about any subject. Now see if you can re-write each paragraph with no more than one to two sentences (not endless run-on sentences, please). Include all of the pertinent information by cutting out unnecessary descriptive terms and redundancy. Although your final words may sound dry because you are so limited, it is a good way to learn to tighten your thoughts.
Writing prompt: Describe the room you are in and your actions from your point of view (first person: I see, I hear…); then describe the room from the viewpoint of someone standing in the doorway and watching YOU (third person: She sat rocking in the chair…) Remember that in third-person the person describing the room cannot be in YOUR head, they cannot know HOW you feel.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Read an E-Book Week 2013

Read an Ebook Week
March 3 through March 9

So... have I told you that all of my books are available as e-books? 

Electronic books are full, real books which are readable on computers, tablets and other electronic readers (such as Kindle, Nook, IPad, Smartphones, etc.)

What a NOVEL idea!

I have an e-book reader that isn't much bigger than a paperback novel and certainly much thinner and I have more than 134 books stored on it - it's easy to carry this around during the day. Since I have books to read for enjoyment, reference, self-help guides and more, it's like I always have a library at hand.

There certainly is something to the feel of a real book, the touch of the cover and pages... and there is even something to be said for the smell of a print book, and I am sure there will always be PRINT books I will want to have at hand... BUT I DON'T NEED TO LUG THEM AROUND IN MY PURSE ALL DAY LONG.

E-books are most often more economical for the consumer. For example, list price on the new James Patterson novel, Alex Cross, Run is $28.99, the Kindle price is only $11.99. And Final Sin by Chelle Cordero sells in paperback form for $14.95 but sells in Kindle and other e-book forms for just $4.99.

Such a bargain!

You're worried because you don't have an e-reader? Well, if you are reading this on your computer (desk, laptop or Netbook), then you have an e-reader! 


You can download FREE software that will allow you to read e-books on your computer. Try the NOOK for PC, Kindle reader for the PC, or Adobe PDF reader . There are several more versions of e-readers and converters, just search online to find them. There are also sites like SMASHWORDS that offer many popular e-books in multiple formats.

Welcome to the convenience of e-books!