How Do I Make Dialogue Meaningful?

Photo by Pic Fix via VisualHunt shows two women talking in front of a city backdrop of skyscrapers. The post title, "How Do I Make Dialogue Meaningful" is superimposed on the top.

By Hyu-Wai Loucks

One of the most difficult aspects of writing a novel, or any narrative for that matter, is striking the delicate balance between dialogue and description. While insight into a character’s thoughts, emotions, and perceptions help shape the audience’s understanding of the character’s mind, dialogue aids readers in developing an accurate and full understanding of the character’s complete self. It offers an external glimpse into how a character moves, speaks, and reacts to the world surrounding them; dialogue is a character’s internal motives coming to life. Even so, it is difficult to develop a meaningful flow of speech which progresses the plot, rather than stagnating it.

Countless times while I have been writing, I will be immersed in the world of my own mind, putting down the situations being played out in my head by pen to paper, only later realizing that my dialogue loops in circles, or even worse, straying entirely from the point I am trying articulate.

How can I prevent this????

Thus, there are three necessary regulations dialogue must follow: Continue reading How Do I Make Dialogue Meaningful?

Twitterific Writing Links

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by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Twitterific writing links are fed into the Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine (developed by writer and software engineer Mike Fleming) which has over 40,000 free articles on writing related topics. It’s the search engine for writers.

Have you visited the WKB lately?  Check out the new redesign where you can browse by category, and sign up for free writing articles, on topics you choose, delivered to your email inbox!  Sign up for the Hiveword newsletter here.

Quick Update on a Recent Blog Post: Instafreebie 

Instafreebie’s new iOs reading app has been released.  More about the reading app and how it can help with discoverability here.

Additionally, Instafreebie has also just released a group giveaway interface.  If you’re a writer who wants to find and join a group giveaway, you can now locate one through the Instafreebie site. More information on that can be found here.

I’ll be back on Friday with another post; I’m taking tomorrow off in observance of Labor Day.  Hope everyone has a great week! 

Continue reading Twitterific Writing Links

Teaser Chapters

Photo of a book open to a page. The corner of the page is folded down. The title of the post 'Teaser Chapters' is superimposed on the top of the photo.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Back when I was writing the Southern Quilting Mysteries for Penguin Random House (I’m writing the series independently now), I knew that I would need to have to have a teaser chapter ready for the next book in the series by the time the current book was in production.

This was a bit of a challenge for several reasons. For one, I knew the next book in the series wouldn’t be coming out for a year. That’s the way traditional publishing worked. For another, it required me to already have an outline in place for the next book.  For another, I knew that Penguin Random House wouldn’t want any major changes in that chapter–I needed to have a lock on the character names, etc.

Their focus at the time was mainly still print.  The teaser chapter was a gimmick from an earlier day in the print world.

I’ve used teaser chapters in my self-published books in the past, but now I’ve moved away from the practice…mainly because I’m not wild about teaser chapters as a reader.  Since I read most books digitally, a teaser chapter at the end of a book can make me think that I have more of the book to read than I do.  Besides, reading a teaser for a book that hasn’t yet been published can be frustrating.

Maybe back cover copy would be better. Wouldn’t use up as much room. Or even something like “Next book is “Title.” For updates on the story as I write it, subscribe to my newsletter at _______.

Here are my thoughts currently on the better use of teaser chapters:

If we do include a teaser at the end of the book, consider making it a short one so that readers won’t think they have a lot of book left to read.

Perhaps we should be sensitive to readers and not include a teaser chapter if the book’s release is anticipated to be many months or a year away.

To reach more readers (and not irritate them by including a teaser for a book that won’t come out for a long while), we could consider trading short teasers with another author in the same genre (for theircompleted book).

Or, if we write more than 1 series, put a short teaser of the first book in the other series in the back.

If we put a buy-link in that we can track (through bit.ly, etc.), we can assess how well the teaser is working.

Do you use teaser chapters in your books?  What are your thoughts on them, as a reader?

 

How to Slow Time for More Relaxed, Creative Writing Sessions

A hand, holding a pen in its fist, rises out of a pile of paper.

by Colleen M. Story, @Colleen_M_Story

“Oh, I want to write today, but I just don’t have the time!”

You’ve probably felt this way more than once. In fact, if you’re like many of us in today’s world, you’re feeling frequently pressed for time, and like you just can’t find enough of it—especially for writing.

The bad news is that when you’re constantly under the gun, creativity suffers. In a 2002 study, researchers analyzed more than 9,000 daily diary entries from people who were working on projects that required high levels of creativity. They found that stress, in the form of time pressure, resulted in less creative projects.

“When creativity is under the gun,” the authors wrote, “it usually ends up getting killed.”

The good news is that you don’t have to feel this way. Here are five tips that can help you slow your perception of time so that when you do get a moment to write, you can approach it with a calm, relaxed state of mind. Continue reading How to Slow Time for More Relaxed, Creative Writing Sessions

Twitterific Writing Links

Bluebird with beak open and 'Twitterific Writing Links' by ElizabethSCraig superimposed on the image

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Twitterific writing links are fed into the Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine (developed by writer and software engineer Mike Fleming) which has over 40,000 free articles on writing related topics. It’s the search engine for writers.

Have you visited the WKB lately?  Check out the new redesign where you can browse by category, and sign up for free writing articles, on topics you choose, delivered to your email inbox!  Sign up for the Hiveword newsletter here.

Continue reading Twitterific Writing Links