The most important thing for writing good dialogue is to make it sound natural, and reading it aloud is the way to find out if what you've written sounds natural or not. But really clever dialogue, dialogue that speaks far more than the words and that deepens the characters, uses subtext. This post follows on from 4 tips for writing dialogue. Subtext in dialogue People don’t actually say everything they think. In dialogue, less is often more, and is usually more realistic. If you want the reader to know what a character is feeling, you can write the character’s thoughts as thoughts, if you’re in their POV—they don’t have to express them to the other character. Of course, if you’re not in the POV of the character whose thoughts you want to communicate, then you don’t have the option of writing out their inner thoughts; but in either situation, you can use their expressions, actions and gestures to communicate how they ‘really’ feel about the conversation. I say ‘how … [Read more...]
4 Tips for Writing Dialogue.
Writing dialogue well is an important skill for novel authors because it carries so much characterisation and drives much of the story. Stilted or unnatural-sounding dialogue is something readers will quickly pick up on, and they'll also quickly put your book down. Writing dialogue is more than writing down spoken English. The important thing to understand about writing dialogue is that we don't speak the same way we write. Written English and spoken English are different, and we have to write our dialogue as spoken English, in the way that people actually speak. But at the same time, we have to prune it back a bit, because no one wants to read lots of 'well's and 'um's. Or all the little things people say in introductions, like, 'Lovely weather we're having, isn't it?' In a novel, we want the dialogue to be on point, not to wander off into general chattiness. So start by writing exactly what your characters might say, and then cut back anything that doesn't move the … [Read more...]
4 Things to Consider When Inspiration for Writing a Novel Hits
When inspiration for writing a novel hits in a powerful way, the decision on whether or not to write your story is taken care of. Inspiration blows all concerns out the door, and you find yourself writing anyway, simply because you just have to get the story down. You find yourself immersed in the world of your characters and the story revealing itself as you type. It’s an exciting time. Inspiration for writing a novel After you’ve had a seed of an idea sitting at the back of your mind for a while, anything might set off the level of inspiration needed for you to start typing: music, a photo, someone walking down the street, a conversation you overhear, a sunset, a dream, a movie or TV show, or a book or short story. For me it was a book. I found a book with the dramatic atmosphere and writing style I wanted in my book. I hadn’t known that until I read it, and when I finished the book, it was as if a plug had been removed and the words began to flow. Images of scenes from the … [Read more...]
The Novel You Write When You Aren’t Writing A Novel
Writing a novel is a huge undertaking and tends to take over your life. The process can have you awake and writing at 3 am, neglecting things like food and housework, and in a state of angst as you struggle with difficult scenes or the things that just aren’t falling into place. Once finished, people tell you what they think of it in a public forum, sometimes with brutal honesty, and for most authors, it provides little financial return for the time it takes to write it. You may wonder why anyone bothers. Inspiration is the culprit. It drives artists, even without their invitation. After completing my Diamond Peak Series, I could have written more books. I had ideas that would have made quite decent novels, but after six years of full time studying and practicing writing, I needed more balance in my life. I didn’t, and still don’t, want a book to take over my life like those four wonderful books did. It was a heady time, and the result of that labour is something quite … [Read more...]