Speaking of Dialogue…When Not to Shut Up. The Unless..is More…Rule.

Monday, March 20th, 2017


Sometimes dialogue deserves repetition. Here’s how and why that works.

Speaking of Dialogue…When to Shut Up.

Monday, March 13th, 2017


Not everything needs to be said.   Here are some tips on what to leave out and when:

Dialogue. The opening page – Part 2

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

In our previous post we began discussing the critical first page.

Hi!    Today we’re going to talk about dialogue and that critical first page of your novel.
Not every novel lends itself to dialogue on the opening page, but if you can pull it off, here are some reasons why to do it:

•It physically breaks up the page.

That’s a good thing.
It gives the reader some white space.
Immediately, the reader believes rightly or wrongly…that your book is going to be a fast and fun read.
•Another one?
•It gets us right into the middle of an action.

And that engages us immediately.
Keep in mind that our real goal is to create a dream bubble…
A special world that the reader sinks into and inhabits…

Getting that reader into that world quickly is a big deal.
•The biggest reason?
Done correctly using dialogue on the first page immediately gives us a quick thumbnail of a character who piques are interest…
And something to worry about.

•Oooh.  You have that combination.   It’s gold.

Here’s an example dialogue on the first page…from my first thriller: The Timer Game.
The opening line of that book is a single sentence of dialogue.
Later on that page, we find that it’s spoken by a five-year old girl to her mother as they shop for a Halloween costume.
The opening line is this:
“If somebody’s following us, would you know?”

•Not bad.

Now it’s your turn.
Look at that critical first page of your novel
•and see if there’s a way to insert dialogue.
Write!
And I’ll see you next week.

Dialogue. The Opening Page.

Monday, March 6th, 2017


So you want to start your novel off with a bang? Here’s one simple way to do that.

Dialogue: Who’s who and how we know.

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Today we talk about how to keep the players straight as they open their mouths.

Dialogue:  Weeding in the Garden of Adverbs

Monday, February 20th, 2017


I know I’m not any fun at all.   Last week, we talked about why to use the verb ‘said’ instead of its more showy cousins.   Today we’re going to talk about getting rid of those pesky hangers-on, adverbs, leaning on the word ‘said.’

Dialogue:  Use ‘said’, she said.

Monday, February 13th, 2017


Thinking about having your character hoot, howl or warble the words?
Watch this first.

Dialogue:   I Swear, Officer, I Never Heard This Dialogue Before In My Life.

Monday, February 6th, 2017

We’ve been talking about the ‘don’t repeat dialogue’ rules, and when to break them.  
This week we’re talking about something different:    When the New Dialogue doesn’t match an Old Action…

Dialogue: Another Reason to Say it Twice

Monday, January 30th, 2017


Last week, we talked about characters repeating dialogue. And well, here they go again. Here’s the Don’t Repeat Unless…Rule, Part 2.

Dialogue: The Don’t Repeat Unless…Rule

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

Not all dialogue is meant to be said only once. Here’s a way to make repeated dialogue pay off for the reader.