Tag Archives: Dialogue

#SundaySnippet 9.8.19

I missed posting this last week because of my inability to type yet, status post rotator cuff and torn bicep repair.

Thank you, Jesus, I’m able to type a little now.

This is a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from book2 in my DotComGirls romance series. There’s a good chance I might be self pubbing this in the near future if no one in the industry wants to to that for me (heehee)

Anyway, Heroine is Nell Newbery, hero is Charlie Churchill and this scene is a little banter between them I kinda like.

My ride had arrived during the time we were being questioned and hadn’t stuck around.

I ordered another one.

“Two minutes out,” I said. “He’s around the corner.”

“I’ll wait with you,” Charlie said.

“You don’t have to.”

“I want to.”

I nodded and readjusted my briefcase strap around my shoulder and sucked on the inside of my cheek.

“Look—”

“I’d like—”

He grinned down at me. “You first.”

“I just want to say…thanks. For everything, from helping me when I fell, to when I banged my chin, and for the burger.” I shook my head. “I feel like I’ve had a black raincloud following me around this entire day and I sucked you into my own personal squall.”

“I’m British,” he said, a bemused expression on his face. “I’m used to the rain.”

I laughed.

“I don’t care about storms, Nell,” he added. “I always have an umbrella stored in my briefcase as a precaution.”

“I bet you were a boy scout.”

It was his turn to laugh. “Something equivalent, anyway. Listen.” He took my hand in his and my nerves instantly ebbed away. “I enjoyed spending time with you this evening and I’d like to do it again.”

“Really?”

“Why do you sound shocked?”

I lifted a shoulder and pulled a corner of my mouth between my teeth. “Raincloud, remember? Plus—”

When I didn’t continue he squeezed my hand. “Did you not have a good time?”

“No. I mean, yes I did, not no, I didn’t. I did. It was fun.”

Lord, when did I turn into such a babbler?

He grinned down at me.

“It’s just, well…I don’t date much.”

“Neither do I.”

My head slammed back up. “I find that hard to believe. I caught some of the looks those women tossed you when they were leaving my lecture tonight.”

“I don’t date students. Ever. That’s a line that never gets crossed. Not by me.”

“Oh. Well.” I swallowed. “I’m sure you know other women who aren’t students.”

He nodded. “None of them, unfortunately, know Dr. Strange isn’t a rapper or confuse Stan Lee with a famous martial artist from the sixties.”

My pulse rate jumped a half dozen beats when he tossed me a cheeky grin, laughter in his eyes.

“I do have some talents,” I said.

He lifted his chin to something behind me. “I think this is your ride.”

With his hand still wrapped around mine, he walked me to the curb. Habit had me checking the license with the one I’d been texted.

“It is.”

He opened the passenger door for me and I got in.

“You never answered me,” he said when I was seated. “Would you like to do this again?”

I’d lived my entire adult life taking chances in my professional life but shying away from them in my personal one. The reasons to avoid becoming involved were valid ones, in my mind, and they’d served me well.

But there was something so different about this man, something that wanted me to finally give in and take a chance that he wouldn’t be like all the other men I’d gotten close to. He wouldn’t use me to his own end purpose; he wouldn’t betray me; he wouldn’t lie to me about who and what he was.

And dammit, I deserved to have some fun in my life.

All this ran through my head as he stood, patiently waiting for my answer.

It really didn’t take much effort on my part to make a decision. With a half grin and my gaze staying zeroed in on his, I reached into my briefcase and pulled out one of my business cards. While the driver waited, I wrote my private cell number on the back of it. There were only five people on the planet who had this number.

Now, Charlie did as well.

As I handed it to him, I cocked my head and said, “Maybe next time we can get through an evening without me needing first aid or being mugged.”

His jaw wide smile made my stomach muscles flutter. He leaned in, gave me a quick peck on the cheek and said, “Where would the fun be in that?”

Intrigued? Stay tuned for my decision on self pub or traditional.

Until next time ~ Peg

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Filed under Dot Com Girls Romance, Romance

New in Audio from Linda Nightingale, plus a little advice!

Today we’re talking about AUDIO Books. Since I’m relatively new to the process I wanted to get the advice and wisdom of some authors who have gone through the process of converting a book to audio, so I sought out one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs, Linda Nightingale, to help me out. Linda’s a  prolific writer, not to mention a lot of fun, as evidenced by this picture of her at a recent signing. ( she’s the one on your right!)

I wanted to know how daunting this process was, what she had to go through, and if it was worth the effort that it seems to be. Her advice has been invaluable in helping me make the move from print to audio! Here’s Linda in her own words:

(ME) How did you feel about your books going to audio?

I was thrilled! Bowled over even! When my publisher announced that it was possible for our books to go to audio, I immediately signed on.

My experience with audio books was very pleasant with two of my four. I was lucky enough to snag this young Englishwoman with a lovely voice and accent perfect for both Love For Sale and Morgan D’Arcy: A Vampyre Rhapsody. Her delivery was impeccable. I was thrilled, even though Morgan D’Arcy is told in first person male.

The second two were not as successful. With Gambler’s Choice, though the girl, again an Englishwoman, had the book well dramatized, she didn’t change with the characters, which could be forgiven, but she sounded as if she were in a well. I received many comments on this fact in reviews.

The second, Gylded Wings, was a dark fantasy. However, the narrator read it as if it were a fairytale—has tone and sing-song way of telling the story.

Writing for audio books is different from writing a book seen on a page. Maybe it shouldn’t be but when the reader is looking at the text on a page, they can follow ‘untagged’ dialogue for a time and understand who’s talking. With audio books, this isn’t the case. The listener can become confused if the dialogue isn’t clearly tagged as to the speaker, but when the book is already published, it’s too late to change it. Just something to keep in mind if you are writing for audio.

The process itself, ‘proofing’ your book for errors, can take hours of listening and then listening again to the corrections. I enjoyed every minute. I loved to listen to my characters coming to life.

As to sales—not record yet, but still hoping. If you aren’t a member of Audible, they are quite pricey, and promoting an audio book takes just as much effort and savvy as promoting your eBook or print version. The first thing I did was to sign up for a blog tour, and that worked out well. Unfortunately, many of the hosts couldn’t use the audio files, and I had to come up with an alternative: refer them to my website and hope they hang around while they’re visiting.

Will I do it again? Oh, yes. It’s exciting to hear your book read. Also a confirmation in a way. Look, what I did! Self, listen this isn’t half-bad!

Peggy here: Here’s another of Linda’s audiobooks, Her General in Gray

A little about Linda:

Linda has lived a interesting life—from breeding and showing horses to working for a Circuit Judge—and won some prestigious awards for her writing. Find out more about her on her website and various social media, and she’d love to hear from you via email.

Twitter // Facebook // Web site//  Goodreads // Pinterest // Amazon 

 

Peggy here – Linda thank you so much for all your advice!

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Filed under audiobooks, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#Writinglife

Yesterday I worked on a few lines of dialogue for over two hours.

Really.

Did you think all this witty repartee just jumps into my head at will?

No. It doesn’t. Not even close.

Everyone knows writing is a solitary, ofttimes monotonous life and this is why. Creativity, while at times coming in bursts and flames of speed, usually…doesn’t. It’s hours, days, months, sitting at a laptop, playing with phrases, rearranging words, charging emotions with verbs and descriptors, bleeding, spewing, dying and then being reborn until finally FINALLY the perfect sentence or snippet of dialogue that reveals sososososo  much more than is said, is created.

Yeah…it’s just like that.

Every day.

Every. Friggin’. Day.

Can I get an “AMEN” from all my writer friends out in the blogosphere because you know this is true?!

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Dialogue, Life challenges, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

A funny little thing about dialogue…

So my new editor ( and don’t I still love saying that!!) sent me an email asking me to change a few things in my next book. No worries. Her suggestions make a ton of sense and I know I can pull them all off successfully. One of the things she asked me to do was turn up the sensuality level a little. Usually, this wouldn’t be an issue for me. I can write sensual. I like writing sensual. It pleases me to write sensual.

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Here’s my problem. Without giving away the plot, the hero is someone totally forbidden to the heroine, or so she thinks. These two would never have sex. EVER, EVAH!!! Not until the revelation scene would she even consider it. So. How can I turn up the heat level without, you know, them doing sensual and sexual…. things?

Well, the best way I’ve found is to  amp up the dialogue between them. Flirty, innuendo-filled speech will certainly spice up a scene or two, no? Especially when my girl is so conflicted about the whole thing. She is trying to fight her mounting feelings for the guy because she really truly believes he is forbidden fruit in every sense of the term. You will see why when you read the book!! No spoilers here AT ALL!! Words have a great deal of power and our spoken words to one another can do wonders for a scene.

Hidden meanings, hidden agendas, using terms in a different way in which they are supposed to be used can all increase the tension and the sensuality in a scene.

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So, today I wrote 27 pages of mostly dialogue. I won’t use it all, heavens knows. But most of it is pretty good and serves the purpose it was intended for. At least I think so. Hope my editor does, as well.

Until this new one is released into the book reading world, here’s my newest for your enjoyment!

THE VOICES OF ANGELS

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The last thing Carly Lennox is looking for as she sets out on her new book tour is love. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine show based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is an ambitious man-and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else, and as he tells her, he’s a patient guy. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. No. Carly is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him- may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

Available here:

Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

Find me:

Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me //Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Dialogue, Literary characters, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

What I meant to say…..

In my never-ending desire to improve the way I write, I’m reading a fabulous  little gem titled How to Write Dazzling Dialogue by James Scott Bell.

Now, I’m known for good dialogue. I make it a daily habit to listen to the conversations going on around me, and yes, that means I’m nosey! But it’s not just for nosiness’ sake.

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Every conversation I eavesdrop on teaches me something new about syntax, style, word choice, personality, and character. I use all of that info into creating the best character dialogue I can.

Recently, I spent over two hours on three lines of dialogue between two characters. I wrote it every which way I could think of, making it more complex with each word I eliminated, and finally deciding it was perfect as stood.

The next day I changed it all around and you know what – it was even better!

nosiness

Scott Bell’s book is filled with motes of dialogue genius like this: “Every word, every phrase that comes out of a character’s mouth is uttered because the character hopes it will further a purpose. The character has, in short,  an agenda.”

WOW!

I truly have never looked at it that way. I mean, I knew it was true, and hoped I could pull it off on the page, but seeing it so succinctly and eloquently put has turned this little gem into literary gold for me!

Knowing what dialogue is supposed to convey in the scene you are writing is another important facet to think about. None of us wants to be accused of writing tired coffee-talk dialogue. You know: the kind where you write,” Hey, what’s new?”  “Nothing. You?” “Same old same old.” “Yeah.”

Can you spell BORING??!! Dialogue should amp up the scene, convey what you want the characters to convey, and make the reader want to read further.

So to my writing friends out there – and you know who you are – how are you at dialogue? Good? Lousy? Always looking to improve? What are the ways you can guarantee your dialogue does what it’s supposed to? let’s discuss…..

And since we’re talking… here’s my newest:

THE VOICES OF ANGELS

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The last thing Carly Lennox is looking for as she sets out on her new book tour is love. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine show based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is an ambitious man-and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else, and as he tells her, he’s a patient guy. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. No. Carly is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him- may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

Find me:

Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me //Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

 

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Dialogue, Family Saga, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Speak and they will listen..

Since I’ve been on the topic of mannerisms of late, how about we discuss how your characters speak and the idiosyncratic styles they each have? This is a fun topic for me any time of day or night.
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I’ve said before that I was born in Brooklyn, NY and lived in NYC for the first 27 years of my life. When I open my mouth and start to speak, you automatically can hear where I’m from. I have a tendency to drop the letter R at the ends of words ( which is why I refer to girls as sistahs), my “Th” sounds come out sounding like the letter “d”, so you’ll hear me say Dat for That. I speak as quickly as a lightning flash and use my hands expressively a great deal. All these verbal tags and mannerisms tell you I’m probably a New York kind of girl.

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Last year I was in San Antoni for the RWA conference. Most of the people who originate from that region and the ones I came in contact with at the hotel and in the city said “y’all” and “rightly so” a bunch of times in their adorable Texas twang.

Two weeks ago I was Las Vegas. Many of the employees in the hotel I was staying in were from the Philippines and addressed every person every time they came in contact with them as Ma’am or Sir. In their country this a severe sign of respect for the individual they are addressing.

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So, having shared this, some of the ways you can make your characters jump off the page to the reader and make them come alive, is to know how they speak.  Can you hear each character in your books speaking in their own style, or does every character sound the same to you? I read my dialogue out loud all the time just so I can be sure one person doesn’t sound exactly like another. Do your characters all use the same words and phrases when they speak? Again, this can get boring and confusing for the reader. For instance, doctors are highly educated people and use a certain vocabulary the average person doesn’t. You wouldn’t want your immigrant, unable-to-read-and-write character who is a patient be able to understand what a doctor is telling him. That just doesn’t ring true. Nor would a scientist and a four year be able to communicate on the same level. Unless of course the kid was a prodigy.talkingmeme

One of my favorite characters that I am currently writing is a ninety-two-year-old Irish immigrant grandmother who continually speaks in malapropisms. It gets her into some funny and outrageous situations, but it rings true when she speaks the words incorrectly, because she thinks they are correct.talkingmeme6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, if your character is smart, does she speak like she’s educated?  Did your hero come from the South, because if he did, he’d be polite in his conversations with people, saying “please”, Ma-am, and so forth. Got a Canadian in-law? Make sure you round those vowels.

All these special little touches will make your characters more attractive, honest, appealing, and most importantly to your readers, Real.

So…you know what’s coming. How do you make your characters sound all like individuals and not robots….Let’s discuss.

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Dialogue, Literary characters, research, Romance Books, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A visit with Angela Hayes…

Hi all.  Greetings on this lovely June day.

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Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Angela Hayes and I’m an author with The Wild Rose Press. My debut novel, Love’s Battle, a fantasy romance is available on Amazon at http://bit.ly/LovesBattle, Barnes and Noble at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/loves-battle-angela-hayes/1119985601?ean=2940149742493 , and on The Wild Rose Press website at http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=indexHYPERLINK “http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=1103″&HYPERLINK “http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=1103″manufacturers_id=1103 .

I’d like to invite you all over to my blog www.authorangelahayes.blogspot.com where Peggy has graciously agreed to be a guest.

We’re talking all about her new book, There’s No Place Like Home. You don’t want to miss out.

If you like what you see, be sure to follow me either by email or by Google to get the latest blog postings.

You can also follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/imahayes and Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/imahayes.

It was wonderful meeting you,
Happy Reading,

Angela Hayes

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Filed under Characters, Dialogue, New Hampshire

A new experience…

I’ve said many times on this blog how taking a risk or having a new experience is a worthwhile endeavor and yesterday I talked the talk, walked the walk. I participated in my very first Facebook release party. It was last minute thing. I was asked because one of the authors couldn’t make it so, my NHRWA sistah Susan A. Wall asked me to fill in and I was happy to.

Those 30 minutes went by faster than a speeding bullet (a head nod to Superman here!)

Apparently, a very large group of readers, fans, and fb followers attend these sort of things. Who knew? 

I had to ask a few questions, answer a few, and give something away, because we all know folks like freebies and giveaways. ( Shameless self promotion coming) I’m actually doing a giveaway right now of THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME on Goodreads. Here’s the link:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/138470-there-s-no-place-like-home

So, anyway. It felt good to connect with some new people and to experience this new fangled way of promoting my work. This just solidifies in my mind that Social Media has changed the world. And the future. I simply can’t imagine ever going back to the old fashioned ways of promoting things like sending out postoffice mailers, flyers, postcards. Having book premier cocktail parties ( expensive!!) seem to be a thing of the past as well.

One thing that will never go out of style is meeting the fans, the readers, the people you write for. Giving a talk at a local library, visiting a book group, volunteering to be a guest lecturer at a school, even doing a physical book signing at an actual book store are all things I want to keep doing to promote my work, and will.

That’s a promise from me to the people who read  and support what I like.

But this virtual stuff is pretty cool, no?

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Filed under Characters, Dialogue, New Hampshire

Why I write about families…

If you could come up with one sentence about what I write that defines my “brand” it would be Writing about families and everlasting love. The love part is easy to understand: I write romantic fiction. The family part needs a little explaining.

I was, and still am, an only child. Both my parents remarried after they divorced each other, but neither had more children. I’m it. Some people might think this is like winning the presents and attention lotto. I’m the only one who gets birthday, Christmas, Easter and every other gift-giving holiday, presents. I’m also the one who gets all the individual attention from the parental units. I don’t need to share my parents with anyone else.

In a perfect world this would be great. But we don’t live in a perfect world.

My biological parents despised one another and their anger and disgust filtered down to me. I don’t have any memories in childhood where one of them actually said something nice about the other. It was always a negative comment. In fact, I was told I was so much like the other parent (from both of them ) that this increased the animosity they had for one another and the anxiety I had being around them. When I would dream at night I frequently dreamed of either being an orphan or being in a humongous clannish family.

All 4 of my parents (step and biologic) are still alive, so no orphan state. But I did – luckily – marry into a huge family that I feel is clannish, but in the best sense of the word.

So, when I started writing romance I knew what I wanted to write about were families. The good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful – of which there are equal parts in every family structure.

Since I am an only child, I know firsthand how to write about that. And I have. Many of my stories are about an only child struggling to find the perfect life. Throwing an only into a large family pond is a great way to increase conflict, bring about change both internally and externally, and to encourage growth to happen on every character’s part.

Large families have their own individual ethics, rules and codes for everything from acceptable behavior, to kitchen duties. Throwing an independent only child as an adult, into this dynamic where everything from work to feelings are shared as a whole, and not singularly, is a sure-fire way to ramp up the conflict and tension between the main characters, especially if the only is stuck in his or her ways.

Large families are fun. They can also be soul sucking, heartbreaking, and destructive. But when they are accepting, open and loving, the plot almost writes itself. No one knows you better than the members of your family, and no one will go into battle for you in a heartbeat other than those closest to you.

Friends and acquaintances move in and out of you life – that’s natural. But family is forever. No matter what the circumstance, the emotional outbursts, the jealousies or the failures, your family is ALWAYS your family.

And in my book, the bigger the family, the better!

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Filed under Characters, Dialogue

Birth order…in life and in characterization

I’m fascinated by families and birth order. As an only child, I was the solitary kid in rooms always filled with adults. I think one of the reasons I’m such a good and thorough observer is because I was raised in that era where children were seen but never heard. I learned very early in life how to watch people without them noticing, how to gage emotions and reactions during situations, and most importantly, how to describe what I was seeing. From the time I knew I was the only kid in my family’s realm, I dreamed of having siblings. It didn’t matter to me if I was the oldest, youngest, or came somewhere in the middle of the food chain. I wanted other people like me around the house.
Sadly, it didn’t happen.
My life long fascination with birth order and how siblings react and interact with one another is the reason I like writing about big families. It gives me a great deal of pleasure to invent the families I always wanted as my own. I would have liked nothing more while growing up than to have older brothers looking out for me and sisters guiding my way to adolescence. Families come with their own sets of rules on behavior and thinking and actions. Most of it is based on the shared history they have, and much of it is situational. When I start a new book series, the dynamics in the family come first. Is there a father figure present and if so, how does he rule? If no dad is around, how does the mother keep order, pay the bills, provide for her children? What roles do the oldest and youngest play in  his scheme? All these questions are thought out prior to my ever typing a word of the story. I need to know “my families” before I can write about them. I invent the parents I wished I’d had growing up, along with the support system siblings bring with it. Since I was a step-kid to two new “parents” when my parents both remarried, I know what it means to be the outsider in a group. Resentments abound, feelings of insecurity and of not measuring up run rampant, and you never really “feel” as if anyone is truly on your side. Of course, these feelings follow us into adulthood so when I write about siblings who are aging, I know I need to have them make decisions and run courses of actions with those childhood traumas and dramas in mind.
Siblings are such a curious breed of human. They love each other one minute, then engage in a fight to the proverbial death in the next. They depend on one another, forgive one another for transgressions, and then never let the other person forget it! They share secrets, tell secrets, and hold secrets for one another. Who wouldn’t want to write about people such as this???!! The emotional ground is fertile and ripe with conflict, love, support and emotions.
What about you? Come from a big family, or are you an only like me? Where is your birth order and did it play a role in making you the person you are? Or did it hamper your dreams and desires because things were “expected of you?”

Birth order, sibling dynamics, and families are truly fascinating to read – and write – about.

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