Tag Archives: Julia Quinn

My mind is numb, but my motivation is turned on high!

RWA15 has turned into one of the best conferences I have ever attended. Ever. The diversity of the workshops is truly amazing,  today no exception.

This morning, during breakfast, I attended  a doctoral focus group gaining information on what romance novels mean to writers and  readers. The panel I was with were a widespread group of traditonally published and self-pubbed authors who brought a wide array of ideas and thoughts to the table. After that, a heartwarming speech by author Julia Quinn didn’t leave a dry eye in the house (or ballroom, if we’re being literal!)

My morning session included  workshops on how to tweak my prose, and how to zing more emotion into my writing. It seems my writing does indeed need zing after hearing these authors speak! After lunch, I pitched myself ( not literally, folks) to my dream Literary Agent. I’m keeping her name mum, but she is fabulous! Fingers, toes, and whatever else my arthritic body will let me cross, crossed. More to come on that to be sure at a later date.

The afternoon workshops had me laughing with Susan Ann Phillips as she taught a packed house how to give our characters more depth and dimension, and then on to another packed conference room where the amazing Kristan Higgins schooled us all in the care, keeping and use of  secondary characters. It seems she has a secret boyfriend named Tom Hiddleston  aka Loki, and she enjoys using images of him in her lectures. Thank you for doing so, Kristan! Both of these talented ladies had the rooms rolling with laughter.

Dinner tonight is a treat for me because I get to see my baby girl and spend some quality time with her, so I’ll sign off for now to go get ready.

Here are some pictures taken today to ponder over.


today’s book haul – how the heck am I gonna get all these home…and there will be more tomorrow!!!



Just hanging out in the hotel lobby, all decked out and waiting for someone to dance with.

And then there was this guy…I just can’t explain him.





Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

Say it isn’t so…

One of the workshops I attended while at RWA 2014 was one on writing dialogue, taught by fabulous Julia  Quinn. Julia writes mainly historical romantic fiction and does very well at it, thank you very much. She’s appeared on the New York Times Bestseller list over 18 times and has a very faithful fan base. Her class on how to write effective dialogue was a goodie.

I realized ten minutes into the class that I had been doing a lot of things incorrectly with regards to my dialogue tags and beats. She showed, through simple placing of breaks, beats, and tags, how to establish a dialogue chain and keep it fresh and moving on the page without the reader having to go back a few lines or pages to see who, in fact, was speaking. By the use of  well placed TAGLINES, those little informative lines or words that indicate who is speaking, other than the standard “he said, she said” ones, you can keep the dialogue moving across the page at a pace that is easy for the reader to follow and comprehend. Remember, reading is not a visual  media, like watching television or a movie is, where you can visualize ( read, see) who is doing the speaking. Your reader must have total comprehension each time a line or chunk of dialogue is spoken in order to know to whom to attribute the words to.

ACTION TAGS are simply that. Little snippets of description that let you show the reader the tone of the character’s voice, the movement he/she is making and even how another character perceives him/her. Action tags always allow you to show rather than tell what your character is thinking and doing.

EMOTIONAL TAGS are again easily defined. They show what your character is feeling, or how your character is reacting to something in the scene. Showing character emotion is an excellent way of letting the reader know what is in the character’s head, why he is reacting the way he is, and what he is thinking. When interspersed with action tags and attributes, this allows the reader to fully comprehend the scene and understand the subtext in the dialogue you are writing.

Another great part of Julia’s workshop was the nuts and guts part of writing dialogue, such as where to place the punctuation, the correct way to do it, and the tricks you can use to convey a visual scene in a non-visual media.

All in all, the class could have gone on for hours, there was so much useful  and professional information in it. Maybe at the next RWA conference she can do a master class and give us more than an hour of her wisdom. I actually wrote that request on the course survey.

Let’s see if the powers-that-be listen to me!

Leave a comment

Filed under Dialogue, New Hampshire