The Practice of Learning Dialogue

This coming Sunday, January 15th we’re doing a chat all about dialogue, and our co-host, Kimberly Bell, has lots to share about her process of learning to write authentic conversation.

 

Dialogue

I get a lot of compliments on my dialogue. In fact, some of the best early advice I got in my career was that my dialogue was my strength, so I should let it shine. But why is it a strength? How? What, exactly, do I do?

I don’t know.

I wish I had a better answer than that. What I do have are some aspects of my life that I think have contributed. Continue reading

Advertisements

Larger Than Life Characters

This week’s chat on Nov. 26th is all about writing the kind of characters that jump off the page and take on a life of their own. Here are some of Robin Lovett’s thoughts on how to work for that goal.

Great characters who I remember and stay with me long after I’ve read the book vary in a lot of ways. For the most part, they’re books I love as a whole. I love a book primarily for its characters.

But no two people love exactly the same type of characters. Though there are archetypes (a model that some characters are based on, i.e. hero, antagonist, villain, mentor, etc.), the true variety of characters is as limitless as there are people in the world. Though, I think there are a handful of things that most memorable characters have in common. Continue reading

Making A Writing Calendar (Or, Writing A Novel In A Month)

Untitled design

This Sunday’s #rwchat topic is about Stealing Time To Write and how difficult it can be to find writing time amidst our busy schedules. Here’s Robin Lovett’s strategy for planning her writing when real life threatens to steal it away.

I’m pretty lucky. For the most part, writing is my addiction of choice. When I run out of things to write, that’s when I have a problem. I also love deadlines. When someone is waiting for my work and likes it so much and believes in it so much they’ve contracted me to write it, I get even more excited.

But that doesn’t mean that life never gets in the way. Or edits come back with a half-rewrite (!) and eat a month out of my deadline to write the next book. So I make plans, honest plans, because if they’re not honest, they won’t work. Continue reading

Writing A Book Proposal

clipboard-2899586_1280

This week’s chat topic is writing series proposals! #RWchat co-host Robin Lovett talks here about the skills needed for writing proposals, and why they’re necessary for authors to learn.

Before writing the book, starting with the blurb and synopsis is my new favorite way to do things.

Now that I know how, that is.

Most of us, when we write our first book (or two) haven’t yet learned how to write a blurb or synopsis. But once you’ve learned how, once you’ve figured out how to concisely communicate your book’s contents in condensed format, it makes writing the book inevitably easier.

Continue reading

Using Research to Deepen Characterization

The October 22nd chat is about research! #RWchat co-host Alexis Daria weighs in on doing research for her debut contemporary romance, Take the Lead.

I thought writing a contemporary would be easy.

Wait. Let me backtrack: I hate doing research. So I thought writing a contemporary romance would be easier than, say, a historical. No research, right?

Little did I know.

When I set out to write Take the Lead, I thought I had obtained enough dance knowledge from years of watching Dancing with the Stars to write a book that was kind of about dancing and mostly about people getting out of their own way to find love. And then I hit the first dance scene…and I was stuck. I didn’t know enough about dance to write a character who was a professional dancer.

Sure, I suppose I could have just skimmed the details and said, “They danced across the porch,” and left it at that. I knew which dance they were doing—a sensible waltz—but I wanted to use more dance vocabulary and detail. So I opened a browser and did a quick bit of research.

waltz nick sharna gif
Continue reading

10,000 Hours

Alexis Daria

Some people have always known they wanted to write, while others came to it later in life. I’m in the first group, although art was my first and main creative love for most of my life. Still, even as I pursued art in high school (fine arts) and college (computer arts), writing was a constant. This week’s #RWchat topic is “your evolution as a writer,” so I’ll mark the different eras, like Picasso, but if he had the internet.

Continue reading

Writer, Interrupted

content warning: mentions of self-medication, psychiatric disability.

When Evolution Isn’t Always a Straight Line

I have a gap in my resume. It makes writing bios difficult, trying to cover a gap that yawns across the summer of 2006 to a January day in 2014. I didn’t go on a backpacking trip to Europe or volunteer with the peace corps or pursue personal enrichment. Well. I kinda did, but not in the fun drive a bus across the country sort of way.

I was institutionalized.

Continue reading