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Thread: Lesson Four

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    #1

    Default Lesson Four

    Dialogue


    >>

    The best way to weaken dialogue is to try and make it sound like we speak. All dialogue is enclosed within quotation marks. Punctuation is also enclosed withing the quotation marks. “I need you. Now!”>>
    “I’m trying to tell you—“>>
    >>
    Use dashes, ellipsis and exclamation marks sparingly.>>
    >>
    Your characters can interrupt each other in dialogue.>>
    “Tell me it isn’t true, you—“>>
    “Yes, it is true,” she interrupted.>>
    >>
    Each person speaking gets their own paragraph. The paragraph can contain the words spoken, thoughts or actions of that character. Having each speaker with their own paragraph makes it clear to the reader who is talking. When a reader sees dialogue, it means action. It shows there is more than one person and that something might happen.>>
    >>
    Good dialogue is when the writer disappears and the characters take over. Reading your work out loud can help you see if the dialogue flows well and is understandable. Characters each have their own distinctive voice. They mustn’t all sound the same. Some people talk fast, others slow. Region, country and time period in history will also make a difference in how a character speaks.>>
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    Dialogue is supposed to push the story forward. How? It informs the reader, reveals character emotions or state of mind. It can even foreshadow an event that will happen later on. Dialogue can also provide dramatic tension.>>
    >>
    As of this course, the use of –ly endings I’m told is 2 per page. Ly ending tags weaken your writing and are general and are telling, instead of showing. Example: “Your poor thing!” Anne murmured softly and gently.>>
    It should read: “You poor thing!” Anne murmured and patted the woman’s arm.>>


    When writing a character that is from another country, you must be careful not to stereotype them. This means you pick a few words to scatter, maybe even one word to indicate the flavor of that language. Look at the sentence structure. Is the speech more formal? The education level and the job of the character will also reflect on his/her dialogue.>>
    >>
    Tambra Nicole Kendall
    Sensual. Magical. Unforgettable Romance.
    www.daughtersofavalonpublishing.com
    tambrakendall@att.net
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    #2

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    Dialogue, continued.

    Don’t write straight dialogue and nothing else-->>
    Per Jack Bickham, The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes, pg. 50>>
    The reader needs to:>>
    * See anything that is happening in the dialogue>>
    * Hear anything except the dialogue>>
    * Smell anything that might be pertinent, Taste anything, Feel any other possible tactile sensations;>>
    * Know any thoughts the viewpoint character might be having, so that I might as a reader get a hint as to how I was supposed to be taking the dialogue;
    * Feel any emotions of the viewpoint character, also as an aid to my reader response to the situation being portrayed;
    * Be aware of the goal of the viewpoint character, so that I can guess how things are going in the scene.>>
    >>
    This doesn’t mean you have to cram all of this into your dialogue, but without any sense impressions, thoughts or feelings of the viewpoint character becomes abstract and the reader is lost.>>
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    Dialogue Tag Phrases>>
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    You can’t laugh, sigh, chuckle and talk at the same time.>>
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    She heard his aggravated sigh through the thin door that separated them.>>
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    John snorted. “I’ll bet she liked that.”>>
    “I trust you,” she whispered.>>
    >>
    Using Italics>>
    >>
    This can be effective if not overused. The italics emphasized a word or show the direct thoughts of a character or to emphasize a foreign word.>>
    >>
    “I long for anam cara.” >>
    It’s okay to use italics. Just be judicious when using this feature. Italics usually denote a word that isn’t familiar to readers or to emphasize a word. >>
    Paranormal writers use italics when writing mind speak.>>
    Tambra Nicole Kendall
    Sensual. Magical. Unforgettable Romance.
    www.daughtersofavalonpublishing.com
    tambrakendall@att.net
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    #3

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    Scene and Sequel Structure>>
    >>
    What is a scene? It’s a unit of action and interaction taking place more or less in real-time and centering on some event of plot development. (Alicia Rasley)>>
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    Jack Bickham-Scene is action, written moment-by-moment, without summary, presented onstage in the story ‘now.’ It is not something that goes on inside a character’s head; it is physical. It could be put on the theater stage and acted out.>>
    >>
    Scene Tips from Alicia Rasley: >>
    Invent Events: Scenes are units of action based around actual events. Don’t wimp out with a flashback or a long scene of musing. Center the opening scene on the character’s experiences and actions. Anchor the event in the setting. And make the event something relevant to the plot! >>
    >>
    Revise and Reinvent: If the chapters don’t get the response you want, reinvent them. Step back and analyze each scene. What is your purpose in the opening scene? What impression do you want the reader to have of the character? >>
    You might have to rewrite the opening altogether to accomplish these purposes but that’s good. >>
    >>
    Jack Bickham,pgs. 110-114, in Writing Novels That Sell said until he understood scene and sequel he believes he would not have sold over 70 novels. As you can see, learning scene and sequel is important.>>
    scene structure is threefold: goal, conflict and disaster.>>
    Just as a story starts with statement of a character’s long-term goal, so every scene starts with a character, the viewpoint character, saying specifically what he/she wants to accomplish in the confrontation that is about to take place. The reader forms a story question from the story goal, and worries about it, he also forms a scene question. Good novelists never write a scene where the goal is vague or ambiguous. The reader has to know what’s wanted in no uncertain terms. They write so that the goal in every scene is perfectly clear, specific, and obtainable now.>>
    >>
    Bickham continues, conflict is 95-98% of the scene. Once the goal has been stated, someone has to come along and say “Huh-uh. You’re not getting that, and I’m here to stop you.” This antagonist, too, is strongly motivated because he sees how this scene fits into his book-long struggle with the hero, how the outcomes of this confrontation fit into his game plan. And so the struggle starts.>>
    >>
    Tambra Nicole Kendall
    Sensual. Magical. Unforgettable Romance.
    www.daughtersofavalonpublishing.com
    tambrakendall@att.net
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    #4

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    Scene and Sequel, continued

    Scene is written moment-by-moment. How? Through stimulus and response transactions.>>
    >>
    Every scene starts with a goal, and the goal statement raises a scene question in the reader’s mind. This question must always be one which can be answered simply in terms of the goal. The only possible answers are: Yes, no, yes, but and furthermore.>>
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    Yes kills the tension and makes for a short story since the goal will have been met.>>
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    No, yes, but and furthermore need to put the viewpoint character into a worse position.>>
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    In the plotting section, I mentioned raising the stakes. Using the yes, but or furthermore will put your character into more conflict.>>
    Your character must change and learn by the end of the story. By conflict and challenges, this will show them working toward the stated goal.>>
    Scene Structure (Continued)>>
    >>
    As you can see with all the action taking place in scene, your pacing will be fast. But, the reader needs a mental breather and the character needs a chance to plan his/her next move which leads us into sequel.>>
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    Sequel Structure>>
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    Sequel structure is fourfold: emotion, quandary, decision, action. Which will lead you right back into scene.>>
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    Romances have more emotion than a thriller or mystery, so our sequels tend to be longer and more emotional. Romance is emotional with the discovering of the feelings of the hero and heroine. But, I think there needs to be a balance. Today, we can’t have five, six, seven pages of internalization with how the heroine feels. >>
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    In quandary, this is where the character will review, option and search. Review what has happened and what it means, what options are available (which none look good) and find another pathway to get to my goal. The character is plotting her/his next part of the novel. >>
    >>
    To fix pacing:>>
    If the story is going too fast, lengthen a sequel.>>
    Too slow? Expand scenes, shorten or leave out sequels. Can you see now that it doesn’t have to be cut and dried scene-sequel-scene etc.>>
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    Scene and sequel don’t have to be in chronological order. They can interrupt each other.>>
    Bickham says, scene-sequel structure is the key to how (and when) you change viewpoint>>
    >>
    Scene and Sequel Structure.>>
    >>
    Other elements that go into making scene and sequel are stimulus-internalization-response. They function by helping make the story happen, now.>>
    >>
    In Bickham’s Scene and structure, page 15: >>
    * Stimulus must be external—that is, action or dialogue, something that could be witnessed on a stage.>>
    * Response must also be external in the same way.>>
    * For every stimulus, you must show a response.>>
    * For every desired response, you must provide a stimulus.>>
    >>
    Tambra Nicole Kendall
    Sensual. Magical. Unforgettable Romance.
    www.daughtersofavalonpublishing.com
    tambrakendall@att.net
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    #5

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    Sexual Tension and Intimacy

    Sexual Tension and Intimacy (copyright 1998 by Kerri-Leigh Grady)>>
    >>
    and The 12 Stages of Intimacy (by Linda Howard)>>
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    >>
    Using action and body language, expressions and intimacy
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    Facial Expressions>>
    The set of the jaw, lifting of a brow, eyes/eyelids or no eye contact. Define the expression, have fun. Can you make it add to the sexual tension?
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    Body Language>>
    This is what the other character sees and interprets from the other viewpoint character. Interaction between the hero and heroine are required to rev up the tension. A touch, a look.
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    To increase pace and tension use shorter sentences but be sure to provide some grounding clues about what action is going on at the moment.
    >>
    >>
    The 12 Stages of Intimacy by Linda Howard>>
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    Remember to spread these stages out not dump them all in chapter one. Let is progress naturally. Don’t skip anything major either. First kiss and first sexual intercourse (unless your writing sweet romance) are vital. So is talking, eye contact. The hero and heroine must be aware they are experiencing each of these, or it won’t do much to increase the sexual tension. >>
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    *Eye to body. The old once-ver, except it happens in an fraction of an instant. Only a few significant details are absorbed. Attraction occurs or it doesn’t.>>
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    *Eye to eye. Eye contact is sustained only between intimates. If a stranger stares, it’s considered rude or an act of aggression.>>
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    *Voice to voice. Ranges from small talk to intimate.>>
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    *Hand to hand. This requires some trust. Hand to arm counts here, too. (man’s excuse to get his hands on her, by guiding her.)>>
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    *Arm to shoulder. May be a hug.>>
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    *Arm to waist. Can be sexual, especially if ”waist” is considered the small of the back. Men won’t do this to another man.>>
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    *Mouth to mouth. Full frontal contact during a kiss.>>
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    *Hand to head. Requires trust.>>
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    *Hand to body. Any body part—breast, shoulder, chest...>>
    *Mouth to breast.>>
    *Hand to genitals>>
    *Genitals to genitals.>>
    >>
    Numbers 1 through 9 can be done in public.>>
    Tambra Nicole Kendall
    Sensual. Magical. Unforgettable Romance.
    www.daughtersofavalonpublishing.com
    tambrakendall@att.net

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