can write a book - but it takes something special
to create a best-seller
Lee Masterson's step-by-step guide can show you
Easy Way to Write a Brilliant Novel in 30 Days or
This Proven Success System teaches you to think
about writing from a different perspective.
Finish your novel in only 1-2 hours a day!
Ineffective dialogue will
have your reader hurling your book into the trashif
you have a book. But you wont. For all your
efforts, instead the edict will flow from hallowed
publishing halls: Rejected!
But used effectively,
dialogue is a powerful tool.
MAKES DIALOGUE EFFECTIVE?
Effective dialogue moves
the plot forward. It deepens, or layers,
characterization. It creates immediacy and intimacy, and
it subtly conveys information and emotions capable of
sparking reader empathy.
While we ant dialogue
that "sounds" real, we dont want
to depict real-life conversation. It contains too
much useless chatter. Translated to
"book-talk," its boring, flat,
and a criminal waste of good space. That
translates to no sale.
Dont "sound" stiff or formal.
When relaxed, sound relaxed.
Dont permit your characters to ramble
aimlessly. What theyre saying must serve a
function. The greater the task, the more
effective the dialogue. For example, if your
dialogue moves the plot forward, creates or adds
to an existing conflict, and discloses something
new about a character, then it is working hard.
Dialogue should work hard; the more
functions it serves, the more it aids in
strengthening the story.
Nothing to slow the
Manipulate the storys pacing with
dialogue. Dont ignore the emotional state
of your character. If shes upset,
dont let her think deep thoughts, or speak
in long sentences. Were human. When upset,
we speak in fragments. Clipped tones. To convert
the emotion to the writing, use short, terse
sentences and paragraphs.
This technique quickens
the pacing. The reader reads faster, thus senses urgency.
Conversely, to slow
the pace during tender, poignant moments, do the
oppositeallow your characters to think
longer, more leisurely, unhurried thoughts, and
let them speak in flowing, sensory-oriented
sentences that slowly drift down the page.
This tool conveys a
characters emotions to the reader, gains
reader empathy. And reader empathy translates to sales.
aint clones. Dont permit your
characters to all sound alike. A New Yorker fresh
off the pages of GQ isnt likely to
speak with a drawl or to call his heroine Sugar
Lips. A mechanic isnt apt to use the
verbiage or speaking patterns of a corporate CEO,
or of a football jock. Keep the language (verbal
and non-verbal) true to the character. Respect
him by not stripping him of the things that make
him a unique individual. The way each character
speaks should be natural to that character. If it
isnt, then you, the author, have insulted
the character and the person you actually
portrayed: a lose/lose proposition bound to irk
isnt a dirty word. If appropriate,
use dialect. But remember that a little goes a
long way. A sprinkle enhances, but too much
distracts. Dialect is unfamiliar and hard to
read--not the backbone elements of selling
say what? Unspoken dialogue can, at
times, be the most powerful dialogue of all. When
a character says the opposite of what she means,
or says nothing at all, just looks away. This too
is effective dialogue.
Dialogue isnt just what we say,
its also what we dont say, and
how we dont say it. Have you ever
said "Yes," when you meant,
"No?" Ever said, "Yeah,
right," in an argument, when what you really
meant was, "Dont be stupid, you
Call it sarcasm, or white
lies. Call it unspoken dialogue. Or call it body
So how do you convey
this unspoken dialogue in your writing? How do
you make it clear to the reader that, although
your character is saying, "Yes," she
means, "No?" You incorporate
appropriate body language.
Heres a sampling:
Rough handling of objects.
- Angry?Fisted hands.
Narrowed eyes. Stiff posture. Clenched jaw.
- Happy?Smile. Wink.
Twinkle in eyes.
- Crowded?Back up.
Create physical distance between the characters.
forward, draw closer to whomever is speaking.
head. Widen eye. Elevate voice. Hands lifted,
palm up. Hiked shoulders.
- Nurturing?Clip a
loose thread. Pat.
- Tender?Stroke, touch,
scratch, rub your arms.
- Stunned? Wide-eyed.
Stone still. Hand to chest, fingers spread.
- Sad? Tears. Listless.
Hand curled to chest. Shoulders slumped. Fetal
- Trusting?Palm open.
- Lying?Avoid eye
contact. Dipped chin.
If youve not
already, consider studying Body Language by Julius
Fast. Because the unspoken language is often more
truthful than whats actually said.
Copyright Dr. Vicki Hinze. All Rights Reserved.
Hinze is an award-winning, best-selling author who
routinely shares her expertise at national writers'
conferences, online, and through her writing guides. Her
latest non-fiction book is ALL ABOUT WRITING TO SELL,
from Spilled Candy Books for Writers. This 589-page ebook
covers everything you need to know about the craft of
writing, the publishing business, and the secrets to
getting published. ALL ABOUT WRITING TO SELL is available
at www.SpilledCandy.com as a download or
Best-Sellers in 3 Years!
Brilliant New Course by Nick Daws will show you
how to write any book in 28 days or less -