As y’all know, Spawn is in Kindergarden and now we have this lovely new experience called, “Helping with Homework.” Hubby, God love him, is new at this “being a Dad and helping with homework” stuff and has his own learning curve. He was at the kitchen table helping Spawn write out letters while I did laundry and cooked dinner. After a while, though, I noticed this homework thing was taking a really…I mean really long time.
Finally, I told Hubby I’d take over while he went and got a shower and when I looked at Spawn’s work, I immediately knew what was going so sideways.
Spawn wasn’t (yet) being graded on how well he wrote the letters. He simply had to DO them.
Hubby was trying to be a good dad so he was making Spawn erase “mistakes” and do the letter over. And, YES…
So last time we talked about the basics in regards to dialogue and once we grasp the fundamentals—like proper punctuation—we then can focus more on elements of style. How we deliver the dialogue.
We can tell a lot about people by the way they speak. What people say or don’t say speaks volumes. As the writer, it is our job to understand our characters and to know who they are and how they think. We have to master the art of empathy. If we don’t, our dialogue will all sound like US talking. Writing, in many ways is a lot like method acting. We have to crawl inside the head and the psyche of our cast.
Not as easy as it might seem.
Dialogue done well is the stuff of legends though. Think of favorite movies. Why do we love them SO much? Very often…dialogue.
I even read it as a presentation to a classroom filled with young people who had little memory or knowledge of 9-11. Almost all of them came to me afterward and thanked me for sharing. Meg was in New York City when the planes hit the towers and this is her diary entry about her experience:
Meg’s 9/11 Diary
9/11/01 started out as one of those super nice fall days where the sky was cloudlessly blue and it was just warm enough, but not hot. My LA friends call that “earthquake weather.”
So we probably should have known something awful was going to happen, but most of us didn’t.
My husband had woken up early to go jogging before leaving for work at his job as a financial writer at One Liberty Plaza, which was across the street from the World Trade Center.
He has never been jogging again.
Not being a morning person, I was still asleep in my apartment on 12th Street and 4th Avenue, a few dozen blocks from the Trade Center, when the first plane hit. Our windows were closed and the air conditioning was on. I didn’t hear a thing until my friend Jen called.
Jen: “Look out your window.”
That is when I saw the smoke for the first time.
Me: “What’s happening?”
Jen: “They’re saying a plane hit the Trade Center.”
Me: “But how could the pilot not see it?”
Jen: “I don’t know. Isn’t that near where your husband works?”
It was. I couldn’t see his building from our apartment, but I could see the World Trade Center. The black smoke billowing from it had to be going right into my husband’s busy investment office on the 60th or so floor. Read more… http://www.megcabot.com/2015/09/91101-2/
Sorry to be away so long. Been a weird couple of weeks getting Spawn ready for the BIG K—Kindergarten. Uniforms and doctors and immunizations and vision/hearing tests (and yes, apparently he CAN hear, he is just ignoring us). I am still unaccustomed to so much quiet. For those who are curious, YES I was going to homeschool, but we found a super cool private school where he is in a class of TEN and he loves it. He was getting lonely and kept asking to go to school so he could be with other kids, so I figured we’d give it a shot. So far so good.
He is now Spawn, The Most Interesting Kid in the World….
Back to writing…
Today we are going to talk about a subject that I don’t think I have ever blogged about. Dialogue. Great dialogue is one of the most vital components of…
NaNoWriMo is kind of like Christmas for writers—suffering, drama, no sleep, heavy drinking and really bad eating habits. Also, we start talking about NaNoWriMo months before it actually happens.
If you are a new writer and don’t know what NaNoWriMo is? It stands for National Novel Writing Month and it is held for the duration of November. The goal is to write 50,000 words in a month.
In a nutshell, it gives a taste of what it is like to do this writing thing as a job, because for the professional writer? Every month is NaNoWriMo, so there is NO BETTER indoctrination into this business.
NaNo shapes us from hobbyists to pros, but we need to do some preparation if we want to be successful—finish 50,000 words and actually have something that can be revised into a real novel that others might part with money to read. Genre obviously…