Trying new things in your writing style is great but not everyone will “get it.” If that’s your thing then go for it, but don’t be surprised if there is some kickback from your readers. Making up new rules in the way you write can interfere in the reading process. If your dialogue, for example, was punctuated in odd ways, how is your reader to understand how to read it? Roddy Doyle, in The Snapper, per Mr. Bell’s example- did just that. Instead of quote marks, he used dashes (-) and to me, it looks like he used the same dashes for pauses versus and ellipsis. Another oddity would be using no punctuation at all in dialogue. If you have a thick skin and can take the blowback, run with it. Or don’t.
Soooo…did you see yesterday’s post? Did ya? Did ya? Did ya? What did you think? Do you like the cover? Love it? Hate it? TELL ME!!! And breathe.
Let’s start again. Hi, how are you today? I hope your Monday was a pleasant one. It’s been a few days since we tripped through the pages of How to Write Dazzling Dialogue by James Scott Bell. We still have so much to learn in the 14% we have left. I have a few ideas for our next book. I will let you know in enough time to get a copy. Come on, let’s go fill our cuppas and find a yummy nibble in that lady’s lunch box. You know the one. She always has homemade cookies and never shares. I work from home and need new snack ideas. I have no lunchboxes to raid. Today, dates and nuts. Go on, get your copy, fill your cuppa and let’s get to it.
I would never…tell you to stop. I do my best to keep it clean on here but in the real world- I am colorful. With that said, the F bomb can turn people off. Some publishing houses will limit just how many a writer uses.
“You get 6 F bombs. Use them wisely.”
No, I don’t know the magic number. The fact of the matter is some people feel like they are being assaulted when they read words like this. Think about your word choices just as you do in real life. Put yourself in this scenario: You are sitting at your grandparent’s dinner table. Would you use that word?
Can you duck or run fast enough to get away from the rolling pin coming your way? What would you replace it with? Can it be replaced? Mr. Bell and I are not saying you can’t use it just use it wisely.
- Make the context clear that whatever is said has tone and substance.
- Try replacing the word with an action. (Kick something, spit, hit a wall…)
- Write it with the word. Go back later and reread it. Does it work? Can it be removed? Cut it if you can.
Approach cursing with the caution you would with your grandmother. If she would wash your mouth out with soap for writing like that you may want to rethink it.
“Well, cursity, curse curse curse! Curse it!”
And…End Scene. That’s it for today my friends. We will jump into Thematic Dialogue next time. I hope you have a wonderful day filled with yummies and fresh cuppas and friends to share them with.
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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