Hi SEers! Denise here to discuss what happens when people talk to each other and how to apply that to writing.
Have you ever watched people talk? Do they sit and speak without moving or any expression? In my family, I’m surrounded by Italians. Hands are always flying around during conversations. I know who not to sit next to during a meal if knives are being used. It’s dangerous!
Besides hands, heads are moving, faces change expression, bodies are constantly in motion, and tone shifts can take the spoken level from high to low. The speaker’s mood comes out in not only their words but their body language.
Yet, when I first write a dialog for a story, I only put the conversation. I barely tag who’s talking. Later, when I’ve completed the story, I go back and add all the movement that accompanies the words.
One of my closest friends is embarking on writing her first book and she asked if I could help her estimate costs for her publishing journey.
It occurred to me that we should have a costs calculator for publishing expenses, which I have compiled for you below.
While there are exceptions to every rule, included here are typical price ranges for various book publishing services.
Keep in mind that there are inexpensive freelance directories like Fiverr which can be useful for simple projects like having social media headers designed.
Just be careful when hiring freelancers for professional-level work like book covers and publishing services. You have little control over the unauthorized sharing of your work in other countries, potential copyright infringement, and other headaches that come from hiring inexpensive overseas labor.
It is recommended to invest in experienced designers and publishing industry professionals when possible.
In a short story, our words are limited, so we must craft our prose to convey a sense of naturalness. Scenes have an arc of rising and ebbing action, so let’s consider how conversation fits into the arc of the scene.
J.R.R. Tolkien said that dialogue must have a premise or premises and move toward a conclusion of some sort. If nothing comes of it, the conversation is a waste of the reader’s time.
What do we want to accomplish in this scene? Ask yourself three questions.
Who needs to know what?
Why must they know it?
How many words do you intend to devote to it?
My rule of thumb is, keep the conversations short and intersperse them with scenes of actions that advance the plot.
Fear is probably the #1 factor preventing writers from seeing success in their careers. I’ve had many writers tell me they’re afraid of failing, afraid of rejection, afraid of bad reviews, afraid people will laugh at them, afraid readers will hate their book, afraid people will judge them or tell them they are selfishly wasting their time writing when they could be doing something more productive or meaningful.
There are probably more reasons to be afraid than there are to keep writing.
Let’s face it. Every single writer has and will have negative responses from their writing. There will always be people that dislike, maybe even hate, your work. That’s life. The sooner you can accept and expect it, the easier it will be to knock over your fear.
An excellent list written with a sense of humor. I would say the exception to not using some of these words would be in dialogue if the characters we’re creating use words such as “awesome” and “really.”
Writing is tricky. Trying to express your meaning clearly can be hard enough, but also making it engaging can be quite the balancing act. As a writer, I’m still working on it, but as an editor, ill-considered or lazy writing jumps off the page at me like a facehugger from Aliens. While much of any writer’s voice is a product of their individual choices, there are a few words everyone needs to be wary of.
No creative soul likes receiving negative feedback on their work—no matter what we might tell you, beloved crit partners, beta readers, editors, agents.
Yes, we may admit we need it, and that it helps immeasurably to get objective input on what may not be as effective on the page as it is in your head, but as one author I work with memorably put it, having someone offer positive, constructive critique of your story is like an Orange Theory workout: You dread it going into it, hate every second while it’s going on, but afterward you feel great having done it.
But receiving negative, destructive input—criticism—can do more damage to your writing, and your creative efforts in general, than almost any other pitfall of writing life. I’ve heard too many horror stories—one just this week that inspired this post—about feedback that shut down authors’ creative impulses…