“As you know, Bob”

Sam picked up the long stone and held it out to Willie. “So, what was it Ms. Jones said about dinosaur bones in class the other day?” Willie took the stone and examined it. “Well, she said…” This is known as the “As you know, Bob” dialogue faux pas. This happens when a character is … Continue reading “As you know, Bob”

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Talking heads – leave them on CNN and Fox

I just critiqued a chapter of someone’s work that included three pages of non-stop dialogue with no action, no internal dialogue (or should that be internal monologue?), and no description of the room. It was aggravating and confusing. Talking Heads don’t exist in real life unless they are yammering on a cable news channel. Things … Continue reading Talking heads – leave them on CNN and Fox

Contractions… use them.

One of the horrors wrought on good writing comes from one of the most unlikely, or possibly the most predictable, places — schools. Academic writing drills into us that we must use formal language and that means no contractions. Somehow, this can get dragged into our fiction. We aren’t writing term papers about the effects … Continue reading Contractions… use them.

I cannot and will not live in a world without contractions – It ain’t normal

Technical and academic writing are banes to creative writing for a few reasons. Today, I'd like to talk about contractions. Bottom line - unless you are Queen Elizabeth II or Data, they are a part of everyone's speech and should be a part of your writing. The absence of contractions in dialogue and first-person POV … Continue reading I cannot and will not live in a world without contractions – It ain’t normal

Using proper names in dialogue

When was the last time you had a convo with someone and used their name, even once - much less five or six times? It just doesn't happen in real life and it shouldn't happen in your writing. There are only a few times it's okay to use a person's name in dialogue: There are … Continue reading Using proper names in dialogue