Doing Dialogue

NOTE: In this series of articles we’re looking specifically at how I self-edit, this doesn’t mean you have to use my methods, these articles are examples of the way I work. They may help you, or at least give you some tips, or they may not. These articles compare Hysteria The First Draft and the … Continue reading Doing Dialogue

Making Movement

NOTE: In this series of articles we’re looking specifically at how I self-edit, this doesn’t mean you have to use my methods, these articles are examples of the way I work. They may help you, or at least give you some tips, or they may not. These articles compare Hysteria The First Draft and the … Continue reading Making Movement

Hysteria: The First Draft

WARNING: Rude metaphors ahead. This is the original introduction to the world of Victorian Mistress, completely unedited and not even checked for typos. I was asked about my self-editing method and the easiest way to explain it seemed to be to post an example of my unedited work to compare to an edited example. NOTE: … Continue reading Hysteria: The First Draft

Elements of Editing

I'm back and this week I'm answering a question that came via twitter about how I self-edit. Now I think it's important to emphasis that while this week's articles are about editing they are about my personal approach. This doesn't mean you can't pick up some tricks from it, I simply want to be clear … Continue reading Elements of Editing

Getting Characters Talking

Dialogue is important when creating characters. How they speak, what they say and what they don't say all tell us things about who they are. Discussing Dialogue: Distinction in Dialogue Frenetic Phonetics Verbal Verbosity Please Mind The Gap Dictating Dialogue: Grammar in Speech Elliptical Ellipses Dabbling in Dialect Backing up Backstory Mixing in Monologue Adding … Continue reading Getting Characters Talking

Are You Still Speaking?

I keep coming back to the notion that what is unsaid is as important as what is said. This can be something that is implied through non-verbal communication, like fiddling, through what they avoid saying, or through a meaning beyond what the characters’ words. This can sound difficult, and it can be made to sound … Continue reading Are You Still Speaking?

A Phrasing All Their Own

People have different ways of phrasing things whether it’s colloquial, individual, or passed down a family. It could be a verbal tic, an unusual saying or unusual grammar, literally anything. Simply because these things aren’t conventional doesn’t mean we can’t give them to our characters, giving them these quirks makes them more real to readers. … Continue reading A Phrasing All Their Own

Building Banter

We may think of ‘banter’ as intrinsically humorous and it can be but just because characters don’t have a funny relationship doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a back and forth. They could be characters that the read knows hate each other but they have to make the appearance of liking each other which creates a … Continue reading Building Banter

Trimming the Fat

Part of making speech successful in prose is by cutting out the unnecessary bits. As I’ve mentioned before characters don’t have to say hello every time they walk into a scene and readers will accept it. Other things to watch out for can be repetition, verbosity, too many umms and ahhs. Even if we have … Continue reading Trimming the Fat

Individualising Speech

When we talk about individualising speech we’re talking about what people say and how they say it. What people say is as important as how they say something but this can be overlooked in favour of the more conspicuous, how they say it. What we mean when we refer to ‘what people say’ is simply … Continue reading Individualising Speech