Saturday, April 22, 2017

interior monologue

Some of my students have asked me about how to use interior monologue (thinking) in fiction.

Internal monologue, also known as an inner voice, internal speech, or verbal stream of consciousness is thinking in words. It also refers to the semi-constant internal monologue one has with oneself at a conscious or semiconscious level.

Much of what people consciously report "thinking about" may be thought of as an internal monologue, a conversation with oneself.


Friday, April 21, 2017

Said is just fine

Editors say they can pick out an amateur writer in less than one manuscript page when they read stuff like this:

“I hate to admit it,” he grimaced.
“Come closer,” she smiled.

Certainly, nothing is wrong with occasionally using a word such as “shouted” to inject a particular feeling at a particular place.

However, the use of replacement words for "said" should be extremely limited. The word “said” is like a puppeteer; the audience never sees him, but they see immediate evidence of his work in the performance. Like that puppeteer, the word “said,” doesn't stand up shouting for attention, as do such substitutions as “demanded, exclaimed, pronounced, and vocalized.”

“Said” is invisible. “Said” is transparent. Readers don't notice it because they're used to seeing it all the time.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

conversation's greatest hits.

Dialogue is a funny thing. It appears totally realistic, but it really isn’t.

Good dialogue sounds like real speech when you read it, but is is not real speech; it merely sounds like it when read from the printed page.

Good dialogue serves any of several purposes. It conveys information, advances the plot, makes complicated developments understandable, or defines and reveals your characters. Good dialogue is a form of slight-of-hand because it isn't real, but it seems to be real. With good dialogue you lead readers to think the characters are speaking as they do in everyday life, when - in fact - they're doing nothing of the sort. What people speak in normal life is conversation, not dialogue.
As my late friend and mentor Gary Provost used to say, “Dialogue is conversation's greatest hits.”


Write Your Novel by Maggie James

Write Your Novel by Maggie James
Click on image to buy book.