So I’m traveling along on the blog bus when I see a woman holding an I’M AN AUTHOR sign. I stop and let her on and say which Friday would you like. She reaches over and pushes the stop button.
“Hey,” I say, “this blog stops on Fridays only. Very rarely does it stop on Thursday.”
She says, “Do you know who I am?”
“Well, ma’am, you’d have to be someone like F.M. Meredith before I’d let you post on another day.”
She coughs and I take a better look.
“Just sit over there in the corner,” she says, “and hush.”
Well, what would you do? Argue with her? I mean she’s F.M. Meredith.
What About the Dialogue?
Because I’m writing a police procedural, some readers might expect “cop talk” like they hear on TV shows. I stay away from much of it because in every area different phrases are used for the same things.
I want my characters to sound like the police officers and people that I know.
One thing about dialogue is real people don’t always talk in complete sentences. We interrupt each other when we’re having a lively conversation. Also people don’t always use correct grammar. We also don’t tell someone something they already know.
When writing dialogue, it’s better to stick to simple dialogue tags like said and asked, anything else tends to interrupt the flow of the story. Better yet is to use an action for a dialogue tag. People don’t just sit quietly when they’re talking—and the characters shouldn’t either. Another way to let the reader know who is speaking is to describe something about the person.
Avoid writing the mundane things we say to one another, like “How are you doing?” Dialogue in a story should have a purpose—moving the plot along or showing something about the character.
There should always be a good balance between dialogue, narrative and action.
These are simple guidelines for writing dialogue that might be helpful to anyone just starting out.
F. M. aka Marilyn Meredith
Blurb for Violent Departures:
College student, Veronica Randall, disappears from her car in her own driveway, everyone in the Rocky Bluff P.D. is looking for her. Detective Milligan and family move into a house that may be haunted. Officer Butler is assigned to train a new hire and faces several major challenges.
F.M. Meredith, also known as Marilyn Meredith, is the author of over thirty published novels. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Besides having family members in law enforcement, she lived in a town much like Rocky Bluff with many police families as neighbors.
Because it has been popular on my other blog tours, once again I’m offering the chance for the person who comments on the most blog posts during this tour to have a character named for him or her in the next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery.
Or if that doesn’t appeal, the person may choose one of the earlier books in the series—either a print book or Kindle copy.
http://anastasiapollock.blogspot.com/ for tomorrow where I answered some intriguing questions—hope the answers are as intriguing.
Buy links: http://tinyurl.com/jvmubw5