What I'm reading: Tempt the Devil, by Anna Campbell
First, thanks to Maris for sharing her experiences in the world of a writer. This is a short post today--I'm way behind in SleuthFest prep.
Some surprises: I got an email saying that HIDDEN FIRE was now available in print from the publisher. No advance warning, other than they'd told me it would be out in time for the book signing at the Romantic Times conference in late April. Thus, I spent much more time than I'd planned trying to put together an excerpt booklet so I could have them ready for SleuthFest.
In other news, I got an email from Night Owl Romance saying a reviewer had read What's in a Name?, loved it, and wanted to know what else I'd written. I haven't seen the review yet, but ego-stroking is always a good thing.
I'm going to be busy with SleuthFest preparations. We leave tomorrow, so I might be putting the next installment of Homicide- Hussey up a day early.
In the meantime, here's a quick peek at the opening section of my dialogue handout. Time permitting, I'll figure out the most effective way to share it.
Some Dialogue Basics
First, the absolute nitty-gritty. If you don't understand these first four rules, your work will probably never get beyond the form rejection letter. If any of these aren't automatic, you should take a refresher course in basic writing.
1. Use quotation marks to indicate words which are spoken by characters.
2. Always start a new paragraph when changing speakers. You cannot have two people speaking in the same paragraph.
3. Make sure the reader knows who is speaking.
4. Use correct punctuation, capitalization and spacing.
Assuming you've got those down, what next? I suggest the following two books as handy references, not only for dialogue.
The First Five Pages, A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile, by Noah Lukeman
Self Editing for Fiction Writers – How to Edit Yourself into Print, by Renni Browne and Dave King
Elaboration and examples later ... please come back.