Last night one of our guild members presented a program on writing dialogue. Veda Boyd Jones will present the same program at a summer meeting of the Missouri Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SWBWI). She was full of new information and a sound review of old tips on writing dialogue.Veda is a lively sprite that radiates energy and sunshine. You just feel good being around her, and she is a grand asset to our writers’ guild. She always offers a helping hand to others with their writing either by critiques or help with a chapter after hours.
A couple of memos to myself from Veda’s presentation:
1. Do not name too many characters in your story. Readers try to keep character straight so don’t name minor characters that could be distracting. Be reader friendly when you write.
2. Use contractions. Once considered an undesirable usage, now contractions are the choice. Usage changes; be aware of new trends in the language.
3. Use dialect sparingly. After a few dialect uses from a character’s mouth, the reader’s mind will automatically make the changes in the character’s voice; the reader will “hear” how the character speaks without using pages of dialect.
4. Give the characters name BEFORE a tag verb. This is more reader friendly again.Example: “Give me a hand,” Marty said.
While Veda has romances on the market, she has been writing mainly children’s books the last few years. Recently she published a mystery called Joe’s Ghost for e-readers. Also her romances are now appearing as e-books. Readers can find her romance novella Summer Breezes, a retelling of Romeo and Juliet with a Grand Lake setting, at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.