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So, there are others of you that also advocate reading your work out loud, to double-check it flows correctly.

Fellow writer and blogger Wendy Anne Darling, click here to get to her website, had this to say on the subject:

As a narrator of audio books, as well as a writer, I couldn’t agree more on the reading aloud, Dorne! It’s a lot easier to feel the flow of the story and you might also be amazed how many typos you can pick up on. Often repeated words and phrases also stick out like sore thumbs when you do this as well! For instance, the one I’m working on now has various characters shrugging 40 times throughout the book and character names spelled wrong in several places, and if you have constant he said or she saids, you’ll soon realize how irritating they get after the first hundred or so!

It’s actually so useful that I’ve started keeping an error log for the books I narrate so that I can let the authors have them at the end, should they want to upload an updated MS.

This got me thinking… dangerous for a writer – hey? I considered just how we use dialogue in our writing. Why do we stick with he said, she said, when there are so many unique ways to describe our enjoyable language? And I’m not just focusing on English. Wherever we dwell on this spinning ball of amazing life, we all have wonderful languages that enable us to communicate and connect, in ways that a speechless world would make us disabled, to a degree.

Surely we can find some new words to substitute the usual suspects?

Our teachers have come to our rescue and are ready to equip the future generations with a more colourful future.

Found on weareteachers.com
Found on weareteachers.com

In my writing, I always like to include some dialogue. Even in an article, dialogue makes a useful contribution. It can bring the piece alive and show, rather than tell. Yes, that’s a cliché, but it’s a truthful cliché..

Of course in an article, dialogue can’t be allowed to take over [so , that’s where I’ve been going wrong?]. Your reader wants information, ideas and lots of them please, presented in an engaging way. I’d say that listening to people talk about their experiences is pretty engaging.

How many of us people – watch ? I certainly do. I also eavesdrop all the time; to the extent that the person I’m with, knows that I’m not listening to a damn word they’re saying.

Those two little old ladies at the next dinner table have my undivided and sneaky attention. Why? Because she has just announced to her friend, who is also seventy – something young, that:

“I shouldn’t really tell you this but, Margaret’s mum was on the game when Margaret’s dad met her. Of course, she wasn’t on it for long after she met him; they soon got that sorted out. “

Both women carry on munching their way through their meat and three veg and I want to ask this oracle more about Margaret. Such as, did Margaret know? How did she take it?  Was her mum bravely trying to give her child a decent standard of life?  And wasn’t it quite a scandal at the time?

They don’t have a pudding and clear off pretty sharpish, leaving me shocked, stirred and extremely shaken… I don’t have my notebook with me, to discreetly jot down some ideas!

Gradually, I return to Mr Whale and the world we actually inhabit. A vision of an elderly woman, whose mum was a former lady of the night and unmarried mum; and who gave quite literally gave her all for her child, fills my thoughts for the rest of my meal.

They do say that if you want to get someone’s attention begin with the words… I shouldn’t really tell you this, but!

It gets our attention every time.

So how about you?

  • Do you use plenty of dialogue in your writing?
  • What words do you substitute said with?
  • Do you know Margaret?

I need to re-enter the real world now and get cracking on another article idea, with the odd sprinkling of dialogue: and of course I will be reading my masterpiece aloud, to all and sundry!
Thanks for dropping by and have a great day.

Until the next time.

Dorne.

 

9 thoughts on “Do you make your words REALLY speak for you?

  1. Lovely light-hearted post, Dorne.

    I wish it had been me with you at the table because I know we would have asked questions (well I would have, after buying those two ladies their lunch).

    No, I don’t know Margaret but I was once mistaken for a Margaret, many years ago and maybe a story I will tell one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Too right Hugh!
    I can’t believe that you were mistaken for a Margaret. Maybe a Mary, but not a Margaret!
    Please tell that story soon. That is nearly as bad as… I shouldn’t really tell you this, but…
    You know how to create suspense.
    I probably won’t sleep tonight now… thinking about you being mistaken for a Margaret.
    See what you’ve done. LOL. x 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope you slept well, Dorne? 🙂

    I was woken up by Toby at 05:15, wanting to go out in to the garden. He looked around and then came back in again and went back to sleep. Me – I couldn’t get back to sleep.

    All I will say is “Watch this space” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It doesn’t involve a cat does it?
      I hope you burnt the midnight oil to produce a wonderful script that will be grabbed by the BBC and will be filmed with that actor who played Poldark, recently, bare chested, working on his car… or whatever. And there will be an interesting Hugh twist at the end of the bare chested scene.
      Yeah… I slept just fine. x 🙂
      P.S. Misty does that to me… only I have to take her up the lane… with my big coat thrown over my pjs. She won’t go in our yard, unless she is very desperate. x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I wasn’t talking about the BBC or cats. No, I was talking about something I’d almost forgotten about until I read this post (and it’s just been published).

        As for Toby, he didn’t want to do anything other than look around the garden for 20 seconds. Sometimes he likes to think he’s the boss!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve just been on your blog read the story, laughed until I couldn’t breathe and left a variation of this message for you.

    Well Hugh, first things first. Here in Yorkshire we have a saying:
    “Ee, yur a rite silly bugger!”
    Imagine a guy saying that… with a pint, a pie with mushy peas, in the pub ,wearing his flat cap and with a wippet by his side. All Yorkshire guys look like that! Mr Whale is a southener!

    I was mortified for you when the creep offered you money. I hope you told him to shove it!
    Secondly, I absolutely howled with laughter at your ending. This is dangerous as I am still a bit chesty, well a lot chesty actually… but we won’t go there, after the woman flu.
    Okay , so you very nearly killed me with this fabulously moving and funny story.
    Thirdly, I wondered why I’ve had additional traffic this afternoon… so it’s a big thank you – again!.

    Love the picture by the way and you don’t look anything like a Margaret, or her poor mother.
    Keep the stories coming… just give me a chance to catch my breath in between.
    Dorne x

    Liked by 1 person

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