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.
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.