Let's Talk About...Dialogue
With each story I write, I become more enthusiastic. Blame it on the thrill of the unknown. How the characters and plot develop and overcome the obstacles I deal them. What happens if I decide to make the book’s setting become antagonistic and temporarily thwart the goals of my hero and heroine? How can I keep upping the ante on the conflict to deliver the maximum reader impact? Will the universalities and theme I’ve chosen resonate with readers?
All of these are things I consider during the writing and editing process, but one element of storytelling sparks my greatest passion—dialogue. Whether my tale is told from the Louisiana bayou, a small town in Texas, an otherworld teeming with demons and despicable characters, or the Lower Eastside of Manhattan during the Jazz Age when speakeasies and corruption reigned supreme, the people who live on the fictional pages must deliver convincing dialogue.
My research for dialogue involves acute listening skills and observation of body language. Whenever I’m out and about, or even when I’m lunching with family and friends, I make note of mannerisms, personalities and speech patterns. How emotions play a huge role in a person’s gestures, tone and message content. Some men are excellent conversationalists, but most are subdued and speak far fewer words than we women. Most women can’t stand the silent treatment. The way my heroes and heroines speak also hinges on how I’ve scripted them. During the editing process, I read each character’s dialogue passages aloud. If they have a speech quirk, impediment, dialect or accent, I recognize these when playing their role. In essence, although we authors are writing fiction, we strive to make our characters believable and ones to whom readers can relate. For example, rugged guys don’t think about the way golden waves of a woman’s hair skim her forehead when they’re looking at her for the first time. Doting, far-from-Alpha men don’t swagger and spout profanities. A cowboy wouldn’t think about how much he adored a woman’s crimson frock or patent-leather aubergine satchel with eye-catching kiss-lock closures and stunning hardware, and he wouldn’t talk about the same, either.
When all is said and done, much like cathedral bells, dialogue must ring true. What are your thoughts on dialogue and the role it plays in the romances you read? Can you “hear” the characters speaking as you read their story?
Wishing you all many happy reading moments,
TORMENTED -- Ellora's Cave (Must-Read from Dark Angel Reviews)
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora' Cave Exotika
HELLE IN HEELS -- Ellora's Cave Exotika
TO HELLE AND BACK AGAIN -- Coming April 29 to EC Exotika