Dialogue #3: Dialect

This post comes third in our series on dialogue. To read the first post about the dialogue's three basic forms or last week's discussion of realistic dialogue, click these links. This week, we'll look at how characters' spoken dialects might be rendered in fiction, the effects these different portrayals might have on readers, and the... Continue Reading →

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Dialogue #2: How People Really Speak

This post is part 2 of a series on dialogue. Click here to read the first post in the series about the three core forms of dialogue. This week's post on Words Like Trees pushes forward into the world of dialogue. We'll look at a concern that often arises with this fickle structure: is the... Continue Reading →

Every-colored flowers

In the eastern parts of Umbria, the land lofts up from fertile valleys into rich-forested mountains. These are the Apennines, a range I'd heard mentioned before but knew nothing of, a string of low mountains stretching the full length of the Italian peninsula. Yesterday, on a recommendation from our Italian language teacher, we drove out... Continue Reading →

Authenticity–what is it really?

My husband's and my goal for this summer was to settle: to root ourselves in a place for a length of time, to get to know it well, to accustom ourselves to some new surroundings, to avoid the pellmell back and forth of place-to-place travel, to focus, to breathe, to find some deeper sense of... Continue Reading →

Conflict a copout?

I've been working on a short story recently. Unlike most of what I've been writing the last few years, it's solid realism. I didn't expect this to make it a particular challenge for me, but as I have been slogging my way through outlines, a first draft of one-and-a-quarter scenes, doubt has besieged me of... Continue Reading →

Worldbuilding #1: setting fits the story

The worlds we construct inside our stories, especially in speculative genres, carry our readers to new possibilities, new ways of thinking about life and what is set and normal. Worldbuilding is one of the great excitements of the writing process, as our minds, omnipotent in the world of the story, trace out societies and structures... Continue Reading →

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