Tuesday, 25 September 2012

You know what? (concerning Dialogue)

Dialogue is - for me, at least - one of the most fun and yet most difficult things to write. It's very easy to slip into a repetitive, boring, he-said-she-said exchange, and just as easy to sound like you're lecturing your reader on one subject or another. Soap boxes have their place, but that place doesn't tend to be where "it just happens" while I'm writing.

I find my characters have this disturbing tendency to go off on a tangent when I'm desperately trying to push my plot, and developing new plot lines when I'm going for a certain atmosphere or attempting to reveal more about said character. Do your characters do that? Hijack dialogue, I mean?

That said, character interviews are one of my favourite get-to-know-your-MC exercises. So it's not like they don't talk - they just don't say what they're supposed to, and they usually like talking to me better than talking to each other.

Another thing about dialogue - you can't be realistic, can you? What reader wants to slough through page upon page of "uhms" and "ehms" and "really?"s? Real conversations don't usually translate well to paper, they need judicious editing.

How about you? Do you like writing dialogue? Do your characters say what they're supposed to say? Any pet peeves when you read dialogue?


Monday, 24 September 2012

Bared To You by Sylvia Day

Hello my dearies!

I hope the changing season is treating you well and you have as nice a mixture of morning fog and daytime sun as I'm having at the moment. It's kind of inspiring, actually (horror story, anyone?). But that's not what I want to write about today.

Today, I want to share with you my views of a particular book...no, not the one with the grey. This one...

(ps. I'm an Amazon Associate so if you buy this book via this link you may earn me money)

(A Crossfire Novel)
Silvia Day

I picked it up as a travel read, mainly (and yes, I'm one of those gullible consumers) because it basically said on the cover "this is the book Shades of xyz could have been" if it had been well written. Seeing as the quality of writing in the Shades books is up for debate, I was curious. Curious enough to shell out hard-earned money for an erotic romance that might well turn out to be a waste of the paper it was written on. 

Long story short: Not a waste of paper. I was happily surprised, in fact. 

What it's about....

Meet Eva, female MC and the girl who just moved to Manhattan for a new job. She's sharing a flat with her (gay/bisexual) picture-perfect best friend Cary. It's when she first visits the building she'll be working at, that's when she meets Gideon for the first time. It's only later that she finds out he's in fact Gideon Cross, owner of said building (The Crossfire), control freak, male MC and uber-handsome sexy beast. Cue sexual attraction....

What I liked and what not... 

This book is worlds above That Other Trilogy everyone is talking about. The narrative is fluent, Ms Day knows how to write, the characters are convincing (up to a point) and the story is sufficiently coherent. 

Keeping in mind that this is an erotic romance, as opposed to a plain old romance or, say, a romantic comedy, it's not surprising that there's a lot of sex going on. Orgasms and erections abound. I've read some other reviews of the book and heard that this was a surprise and a bother for some people, but let me tell you, I've read a lot of erotic romances and this is par for the course (duh). Sylvia Day pulls it off fairly well, too - there's some repetition, but hey, it's still well written and easy to read. 

Eva and Gideon are both interesting characters, both with surprising depths, even if some creepiness comes into it on occasion (Gideon is a little obsessive and Eva has her own problems). That Gideon is a  bit of a stalker feeds into the whole control-freak thing, which probably has its roots in the alluded-to but not explained trauma he experienced as a child (there's two more books to come, after all, so no wonder not everything is resolved in the first one). Eva herself has issues with control, though it's unclear which side of the question she falls on - does she want to have control, or give it up? In this book, at least, I don't think she knows herself, even if she insists on needing control over her own life. Eva's lack of extreme reaction to Gideon's more - radical - stalkery actions is easy enough to understand given that her own mother tracks her every move. 

At least they take the (in my eyes) very american way of going to therapy to resolve their issues, so there's some hope that by the end of the series, they'll be slightly less...damaged? Neurotic? Creepy? 

I like them anyway, and I've already pre-ordered the second Crossfire book. 

You should consider this book if...

I'm not going to say "consider it if you liked Shades", because really, did you like Shades? Really? Other than congratulating Ms James on her lottery win of a publishing feat? You should, however, consider this book if you like tormented and conflicted characters with serious and somewhat worrying issues, high heat levels and lots of sex scenes, date-the-millionaire stories and tendencies towards BDSM. 


Friday, 7 September 2012

Insecure to the max...sorry I'm late!!!

My dear insecure writerly friends!

I missed the first Wednesday of the month.... I'm so sorry! There's no excuse, really. Well, there's a couple, including a jogging injury, hospital, ultrasound, blood tests and several work emergencies. Let's just say it's been one of those weeks.

Anyhow, as for my writing, there hasn't been much of it going on at all. And when I say not much, I mean basically nothing.

I really really really need to find my groove again. Anyone have some tips for me?


Sunday, 2 September 2012

Thrilling Thursday of Talking to Tessa's Characters - Taren

(ok so I meant to schedule this for THURSDAY but that didn't work out, now, did it?)

Tessa Conte (sits down on her comfy interview chair, notepad at the ready, pen poised)

Enter stage left an impressive-looking figure, a young man, head covered in unruly black hair, eyes a light brown closer to gold than anything else. He's dressed in chainmail covered in a blue-and-yellow checked tunic, somewhat faded in colour and a bit dirty at the edges. He bows to Tessa, then puts a hand on the hilt of his sword to push it aside so he can sit. His armour creeks a bit, and the sharp scent of metal and oil and man tickle Tessa's nose. 

TC: Good morning. Thank you so much for joining me today.

Taren: My pleasure, my lady. What better way to spend a day than in your company?

TC (smiling): Why don't we start with you telling me your full name?

Taren: I am Taren Amberdux Serenson, Heir to the Kingdom of the Crescent Moon.

TC: Amberdux? That is a title, also, is it not?

Taren (nods curtly): It is. Some say Duke of Amber, instead.

TC: Does it mean anything? Is Amber your home, your castle or something?

Taren (shifts on his chair, rattling his chainmail): It is a courtesy title. (pauses, rubs his hands together and stares at the floor) It appears to have something to do with my Quest, though neither Luce nor I have found out what exactly it means. The Purge was thorough in such matters.

TC(pen paused above the paper): Luce? The Purge?


; )

Magic and miracles

A little conversation with my muse about just how things work in Merle's world...

Tessa: What is magic?

Muse: Magic is everything and nothing.

T: Great. That helps.

M: (mysterious smile) 

T: I always thought that magic is somethings that stops the normal rules of the world from working. Something along the lines of chaos.

M: (shakes his head, still with that mysterious and admittedly somewhat sexy smile of his) Magic is an absence of chaos.

T: But...then how does it work?

M: Magic has its own rules, honey.

T: (smiles; her muse just called her honey, that can only be a good thing) It does? What are they?

M: (grins) Wouldn't make much sense to you right now. You'll figure it out.

T: (rolls her eyes at him) So what do you call something that doesn't follow the rules?

M: That would be a miracle.

I've been remiss...

It occured to me today that it's been ABSOLUTELY AGES since I said THANK YOU to YOU!


A big, huge, humongous hug to all my followers, old and new! Blogging, for me, is all about the sense of community, the affirmation of not being alone out here with my problems and joys (writerly or otherwise).

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