Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Stuck in mud as thick as Georgia clay

Okay, I admit it, it doesn't matter if I'm reading them or writing them, I prefer scenes with dialogue. For me, it keeps the story moving and keeps the pages turning. I know, I know, we need the details. You do know what they say about details, don't you?!

Why am I telling you this? Because... 1. I need a break from my current scene, 2. it helps to vent. (s) Plus, this blog was set up to give an inside view on my writing experience. Don't let those smiling faces on the back of book covers fool you. It isn't all cheery days filled with sunshine.

I know that everyone has their areas of specialty. Descriptive, one character scenes is not mine. I have a friend who does this beautifully *cough* Claire. Every time I read one of her scenes, I sit back and am amazed. How does she do it?

I have taken scenes from well known authors, okay, one author in particular, and studied them to see if I can see what it is they do. There has to be a formula, right? Nope. Writing is an art. grrr. Please don't remind me of craft--not a fan.

So, let's see where I am. I have internals, always good. I have sensory, nice. I have a progressive order of events. I tossed out a full page that was muddier than the Georgia clay my heroine is tromping through. Hmm, how long does she need to be at this particular place before she has interaction with a fellow character, thus bringing in *cue the Hallelujah Chorus* DIALOGUE? Oh happy day. Light has broken through the gray clouds. Woohoo. See, venting is good. (s)


JoannaAislinn said...

Hey, Carol

So excited about your release in a couple of days! And to think I knew you when...

As for dialogue: hear, hear! I happen to love writing it first and filling in the detail later. I've crafted--there's that word :P--entire scenes around a sentence or two uttered by...well, somebody.
I do okay w/internal dialogue too b/c it's...well...dialogue :D

Best of luck Friday!

Joanne (NJ)

Sara said...


*g* I will not say I hate the scenes where my characters are alone, but I did happen to notice that the first draft of my new WIP reads somewhat like a script...

/Sara E.

Carol A. Spradling said...

Hi Joanne,

Oh, I agree about dialogue. That's how my scenes generally start. I spill all of the dialogue out first and then go back and put in everything else.

The entire new wip came about from one line of dialogue I heard in a movie. The funny thing is, this wip isn't even using the line or any of the ideas from the movie. Interesting how ideas go off on tangents.

Thanks for the well wishes.

Carol A. Spradling said...


lol. A script, hmm? I know you'll break it down soon.

There is consolation in knowing that others struggle with things we find easy.

Sara said...


Well not quite a script, but very bare, let's say. But I like it that way. The first draft, as they say, is telling the story to yourself, and I know very well what things look like, so... It's easy to slip in some added visual details etc. once I actually know what scenes I'm going to keep. No point polishing things before the overall shape is in place.

/Sara E.

NancyD said...

I am very much a dialogue writer too. I usually have to go back and work in pesky things like detail, description and setting. (laughs)

I tend to skim descriptions in novels to get to the character inteactions. Then if I end up loving the book, I go back and read the book completely.

Carol A. Spradling said...

Hi Nancy,

Yes! Someone else who skims description. I thought I was the only person who did that. It's great to find a kindred spirit.

You're right. Get through the characters interaction, then go back and reread. This way, you can take your time and fill in the description when you aren't anxious to know what will happen next.