Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A character with louche behavior

Today's dictionary word is louche. Do you have a character that you could describe with this word?

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louche \LOOSH\, adjective:

Of questionable taste or morality; disreputable or indecent; dubious; shady.

You've got to keep yourself free of any suggestion of louche behavior.
-- Anthony West
A man in a bar, utterly average, though there is something louche about him, something sly.
-- Andrew Holleran, In September, the Light Changes
Danny would be sipping a mai tai or a whiskey sour in some louche West End club.
-- Will Self, Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Dialogue Boulders

Margie Lawson teaches terrific on-line writing classes: www.margielawson.com. In her Empowering Characters' Emotions classes, she talks about dialogue boulders. What are they?

Dialogue boulders are when one character's dialogue goes on for a long paragraph or continues for half a page or more. Long dialogue and/or when it turns into a monologue, disengages the reader. Margie tells us to think WHITE SPACE. Have the other characters respond several times, either with a few words, or with body movements that show how they feel about what the character is saying.

Another tip is to read all your dialogue aloud. Scrutinize every word. Do you really need the character to say all of it? How does what is being said move the story along?

If it doesn't, take some of it out. Make a note to yourself to check for those blocks of words on a page, break them up, create some white spaces. Give the reader a book they can't put down.