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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Alabama Writers Conclave, an on-line workshop, and my difficulty with internal dialogue

cj Sez:  First, for all my Alabama readers, I’d like to pass along an announcement from the Alabama Writers Conclave:

We want to reach out to Alabama writers of every stripe, race, ethnicity, age, gender, and background. Our current President, Sue Brannan Walker, is offering an online workshop and an incredible opportunity to hone your writing skills. The deadline for application is October 31st!

Please also note that, as of press time for this blog, Dr. Brennan informed me that November is already filled, but December and January are currently open. Contact them on their Facebook page or at

As the year’s end races closer and closer, I find that keeping track of my appointments is getting harder and harder. I could alibi that I have way too many things to do, but the truth is I need to pay attention and keep a better appointment calendar, as in just one. Right now, I have at least two and occasionally three. I’ll note an appointment on the calendar on the kitchen door and forget to write it in my planner or vice versa. That wouldn’t be much of a problem if I would just check both places every morning . . . which, of course, I don’t. The third “occasional calendar” is simply the collection of all those little scraps of paper and back-of-business-card notes that I shove into the bottom of my jeans pockets or purse. Who I’m supposed to meet when and where just disappears.

Out of sight, out of mind is the term.  I’m a visual person (is that a right brain or a left brain thing?), and that shows up in my writing.

Scenes with lots of dialogue are the least complicated for me to write. I enjoy creating the details that permit my readers to visualize where the characters are and what they are seeing. But I generally keep my details sparse and incorporated into the flow of the scene’s action. I don’t tell the reader the office is small and crowded. I’ll let the character do that by having her desk chair bump against the wall when she stands up, or having her dialogue say something about having to share the space with her secretary and their joint collection of computers, printers, and file cabinets. 

Please, please, never do this.

I love writing dialogue. I especially like it when I can create almost an entire scene with dialogue and only one or two dialogue tags. Dealing with personal introspection/ emotions/ internal dialogue is more difficult for me since I “see” the action in my stories, something akin to movies in my head. Narrative doesn’t exist in movies unless there’s a voice-over, so I tend to use very little of it. I’ve been told and I do understand I need more narrative in my novel, so I’m working on expanding my use of internal dialogue.

Okay, I’ve confessed. Your turn. What's your writing strength or weakness?

By the by, I did a guest blog on MotiveMeansOpportunity yesterday, talking about NaNoWriMo. Stop by and check it out if you have a moment, and let me know what you think. You can find the mystery writers site at

That’s all for now. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj  . . . sending ghostly, ghastly Halloween vibes your way and reminding you that Christmas is only two months away. So, here’s a great gift idea: Set aside a buck (less than the cost of a cup of coffee or a glass of tea) and buy “More Than Friends,” a bundle of six novels offered by Crimson Romance on Amazon. For 99 cents, you can buy hours and hours of reading enjoyment for yourself, a BFF, or a grab-bag party gift. Find it at…
Amazon Central Author Page:
Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo

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