dialogue

The art of the apology

“I’m sorry,” she said in horror. Embarrassed, she said, “I’m really sorry.” “I am so, so sorry,” she said with heartfelt regret. I write these words in my books all the time.  In fact, I’m about to write a pivotal scene in Making Up in which apologies are key.  It’s between mother and daughter, Margaret and Mackenzie, ages 60 and 38 respectively, and they’ve been estranged for nearly five years.  [...]

By |2017-03-30T05:00:00+00:002017|Blog|3 Comments

LOW PRESSURE: a book recommendation

Sandra Brown and I go way back.  We started in the field of romance together, actually met at the first ever Romance Writers of America conference.  We raised our kids, saw them marry and have their own kids at roughly the same time.  Both straying from the romance genre, I entered the field of women’s fiction, while Sandra made her mark writing thrillers. Her novels are beautifully written, exquisitely plotted, [...]

By |2012-12-19T05:00:02+00:002012|Blog|2 Comments

RULES OF CIVILITY – a book recommendation

Another one, you say?  Wow, do you read fast!  I do, but only when I’m not writing, and since right now I’m hovering in the twilight between Sweet Salt Air and my next book, I have time.  As always, this isn't as much a book review as a recommendation.  I can only tell you what I like.  I won’t pan the work of other authors. Different readers like different books, right? If [...]

By |2012-10-19T05:00:50+00:002012|Blog|0 Comments

Do you talk to yourself?

Do you?  I mean, out loud? I didn’t used to.  Only deranged people talk aloud to themselves, right?  But there are certain circumstances now when I find myself doing it. Like when I carry two super-heavy bags of groceries in from the car and heave them onto the kitchen counter.  Okay, I grunt in relief when the first hits.  Okay, I grunt when the second lands beside it. I also [...]

By |2012-05-16T05:00:30+00:002012|Blog|4 Comments

When characters are name-callers

Here’s another thought for those of you who are interested in the kinds of things a writer has to consider. In a single stretch of dialogue, how often should the characters call each other by name?  I’ve been hypersensitive about this lately, because I just read another book that, IMHO, did it very wrong. Here’s an excerpt from Sweet Salt Air in which Charlotte and Nicole are discussing Cecily Cole.  [...]

By |2012-04-09T05:00:13+00:002012|Blog|9 Comments

Should grammar matter?

So I’m working on SWEET SALT AIR, rereading Chapter 6 for the umpteenth time, and I pause on the following paragraph: “By Oliver Weeks?” Charlotte cut in.  “Still?  What a character.  Major interview there.” Charlotte and Nicole are talking about ramekins that are hand-thrown by a ceramicist on Quinnipeague, but there is not one complete sentence in what Charlotte has said.  I try revising. “Were those ramekins made by Oliver [...]

By |2011-11-30T12:38:31+00:002011|Blog|11 Comments