Monday, 27 May 2013

Realism

I love totally immersing myself in reading a book.  You know, that feeling you get when you look at your watch and realise you've been reading for over an hour and you can't even remember turning a page.  You get so lost in what you're reading, the page-turning becomes automatic.

One thing for me, as a reader, that really hauls me back from this dreamworld is when a conversation just doesn't ring true.  It's not real.  And by "real", I mean thus:

"Hello.  How are you doing today?"

As opposed to:

"Hey.  How's it going?"

When I'm reading contemporary fiction, I like to relate to the conversation.  I like the language used to be believable.  I like to imagine the characters speaking those words (refer to earlier posts where I confirmed that I'm a visual gal) - I don't like to imagine a wooden person speaking from a script.  Conversation like that just breaks the spell.   So, yes - I use 'gonna' and 'kinda' and the occasional cuss word (mild) to illustrate my point.  I think it lends a realism to the conversation.

That said, each character definitely has to have his or her own voice.  Some of my characters swear - like I said, it's mild and scattered here and there (no f-bombs) - not naming any names (Callum).  Some of them don't swear at all.  Jack speaks in short sentences with one syllable words when he's trying not to give too much away.  Ally's very matter-of-fact so she doesn't waffle - but Maggie sometimes does, especially when she's upset.  I think it's important that each character have their own style, just as we each have ours.

To illustrate how important I think realism is in conversation, I spent over an hour today re-visiting a conversation in "Absolution" that never really read right to me.  It took awhile, but I got there in the end and I'm glad I took that time because it punctuated the whole chapter.

And no, I'm not going to share it with you...yet.  You'll just have to trust me on this :-)

For those who are following the great "Editing Journey" - I'm currently editing chapter nine.  I hope to have finished editing chapter fifteen by this coming weekend, and then I'm in full-on writing mode.  I've set myself the goal to have this finished and to the publishers by the end of July!

Wish me luck...

By the way, if any of you have any questions, ask away and I'll do my best to answer them!  Goes without saying that I'm not going to give too much away about the story prior to release, but I'm getting good at handing out teasers...!

~ Amanda


6 comments:

  1. Which character talks the most like you?

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    1. Hmmm. Good question. I waffle like Maggie. When I'm riled up I swear like Callum ;-)

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  2. I like that question - I'm either quiet, a waffler when am on a subject close to my heart or nervous and yes probably do swear when really peed off :)

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    1. LOL! Yep, we are all different ;-)

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  3. You hit the nail right on the head as regards believing the characters , conversation has to relate to the reader otherwise it's wooden, like I'm the expert hey lol xx I confess to not having picked up a book in over 12 months but when I do read I can't put it down , assuming the book has captivated me. I do struggle with some books as the construction either is olde worlde or words that need a dictionary to explain meanings .. Funny enough when confronted with a situation I can't verbalise and I waffle or can't get my point across and feel very angry but in writing I can do just about anything. xx

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    1. Don't worry Tracy, I know exactly what you mean! I tend to get tongue-tied in real life when I'm struggling to get my point across (not so much with writing - I think I have the time I need to get my head straight beforehand - not so much with the talking LOL!). I too haven't done as much reading as I would have liked to this past year, only because I have been so busy with my jewellery, my writing and everything else. I'm looking forward to this book being published, and then I can concentrating on reading for abit. After that, it'll be back to the editing desk as I would love to get my second novel published, too! Never a dull moment ;) xx

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