All posts by Eliza March

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About Writing Dialogue

Dialogue Tags

I have a love/hate relationship with dialogue in general: I love reading it when it’s written well.

When I’m writing it, I don’t want to pause during the mental conversations that my characters are engaged in long enough to add tags or description. Hey, the conversation is in progress–no interruptions allowed, except from the characters. But without narrative something is lacking. Long dialogue passages frustrate and leave me unsatisfied. I’m frustrated reading scenes when I can’t figure out who is speaking, or being unable to identify where or when the dialogue is taking place.

When I’m reading scenes, including dialogue, I want to be in the moment, but it takes precise design to create clarity.  Who is speaking? What sort of words do the characters use? How high pitched or deep is the character’s voice? Where are the characters? What does the location feel like? Look like? Smell like? Sound like? How are the characters moving? Acting? Gesturing? What is the point of view character thinking?  When a scene can draw all that together…now that is a dialogue scene I want to read.

Things to check:

He saids/she saids may be necessary to keep from confusing the reader, especially when there are more than two characters. Name them or characterize them. Characterizing is a way of defining a character with an accent, favorite movement, affectation, or phrase. Always read through your dialogue to ensure the flow is clear, readable, understandable, and that it makes sense. Make certain a response isn’t too far from the original question or comment.

Mixing narrative with dialogue? Wonderful. Be careful not to interrupt too much of the interactive dialogue. Keep narrative limited to short descriptive actions until there is a natural breaking point to add more detailed narrative or deep point of view. Then when appropriate, begin interactive dialogue again.

A Siren’s Tail excerpt for you…

A Siren's Tail2 smcopy

Hi! Delia here…

UGH! My indestructible fingernails clicked on the makeup counter as I considered a few alternatives. What to do? What to do?

Then voila! Something came to mind. Either go as I was or visit my two best friends and beg for help. Desperate…but these were desperate times. I picked up my smart phone and sent a text to the listing Witch Bitches. (I don’t care what Frankie says. I am witty.)

I thumbed in the message.

ME: Carrie, need a drastic favor.

Have to meet the band later and I look half  D. E. A. D.

Makeup help please?

. . . Have  you ordered your copy of A Siren’s Tail, Volume 2 in the Luna de la Mar Salon and Spa: As the Chair Turns series? After struggling with the formatting process on Amazon (which has never been a problem for me before – usually it’s with Apple) I think I might have all the issues resolved. Unfortunately, I’ve sold quite a few ebooks, already, with odd ball formatting.  Sorry.  I’m working on correcting this problem with a new formatting template I’m making for the future. Now do you want to read a little more?

Read on . . .

The return message tone beeped.

CARRIE: Come over. We’ll work a little magic 4 U

ME: Magic is exactly what I need. B right over

Since I discovered their secret, I affectionately refer to my witch bitches, Carrie and Jen, as the Witches of West Beach – because they live on the intercoastal side of our condominium instead of the ocean view side. Now I know why they usually personally prefer their own pale look against black. Occasionally, they add a little red for color. Jen wears short shorts with thigh highs. And when I say short shorts with thigh-high boots, I mean show-a-little-cheek length shorts, and wicked, studded, pointy-toed boots. Men love her hard-ass-mistress-of-the-night chain and leather look.

Carrie has the whole natural, witchy Stevie Nicks, seventies-hippie-gypsy-flowing-silk, beneath a leather bustier and lacy-thingy going on. She claims she has an aura very similar to Stevie’s. I’ll take her word for it since I don’t see auras. But I have to admit there is something haunting about Carrie. Sometimes I think it’s a glamour, but I’m not ready to mess with powers I know nothing about.

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Delia’s Next Adventure is Coming September 14th…

Delia Belaquoit was like any one of us—working hard, living her life, chasing her dreams, and achieving some modicum of success along the way. Great job, wonderful friends, singing in a band. She thought she’d hit the jackpot until everything she once believed in began to unravel…

Delia here… Hi, again! Magic does exist and people in Boca aren’t what they seem. Shh! No one is supposed to know.
When my former well-organized life blew up in my face, I decided I needed answers because the metamorphosis I’m undergoing isn’t following any known pattern. Remember when I used to be a sun worshipper? Now I’m exhibiting symptoms I don’t even want to think about.
Turns out there are certain aspects of my family tree that’re disrupting my humanity. Wait ’til I find my family. Just when I need answers, they disappear. Poof! Vanish. Except Edna, my great aunt. But she’s not talking. Some freakish sea monster stole her voice.
Unbelievable! Right?
They are all so in the doodoo doghouse for keeping everything from me.
Thankfully, my witch friends are charming me through my dilemma and our search for answers. Frankie, our alpha Werewolf boss, is doing his best to keep me safe. The guy is loyal to a fault, even if the wolf in him doesn’t have a faithful bone in his body. So when Aelric, my on-again-off-again-not-really-a-boyfriend, asked him to protect me from sources unknown, Frankie jumped on it. I still think he has ulterior motives.
I’m eventually planning a monogamous relationship, just not yet. Frankie wants to “turn” me, but the monthly waxing effort makes becoming one of his pack out of the question. Aelric, the handsome Coast Guard captain, did make a few serious romantic overtures and almost “sort of” proposed to me, but he hasn’t managed to take me on a first date yet. Nor has he told me exactly what he is. Hope springs eternal. Because he did kiss me senseless, wowed me with an impressive unspeakable power move, then left me again. Now I’m alone with more questions. But I’m determined to get my own answers and find out where the threat to my family is coming from.
Oh there’s more… It just gets better every day. Why don’t you hang with me and see what’s in the cards for this month? The supernatural salon and spa staff, as always, are here to help.”

#humor #fantasy #paranormal #shifter #vampires #faeries #witches #sirens #elves #aqua #sea #werewolves #hairstylists #werecats #sexy

Beyond the Halfway Mark

So August is well established and I need to make a mark to claim 2018! This could be it…

I’m looking at houses while waiting for a buyer for my place. God help me, yesterday I wanted to establish a buyer application. Title it: Are you qualified to buy this home?

Will you appreciate the trees.? Allow the frogs and lizards and bunnies to live unmolested?

The concerns go on and on. At what point did my relationship with this property turn from being a landowner to being the caretaker? A steward?

Can you risk selling your memories to a stranger who may not appreciate them? A tree you planted in memory of a birth? A bush to commemorate an anniversary? The house you can change but the living things here on this land depend on me to protect them. I respect their lives and independence so much that when we added on to the house, I moved the trees. They are thirty years older and much larger than they once were but they are my friends. I hope I find a buyer who will appreciate their cooling shade and constant presence.

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Innocence Lost: Across A Crowded…E

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Magic is real. The fix is in.when Delia lands the hairdressing job of a lifetime. After one taste of faery nectar, the fae knowledge banks open to her. Who knew the town was filled with supernatural beings just fitting in? Frankie, her hot boss, is a Werewolf; the massage therapists are catshifters; her best friends are witches, and Delia likes being human. Her life is about to drastically change.

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Selling Our House and Downsizing Part 1

Those of you who have been reading my blog probably know I’ve been talking about this for several years. One of my daughters is a realtor in CO so thankfully I can get tips from her.

The big question everyone asks is where we plan to go. We have no plans, just ideas.

beach blue car combi
Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) on Pexels.com

Plagued with the maladies of aging, my husband and I quickly discovered we weren’t capable of doing what we used to.  That’s a mind-blowing, daunting realization if you haven’t experienced it yet. Nevertheless, there were repairs and changes we wanted to make, but the house had ideas of its own, too. The  old grand dame needed sprucing up. She needed to shed some bloat: ie yard and attic cleanup. Thirty years of accumulated “stuff” ended up being packed away or in storage, dumped or donated.

woman in grey shirt holding brown cardboard box
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

The old gal needed updating so we started with ” lipstick and make-up” in the kitchen. I wanted to make certain to keep the asking price within a realistic range so everything had to be in working order and in a livable condition with room to add personal touches of their own. I didn’t want to make expensive additions or decisions for the next family, but I thought it should have upgraded carpet and new granite counters in the kitchen. The appliances worked: the dishwasher and microwave were new, the stovetop would last a few more years, and the double oven is self-cleaning and in excellent shape. Both central AC units have been replaced within the last couple of years. The roof is brand new.  So the bones of the house are good, sturdy, reliable.

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What next? The next family have options to make it theirs and room to do it in. The one acre private lot in the heart of the county is accessible to the best schools and medical services. It’s not in the incorporated city and not in a gated community with HOA rules and fees. The layout is large and the rooms flexible. The place is comfortable, roomy, and, best of all, light, yet it still bursts with more untapped potential.

I originally took a 2K square foot ranch style home and designed it into a 4K square foot modern style, multi-level, open plan, and yet I can still visualize so many other options. After thirty years of maintenance, makeovers, and makeup, the right family will be pleased to liven up the once popular neighborhood gathering place again. The walls miss the sound of kids and teens and dogs barking. The pool misses the splashing and music. The yard misses the soccer balls and wedding tents, baby swings and tree forts. It’s time for someone to build that wooden walk among the tress along the creek and a gazebo in the front by the pond.

Even after purging the attic and closets twice there are boxes built up in the garage. Until we decide where and what we will live in, it’s impossible to know what we’ll keep and what we’ll give away.

I’m checking out RV living but where will I store all the stuff?

I’ve shown the house twice but it will take just the right family to be the perfect fit.

Next installment RVing after seventy!

Dizzy Writing Day Solutions

pexels-photo-271265.jpegToo much input. My internal computer is slowing down and freezing up. I’m suffering from scattered goals due to wind blown thoughts. I’m feeling like a disorganized airhead.

I can only fly (or write) by the seat of my pants so long  before my projects begin to weigh on me and bring me crashing to earth. The sooner I stop flapping and take control, the less weight I carry before I crash…and I minimize the injuries.

So what is my solution to regrouping? Lists. Calendars. Prioritizing. Organizing.

I pause. Put on some music. (Your choice.) Pick a good spot to sit or stand. Gather my stuff…

I go back to my old lists and gather them all together so I can reset. It’s my version of rebooting. I need a large surface to spread out my lists and various information. I’m definitely not as efficient as my computer. I check my phone notes and computer notes as well as my accumulated little notebooks. I pull out the sticky notes and gather my new blank sticky notes. I organize everything into piles (my filing system) until I can move them into an order of importance and create my new workload (my to do list).

A calendar is absolutely essential. One with room for details helps. If I could paint my walls with remarkable paint, I would create my life in washable markers where I can see it at a glance. Sticky notes, calendars, whiteboards, chalkboards, and daytimers are all electronic, so why am I less organized than ever? Too many apps. Too many options. I need my life in one place or fewer projects.

I attended a workshop last year and I’m thinking maybe I should actually implement the plan I started. I need to add open time I can move around in my calendar for unforseen calamities. I need catch up days for the internet being down, the grandchildren, time to smell the roses when my brain is fried, and a vacation from the plan.

All suggestions are welcome. Please comment with helpful tricks you’ve found effective. and thank you in advance.

 

What’s Your Pleasure?

Books? Paperback? Audio? Ebook? Audio is next…

Trade PAPERBACK available at CreateSpace

Hair of the WERE: Luna de la Mar Salon and Spa

Authored by Eliza March

 
List Price: $7.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm) 
Black & White on White paper
164 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1717395429 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
ISBN-10: 1717395422
BISAC: Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy

Magic is real. The fix is in when Delia lands the hairdressing job of a lifetime. After one taste of faery nectar, the fae knowledge banks open to her. Who knew the town was filled with supernatural beings just fitting in? Rescued from a riptide by Aelric, a Coastie who looks like Thor, Delia is also being pursued by Frankie, her hot Italian boss. Unfortunately, he’s a Werewolf with a pack of females to look after. The massage therapists are catshifters, her best friends are witches, and Delia prefers being human, but her life is about to drastically change.

SMASHWORDS – Any of my ebooks, in all formats, are available for download

Dear Diary Post – The Day After

The day after a book release we sit and count the comments and bite our nails hoping this experiment works. It’s not about the money (Though who wouldn’t be excited about that?) It’s about the approval.

Writing is like giving someone a gift. You hope it’s a good choice. That they like it. That they can use it. That it’s exactly what they need at that particular moment.

I read Nora Roberts Whiskey Creek recently and gave out a sigh on the first page remembering why I enjoy reading her writing so much. It felt like coming home.

That’s why I enjoy writing. I want to give someone that experience of melting into my book. Escape from the moment.

I next turned to JR Ward’s The Chosen. Again, different author, different style, different genre…still that wonderful moment of escape. Relaxation. My drug of choice is reading.

This weekend, try something I wrote just for you. You can find something to take you away on my Amazon Author page.

 

Hand up or Hand out

I’ve been noticeably absent from my blog and the truth is I missed posting here. This is where my mind spills random thoughts I have had over night. Sorry, sometimes they’re worthwhile and sometimes not. Thi15894339_10207439635621634_2405261231259284669_ns week I hope I can provide you with something useful. Everyone either has a job, a child, a sport, or an interest they can write about. I thank the brilliant people who share how to’s on YouTube. We look up everything there. I could probably do open heart surgery following a heart surgeon video.

SO I’m thinking about adding my how to #selfedit lessons to YouTube. SO now there’s a whole new learning curve for me and another social media nut to crack. I write fiction and I love doing it. But if I spend all my down time researching, it will reduce my productivity.

Last weekend I attended a social media workshop I found extremely helpful. I think this is the second time I’ve gone to this one and just one of many Each time I learn something new. Each time I discover how many things have changed since the last time I attended a class on the subject. And within a few days I practice what I’m comfortable with and avoid branching out. I can tweak what I know without the hours of R&D I’ll need for a new venture.

I have a very old Twitter account. This week I had a better idea of what and why I was doing some things. I have an old Pinterest account that I like because I saved all the pretty pictures, and occasionally check out hot guys for inspiration. I am Eliza March and I like hot men. There you know my weak spot. I do not know squat about how Pinterest can be used for promotional purposes. I get the idea at first…but when I try to visualize what to do…poof…nadda.

Facebook is a bain on my peace of mind, sanity, and my ability to control my opinions… and I believe on most of their users too. I’ve been on it so long…I get it. Then I don’t. Then I do, then I don’t. If you’re anything like me, you don’t like being played. I could give you an arm’s length list of companies I deal with daily that are playing with my mind and my life. How do you trust any corporation in this day and time? I’m beginning to suffer from borderline #conspiracy theorist issues. Should I accept my $29.00 (not a real figure) royalty check and keep my mouth shut? I want more. I’m tired of being invisible, suffocated beneath other books, and authors buying reviews, promoters with money, algorithms and bots.

How can I help you? Apparently, those of us who band to together, and share information with each other, and help each other, and inspire each other can pull ourselves up the ladder and drag a few others with us. The stronger you are the more you should pull up with you. Never forget that someone helped you up too. We need each other more than you can ever imagine until that day come when you put your hand up and there’s no one there to rescue you.

Whatever goes around, comes around.