Archive for the ‘Narrative Voice’ Category

re: How Do I Deal with Accents in Dialogue?

posted 4/26/16

Dear Editor….

I’d love to get your opinion on how to show accents. I have a lot of French and Spanish speakers in my realistic Young Adult story and I’m struggling with how to show that on the page. I felt good about playing with an accent in a short scene, but this book’s characters are all European except for the protagonist and her family, so it’s becoming a pain to sort out how to represent their nationalities in dialogue.

Sincerely,
Hearing Things

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re: Do Middle Graders Like Corny Metaphors?

posted 10/14/15

Dear Editor…

An editor recommended I read a book that would be a competitor to my middle grade adventure WIP. The book was engrossing enough to keep me entertained, but I think a lot of the metaphors were rather corny. Here’s a made-up one as an example: “His words were as hard as stale pizza.” In some cases, the author actually has two or three of these metaphors on a page and I found it distracting. I do note that the book is supposed to be playful as well as adventurous. My question: Is it okay to have metaphors like that for 10- to 12-year-olds? It seems corny to me, but then I am 63 years old, not 10.

Sincerely,
Young at Heart

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re: Why Does My Action “Read Slow”?

posted 3/9/15

Dear Editor…

The feedback on my mystery manuscript was that it has lots of action but “reads slow.” The reader gave one bit of elaboration: “Some of the paragraphs ‘feel’ long even though they aren’t.” I’m not sure what to do with that. Suggestions?

Sincerely,
Confused

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re: Is It MG Fiction If the Character Ages Into His 20s?

posted 1/14/15

Dear Editor…

I am writing a manuscript that starts with the MC at 7 yearrs old. He soon turns 9, then 11, then 15, and so on. The novel ends with him in his mid-20s. The voice starts out young and I want to pitch it as MG, but at the very end of the book, he does sound more mature (with slight, gradual changes throughout as the story moves along). Is it wrong to label this as MG? Should I make the voice mature from the beginning to avoid the changes at all? Am I doing something wrong?? I’m so confused! Help!!

Thank you!
Mary

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re: How Come The Fault In Our Stars Opening Works?

posted 9/15/14

Dear Editor…

I am currently devouring your Writing New Adult Fiction. You strongly encourage authors to jump into the action from the very first sentence but a few current best sellers begin with backstory or as the day is dawning, as in The Fault in Our Stars and If I Stay. Can you give any insight as to what makes those slower beginnings work so well?

Thank you,
Diane

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re: Should Chapter Titles Be Banished?

posted 7/24/14

Dear Editor…

I recently heard that some editors don’t like chapter titles, saying they give things away. Should I not use chapter titles?

Sincerely,
Anonymous

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re: How Reading John Green Can Help Your Dialogue

posted 8/30/13

Dear Editor…

I’m really struggling with writing dialogue that sounds like real people talking. Can you throw a struggling writer a tip?

Thanks,
Tongue-Tied

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re: Resources for Richer Characters, Plots, Voice, Dialogue

posted 7/10/13

Dear Readers…

Two things floated to the top of the Internet this week that you might find useful for beefing up characters, plot, voice, and dialogue, so The Editor is featuring them today: “Deborah Halverson on Why Perfectly Nice People Make Perfect Bad Guys” and The Editor’s FREE webinar “Four Fixes for a ‘Flat’ Story”. Read on for descriptions and links…

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Re: What’s the Right Style for a Crossover Novel?

posted 12/14/11

Dear Editor…

I am attempting my first manuscript aimed at 18 to 30 year olds; is there a particular writing style I should look at, or can I blend young adult fiction with adult fiction to make it work?

Sincerely,
Alana

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re: Writing YA Historical Fiction with a Reflective Adult Narrator

posted 11/2/11

Dear Editor…

I am in a quandary about a historical novel I’ve started. I want to show how one woman was captured by the Shawnee, rescued, and married her rescuer. But I also want to show how another woman has a burden for her brother and the fate of her tribe at that time. Ultimately I imagine the women meeting again 20 years later. I feel there are 2 ways of life to show. Is it best to write about them from an older age looking back or to take them from youth when one was captured at 14 and the other was about 20? I am old (75) and wonder if I will be able to capture their young voices and feelings.

—Jane

 

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