Showing posts from March, 2016

5 Tips For Creating Conflict Through Dialogue

We took the exit ramp from the highway and came to a stop at the red light at the bottom of the hill. Our GPS repeated her previous command, "Turn left." From the back seat, my four-year-old grandson said, "Not yet, Stalker." At four, he has no idea what a stalker is. He meant talker, but in an odd way, the GPS does stalk us. Without knowing it, his statement held some truth, but out of context I could twist it into something frightening. How often do we not say what we mean? Maybe we don't know the proper word or pronunciation.  Maybe we can't recall the word we want, a phenomena I'm experiencing more and more. We can list a multitude of reasons why, but let's explore the results of our poor communication. When our communication is unclear, people probably think one or more of the following: This person has no clue. What did he mean? Did she really just say that? That's hilarious. I wonder what I'll have for supper? No

Author Turned Speaker: 7 Tips for Success

Barbara speaking at a writing conference Imagine with me for a moment: You published your book to great acclaim. People can't stop talking about your characters and story. Requests for you to speak to groups flood into your inbox. Great, right? Writers dream of success, but public speaking? Not on their radar.  What do you say to your audience?  How do you manage to keep your knees from knocking together while you speak?  What if you make a fool of yourself? These seven tips will help you: 1. Understand that your audience wants you to succeed. Most people dislike public speaking, so they get that you're nervous.  They are pulling for you, not against you.  That means a slip-up will not make them hate you.  It will tell them you're human.  Don't sweat it. 2. Find out who your audience is.   Are they readers, potential readers, or writers?  Each of these groups has different reasons for coming to hear you speak. Readers want to know what you lo

Writing Guidelines: Love Them or Hate Them?

The world of writing abounds with guidelines: Write every day Avoid passive voice Don't use adverbs Get it down and dirty first Make each scene count I'm sure you can think of more without me providing them.  If you're like me, some of these are easy to live by.  My writers' group will tell you I'm a stickler for avoiding passive voice.  Sometimes you need it, but in most cases it creates a boring narrative.  I, also, don't like adverbs.  If you use a lot of -ly words, I'm going to say something. But some of the other points are a little harder for me to swallow. I might be writing every day, but I won't be writing on my preferred manuscript every time. I work on several jobs, most of which require writing, just not creative writing. Sometimes, I'm journaling, which is not related to my preferred manuscript, either, but today I might capture a point that makes a scene perfect in the future. Still, I feel like I'm cheating on this on