As you know, I will be MIA for the next month or so. But have no fear, dear reader, I have brought in a wonderful collection of awesome authors to fill in the gaps. They'll be sharing their wisdom and expertise on a wide variety of writing and publishing-related topics. So, sit back, relax, and make sure to take notes... There will be a test when I get back.
Today's guest post is by Louise Wise
“Louise Wise is the author of Eden a romantic sci-fi, but has now found her niche with chick lit and has published A Proper Charlie.”Eden and A Proper Charlie (eBooks and paperbacks) are available on most on-line Internet shops.
He said, she said, they said...
What do you think of the tagline "said"? Is it boring? Should you use something other than said?
'But "said" is boring. Why can't I use other taglines such as “demanded”, “whispered", or "shouted"?’ I said, and reached for a red apple from the fruit bowl.
‘Because "said" is invisible,’ said my writing coach. ‘“Demanded”, “whispered”, and “shouted”, are not. Well, “whispered” isn't so bad, and neither is “shouted” if used sparingly, but “demanded”?’ He shook his head. ‘Don't even think of it.’
‘What about -’
‘You haven't heard what I was going to say, yet!’
‘I could sense it.’
I glowered at him as I rubbed the apple to a mirror-shine on my arm. It flaked a bit; must have been in the fruit bowl a while. ‘Well, how do you make clear somebody is shouting or whispering or being demanding then?'
‘With good prose and a little trust of your readers.’
‘Trust?’ I took a bite of the apple. ‘What are you talking about?’
‘Do you mind?’ My writing coach brushed off sprayed pieces of Royal Gala. ‘If your writing is strong, your readers will know whether your characters have “whispered” “shouted” or “whined.”’
‘I can’t have whined?’
‘Certainly not! Use your writing style to direct your readers to what your characters are saying.’
I pointed the apple at him in excitement. ‘But that’s telling. We’ve always been told not to tell. Ha! Gotcha.’
My coach, sighing, pushed the apple away from his face. ‘Telling is something different. Telling is just that, telling –’
‘So well explained. Not.’ I chewed on the apple somewhat triumphantly. ‘My English teacher taught me to use my imagination for taglines. I remember I had to think of fifty alternatives for homework and then use them in a story the next day. I thought up more than fifty. Wanna hear them?’
‘Er, no thanks.’
‘Go on. You’ll be amazed: cooed, fenced, claimed, queried, presented, alleged –’
'Creative writing is different to the English lessons you had at school.' He reached for his coat.
‘Going so soon?’
‘I’ve just remembered I needed to de-flea the cat.’
I put the core of my apple in my pocket - there wasn’t a bin, and I loathed litter.
My coach nodded to my core, safely nestling inside my coat. ‘Why’d you do that?’
‘I hate litter. Law-abiding citizen, me.’
‘Unnecessary taglines can be described as litter. They are pointless, and clutter up your writing,’ he added as I stared at him with slow realisation dawning on my face. ‘Worse, they can distract your reader from the story.’
‘They aren’t helping the reader, then?’
He shook his head. ‘Not in the slightest. Do you think your readers are stupid? Do you think they can’t understand whether your characters are shouting, querying or even whispering? Or do you think your writing is so poor that you can’t engage your readers in what your characters are saying?’
‘Neither. I think neither!’
‘Well then.’ He looked pleased with himself as he buttoned up his coat. ‘Next time though let’s have this discussion during the writing circle meeting, and not in the gents’.’
‘Sure.’ I grabbed another apple. ‘Posh place though. I mean, not often you get fruit in the loos.’
‘You’ll find,' he said with a smirk, 'those apples are soap.’
Married, with four children, Louise Wise lives in England. She is a pharmacist technician by day, and a writer by night. She was educated in an ordinary state school and left without achieving much in the way of qualifications; you could say she was the result of a crap school. Hungry for knowledge she enrolled in an Adult Education centre and studied English, maths and creative writing. Whereas other young girls asked for makeup and clothes for their birthdays, she asked for encyclopaedias!
Louise Wise used her general love of romantic fiction and interest in astronomy to write her first book, Eden. It was an experimental novel and was never meant to see the light of day! She had received many rejections, which stated that the novel was just too original for the current market. An agent took it on but failed to find a publisher for it, this urged Louise into believing in the novel, and herself as a writer. Since then she believes she has found her niche with romantic comedy. A Proper Charlie was released in March and so far as received all positive reviews.