! How to Write Sparkling Conversations!

“It’s not just the quotation marks that make a dialogue; but what’s within.” – Kavipriya Moorthy
Dialogues between two; A romantic discussion that says more with less words. These form a major part of a novel. There are wonderful writers like Nicholas Sparks and John Green who pen down spectacular conversations that would nail your brains with enchantment. How many of you love these conversations? There are blogs which feature quotes and smart conversations, let’s have a sneak about phrasing a good conversation.
There are different ways to follow:
Example 1:                                                                                                     
Kavipriya: Hello, where are you?
Ajay: On the way, and you?
Example 2:
“Hello, where are you?” asked Kavipriya.                                                                                                                                                                       “Am on the way Kavi, and you?” asked Ajay.
Example 3:
Kavipriya called Ajay and asked “Where are you?” for which he replied “Am on the way,”
All three were boring isn’t it? Let’s avoid a few errors and ensure they are interesting.
Mistakes to avoid:
1)    Don’t repeat the names throughout – This says that you don’t have the confidence that your readers are attached to the book to understand who says what. Use it where it is ambiguous, after a point when your readers are involved, they would know who is talking what.
2)    I recommend avoiding the “Example 1” type
3)    Don’t follow the emotion with every dialogue, stop after a point as the reader will mentally know how the character feels.
4)    Replace the words “Said” and “told” when necessary and use a word that makes sense in the context
5)    “Show” don’t narrate from author PoV
                      Example: “Preethi took her stethoscope and walked out” instead of “Preethi is a doctor”
6)    Use italics if the dialogues are a part of the paragraph – recommended
7)    Before starting the dialogue, give the backdrop of where it is happening. Don’t let your readers imagine two in an empty white room of four walls
8)    If the next character starts talking before the first could complete use ‘Dash’
Example: “Actually, I was about to-“
“It’s okay am leaving just inform him,”
9)    Dialogues are generally cute, hence keep it as short as possible.
Example: “If you’re a bird, am a bird”
10)    Follow the mood, emotions, and character of the person in the dialogues
Let me shamelessly promote a cute dialogue from my very own debut “I don’t wear Sunscreen”
“Do I smell breakfast?” he asked.
“What?”
“I smell eggs, where? You have them hidden?” he pulled her handbag.
“That’s my hair, I applied an egg to give it some shine,”
“Oh man, I will take you to a nice parlour this weekend Dolly,” he smiled.
“Huh, no way, I don’t visit parlours often, just for haircuts and that too once in a year,”
“I know, that’s why I am taking you this weekend,”
“No, I don’t want, please,”
“Come on, how will they make money then? They depend on us, let’s buy them food,” he chuckled.
“What’s your brain made up of, Sai? How can you come up with such an excuse to visit the parlour?” she laughed.
Share your thoughts below! Let’s phrase better!

Answer these 10 questions before you start your novel

I agree, that it takes a sparkling idea to write a novel. Before you start writing them, there are few questions that would help you not just to ‘start’ your novel but to finish as well. Have a look at these questions, answer them and start your novel. If you are mid-way, find answers to these questions and continue. Might help you from getting struck elsewhere.
thinkpen
1.Who are your target audience? – eg: young teens, school students, college students, young mothers, etc., – This will also help you to determine your mode of promotions. For example: If you are writing a novel for young adults – you can market the book via delivering a speech in colleges
2.Did you read the other books that carry the same subject line? – For example: I was about to write a novel that fell in the same pocket as ‘Half-Girlfriend’ was; It took a friend to tell me that am writing something similar. So, going forward, hit goodreads and check for the genres, similar subject lines, and read them.
3. Determine the main concept of the book; sub-concepts if any – where you will cover these sub-concepts. Note: Start your novel with the main soul of your story, give it a gripping start. Example: My first novel “I don’t wear Sunscreen” didn’t have a gripping start but took enough speed later. I thought, starting off with a grip will help the book and then presented a gripping prologue – It worked well with my readers.(Shameless Promotion)
4. There are millions of books around the world, who knows? your idea might have sparked someone else 10 years ago and the book is already there somewhere in some corner of the world. — What’s the difference? – the narration. — determine your narration style.
5. Did you build the virtual world? – Where your story is based. This is pretty important. Follow Geography throughout the story, else you will miss the excitement. Fix a good place of your interest, travel if possible and find out more. Talk to a friend who lives there; network and talk to those who live at your spot to understand their basic culture. Use street view. Example: Author Alcatraz Dey used Google street view to write about Munich and it worked really well.
6. How original and true is your character? determine the environment, which would help one to understand that a decision or a move by this character is right. It takes the determinants to  ensure that an emotion is carried well by your character
7. Why do you think any will recommend your book to others, excluding your friends and family? – This will refine your theme, plot, and concept. Answer this question.
8. What perspective you’ve picked? What’s that a person would gain from your book? – Example: I don’t wear Sunscreen helped a person to realize that dating a misogamist is still okay. It also helped one understand what’s quintessential.(Shameless Promotion – again)
9. What impact do you want to leave to your reader? What should linger in the minds of your reader for another hour after reading your book.
10. What’s your motive of writing this book, other than turning an author or adding another book with your tag.  P.S – you can still choose to write to become an author.
Hope that helps! Comment below your thoughts.

Methods of Writing

Explored few methods that would be of use to budding writers and authors. This was one of the agenda covered during the “Writer to Author – The Transition” event.
1) Snowflake Method
The age-old method, but powerful. The most debated as well, so just a gist of it here.
  • Write the Soul of the story in one line.
  • Build 10 or more sentences that covers the major events of the story and completes the whole novel
  • From each sentence, start building chapters – End of this, you will have your chapters ready
  • Prologue, Epilogue and few parts more according to your thoughts will have your first draft
2) Sticky note Method
This method can be used by those who write thrillers, murder mysteries, or a novel based on events.
  •  Start writing the bits of incidents on a sticky note
  •  Now that you have scenes ready start sketching the story and place the events as and when required
  •  Timeline throughout and ensure if they fall in place, else change the sticky notes as per preferences
  •  If you think of a better event – replace the sticky note
Keep some sticky notes with you always and pen down events whenever an idea strikes, you’ll never know when a good idea would strike
3) Reverse Engineering Method
Let’s go backward for a change – trust me, this method works best for your second novel. The first novel is an experience, and hence every step you take with your second will be much better once such is this reverse engineering.
  •  Start writing your climax first
  •  You can now start the bits that would lead to this climax
  • This method can be used when you have the Climax in mind but have few options left in mind to route it. When you reverse the process, the climax will help you judge the best of the ‘Tunneled options’ in mind.
  •  Keep writing the other chapters in which you have clarity and this would assist in directing to the climax. The best of the lot that makes sense will find its way.
4) Shadow Method
The method I followed for “I don’t wear Sunscreen” my first novella. Write the parts where you have enough clarity, and pass over the chapters to a critic/friend who will slap your face with questions. Start answering the questions with twists with the following chapters, this way you can keep off from surprising loopholes and dramatic scenes that has no essence.
For Example: I had a strong character in the story, for which my friend questioned what makes a person from a mediocre family and such a locality turn so strong, I need a reason for it. From there I weaved a background that worked well in the novel and convinced the readers.
5) Paper-clip method
In this method, you don’t outline the novel at all. You won’t have the genre in mind or the sequence, but just a few scenes or portions. Write them all in a paper and clip them, and then outline. This helps you to broaden and spread out from ordinary outlining methods or restrict yourself from writing within the criteria.
  •  Start with Place and Time of events
  •  PoV
  •  About protagonist
  •  Few scenes
From here, start clipping.
6) Answer the Big Six:
  • Who|What|Where|When|Why|How
Answering these will help you keep an eye on the possible loopholes and define every step of your novel. It gives more clarity to you and your readers. You exclude the ambiguity and timelines would back you up throughout without a miss

Scribbomaniac!