Saturday, April 16, 2016

Review: "Writing Vivid Dialogue" by Rayne Hall

Are we talking yet? 


Professional Techniques for Fiction Authors  

I was curious about this book as I had heard before 
that sometimes my characters 
– when actually talking – 
didn’t sound real. Right.
After listening to countless conversations. 
So, ok, get myself a book about dialogue. 
I mean how much can you you write about dialogues?! 

Turns out a lot.

That was the longest book by Rayne Hall I read so far 
– and to be honest: I raced through it in a day (which is something you can only do if you skip the assignments spread throughout as usual. Guilty. I integrate them while actually putting things to the test during my revisions!)

While the author mentions that the book is not targeting novice writers – which I understand by the sheer amount of suggestions and insights – new writers WILL find useful stuff as well: They might never threaten a readers sanity (or the other character waiting to have a go) by lengthy constructions to get to the point. They might – well write those tight, sizzling dialogues with punch-lines from the start instead of boring to death. In my case I assume the character listening in my case had often no clue what the other was talking about – neither did the one talking, 
having lost midway what he meant to say.

But that insight only came after sometimes incredibly easy fixes like framing questions and understanding rituals between a variety of characters to make it work – Rival Alphas was a new one to me but immediately added spice to scenes I had in mind!
There is so much helpful stuff in this book that it’s hard to put it all in a review, it even includes examples of how kids different ages react to a certain question – hilarious!

Rayne Hall doesn’t TELL you how to write dialogues, she presents you with a huge collection of useful tips to take it to the next level and still make them sound natural.
There are examples of how to make characters look more intelligent, how to inform without the dreaded info-dumping, how to talk and react to a boss or how to frame flirty advances. 
Not to forget how to create a great argument.

Most interesting to me – as a bilingual writer - was probably how to work in foreign languages. Here I decided to do it my own way – but that’s exactly what Rayne Hall suggests throughout 
– keep tricks in mind and then follow your gut.

Yes, there are some old-timers we have heard and discussed before like tags, format – but that just rounds it up nicely. And to be honest: The chapters about 
“Talking heads” and “White space” were a great reminder...

Read – keep it as a reference next to you for the time when Beta’s yawn – and give them something to follow open mouthed the next version! 
There's is a bounty of advice in handy format - 
like all of the books in the series so far.
Amazon Review link 

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