100% K.J Chapman, Writing and Me

Character Dialogue: Cutting The Fluff

I have a new character straight off the bat in book three. This character was ‘properly’ introduced to the narrative at the very end of EVO Shift. I love this character, and have great things planned for them, but their dialogue hasn’t been gelling with the image/ idea in my head. I’ve re-read certain chapters time and time again to try and figure out what was so… off. I never usually re-read during drafting, so this alone told me that I needed to sort this ASAP. I couldn’t move forward without finding their true voice and it was frustrating to say the least.

exasperation

I was re-reading for the millionth time, when out of the blue I highlighted the last sentence of a piece of their dialogue and pressed delete. I moved to their next line of dialogue, read through, highlighted two sentences, and again, pressed delete. Something was happening… yep, their voice rang clear in my head. It was a kind voice, a wise voice, and a voice that would be to the point. I just had to cut the fluff- the gumph- the dead weight. Basically, I had to cut the bullshit.

They have their voice! *Inwardly screams ‘YAAASSSSSSS’*

hell yeah

This one is under my skin and I don’t want to let them down. I’m so relieved that I can finally get back on the drafting train with a clear voice in my mind. After all, this is the series finale and it’s the strong voices who WILL be heard…


Written content is the property of K.J.Chapman

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Writing Exercises

Write Me: Sixty Word Story

Wow. I thought these exercises would get easier as the word count grew, but if anything, they’re getting harder. I’ve opted for a dialogue sixty word story today, so here it goes:

“Have you ever loved somebody so much that you thought your heart could beat itself right out of your chest? No, me neither.”

“But you said you loved me.”

“And I thought I did for a while. I had the nervous belly, the butterflies, but it turned out to be wind. It must be the effect you have on me.” 

heart-905598_960_720 (1).jpg

Feel free to join in with your own sixty word stories, and let me know what you come up with.


 

All written works are the property of K.J.Chapman

Writing Exercises

Prompt Me #3

Thank you to Gabriel over at A Little Me, Apparently for this week’s prompt. Check out Gabriel’s blog for fantastic, original poetry. Click that follow button, you won’t regret it.

I have just ten minutes to expand on the prompt, and I think you’ll agree that this is a GREAT prompt with a lot of scope to work with.

The Prompt:

“You’re crazy.”

“I may be crazy, but you’re insane.”

“What’s the difference?”

I laugh at Heath’s expression. “My craziness is just an extension of my eccentricity and I fully embrace that. Your insanity is an extension of your need to be institutionalised and that you can not accept.”

He tucks a loose strand of hair behind my ear. “It’s a good job you love me then, isn’t it?”

I pull him toward me and tangle my arms around his neck, pushing my lips against his. He still hasn’t lost the knack of making my knees go weak and he knows it. Lacing his fingers in my hair, he pulls me in closer still.

Dana scoffs. “The pair of you are fruit loops. Now, can you stop snogging and get back to work? These bombs ain’t gonna programme themselves.”

Heath offers her a mock salute and disappears down the corridor to find Judd.

“You still haven’t told him,” Dana states, without looking up from her laptop. I don’t reply. “So, he’ll want to take care of you, is that such a bad thing?”

“I’m not ready to admit it to myself let alone Heath. How can I be anyone’s Mum, Dana. I don’t understand babies and they certainly don’t understand me.”

“What’s to understand? Feed it when it’s hungry, change it when it craps, and don’t leave it in a locked car on a hot day.”

I chuckle whilst typing in what feels like the millionth code. She’s right, but if Heath knows I’m pregnant he’ll take me off the job. I’ve worked my butt off for the past thirteen months and I’m not going to sit it out now. I have the most riding on it. My Dad was one of the eight hundred and seventy six people who died because of that damned drug, and yet, they hushed it up, swept it under the rug, and are now making millions from the new and far from improved sister drug. We need to stop them, and I am sure as hell going to be there when we do.

“I’ll tell him tonight.”

“Tell me what?” says Heath. He lugs a chest of guns through the narrow passage, followed by Judd. I can’t catch my breath to speak. “Hallie, what is it?”

“I’ll tell you, but first you have to promise me that you won’t take me off the job. You know what this means to me.” He nods his head, concern etched in lines on his forehead. “I’m thirteen weeks pregnant. You’re going to be a Daddy, Heath.”

The look of concern is instantly replaced with euphoria. “Are you serious, Baby? I’m going to be a Da–“

A gun shot rings through the passage and Heath’s eyes glaze over. Instantly, tears of blood run from the sockets and down his cheeks. He drops to his knees and onto his stomach. The hole carved into the back of his head smokes, and Judd stands behind him with a gun raised.

“No!” I scream as Judd turns to Dana. The second gun shot is the last thing I hear before the world wanes and darkness beckons me.


If you would like to offer prompts for future posts, please check out the original post and leave a comment: Prompt Me

All excerpts are the works of K.J.Chapman.

Please request permission from the prompt creator for use of the prompt in this post.

Writing and Me

Dialogue Heavy: Is That a Problem?

Is a dialogue heavy novel a problem? For me, the answer has always been- no. I enjoy dialogue if it’s well written, and I equally enjoy writing dialogue. I get to know my characters from their spoken exchanges; their favourite cuss words, slang terms, and their use of body language in the dialogue tags. I thoroughly enjoy creating their tone and use of vocabulary.

I think it is a reflection of your writing style, and the kind of writer you are. If dialogue is your strong point, then you may tend to veer on the heavy dialogue side, or vice versa. I don’t agree with blathering dialogue that offers nothing to the narrative, but well written, purposeful dialogue can not be a bad thing, right?

Let me know your opinions, as this topic has been the root of many a self-doubt episode during my writing journey. Dialogue heavy novels- yay or nay?