Nanogang series–Day Five: Writing Times, Dialog, and Discovery

On the fifth day of our challenge, we write very little and discuss dialog and discovery.

Resources mentioned:
Children of the Corn (book and movie)


Word count for the day:
Ben 0
Tori 0
Kitty 0
Dan 0
Dede 2717

Total for the month:
Ben 415
Tori 2500
Dede 4794
Dan 6202
Kitty 1250

NaNoGang Day Two: Southern Gothic Dialog

On the second day of our challenge, our participants deal with illness and business meetings, while others make breakthroughs. We discuss dialog tips and the Southern gothic genre.

Today’s Word Counts:
Tori: 1150
Ben: 0
DD: 0
Kitty: 350
Dan: 1136

Word Count Totals:
Dan: 3386
DD:  1363
Tori: 1150
Kitty: 570
Ben: 0


Resources Mentioned:
The Coffee Service by J. Daniel Sawyer
The Psycho movie series: Psycho, Psycho II, Psycho IIIPsycho IV

Questions 653: Dialog Golden Ratio

Ephraim asks: “Is there a golden ratio for narration/dialog in fiction? How do I know if I have too much of one or the other?”

Resources Mentioned:
Edgar Allan Poe, The Works of
They’re Made Out of Meat by Terry Bisson (from his collection Bears Discover Fire)

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Questions 651: He Said, Historically

Roland asks: “Can you elaborate on changes in conversational style and dialog tags then (1960s and earlier) vs. now? Are these changes linear or cyclical?”

Resources Mentioned
At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft
Conan the Barbarian Series by Robert E Howard
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien
The Red Wind by Raymond Chandler
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemmingway
On The Road by Jack Kerouac
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Tom Swift and His Jetmarine by Victor Appleton II
Mort by Terry Pratchett
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
Every Day Novelist Deep Characterization Series
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Reave the Just by Stephen R. Donaldson
Tale of the Body Thief by Anne Rice
The Bad Sex in Fiction Awards

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Questions 507: He Said, She Said

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Roland asks:  What’s the right balance between using dialog tags and replacing them with action? Are there genre conventions regarding this?

Resources Mentioned:
The Complete Book of Screenwriting, by J. Michael Straczynski

Questions 458: Swearing in Kids’ Books

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Robert asks: Kids swear, but publishers and buyers of kids’ books frown on swearing. How do to keep it real without offending the gatekeepers?

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Questions 394: To Swear or Not to Swear

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JR asks:  “How do I convey that characters are swearing, if the publisher won’t allow swear words?”


Suave Rob’s Rough-n-Ready Rugrat Rapture
The Door into Summer
The Naked and The Dead
The Stuff of Thought

Questions 173: Advanced Character Voice

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Robert asks:
“How can I differentiate my character voices when both characters have similar jobs and backgrounds?”