Tuesday, October 29, 2019

It's More than What they Say

Possibly because I started out writing plays, dialogue is my favorite part of any story. I like to give characters fairly distinctive speaking patterns without going to extremes. If everyone has perfect grammar and diction, it can reflect a graduate class in literature, but not much about life in the real world.

When Annie Louise Bannon asked me to do a guest post on her blog, I titled it "How Characters Talk," and I used examples from the Logland Mystery series. Since it's a police procedural with a cozy feel (as opposed to a cozy mystery series) I can be more relaxed about what characters say. That doesn't mean they swear like sailors, but some of them are a tad raunchy.

Take a look at the post -- How Characters Talk -- and let me know what you think.

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Learn more about Elaine and her writing at www.elaineorr.com

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Recent Reading

I tend to blog less when I'm full steam ahead on writing. Because of audiobooks in the car, I don't stop reading.

 Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly puts his newest sleuth, Renee Ballard, with my favorite, Harry Bosch. I like the plot and the way the two characters work together. Close to seamless. Ballard comes across Harry snooping in her LAPD squad room as he works a cold case, and she's intrigued and signs on. I wondered if Harry would end up the hero because Renee needed help, but they each got the other out of a big jam. Intersecting subplots work well. The book had the added element of the solo Ballard book from a couple of years ago -- her internal dialogue about rampant sexism in law enforcement. It exists, it's important to tackle, and in the first book it was part of the main plot. In Dark Sacred Night, it came into play with an ignored call for back-up and other examples. I did tire of the internal dialogue about it -- and I'm a woman who was in the workplace (not law enforcement) when subtle sexism wasn't even recognized by those who exhibited it.

Escape Clause by John Sandford features my current favorite investigator, Virgil Flowers of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. This time he's tracking two rare tigers stolen from a Minnesota Zoo. Realistic (and funny) dialogue and an intense plot. The criminals are featured in the first scenes, and I usually prefer to solve the crime along with the sleuth. This works, but I hope Sandford goes back to his earlier methods. What's quite goods about the Virgil Flowers books are the way his personal life and the investigation intersect. In some books the personal seems extraneous. Here the blend works well. Grab any book in this series.

Back to writing. I need to finish The Twain Does Meet, a Jolie and Scoobie novella.