Introducing Guest Blogger Corinne L. Casazza

Written on April 10, 2014 by Fairy Dog Blogger of One Resource for Authors

Hello my furless friends!! “I would like to introduce you to our guest blogger this week, Corinne Casazza. She is a freelance writer and has some great advice about how to bring life to your characters so if you happen to be writing any kind of story, take a few minutes to read this, it’s well worth it!” Bailey says, tail wagging and tongue hanging out. “See, I know how to make myself come alive!” he barks excitedly, as he runs around in circles with his owner’s slipper in his mouth.

Say What? Five Keys to Dynamic Dialogue

Creating dialogue is my favorite part of writing. It gives my characters voice and meaning, moves the plot forward, brings comic relief and really makes a scene visual. Well written dialogue forms a picture  in your reader’s mind and is a vital part of a compelling story.  It’s comprised of two parts: the actual words being spoken and the dialogue tag or attribution. The attribution lets the reader know who’s speaking and also includes body language. Here are my top five tips to creating dynamic dialogue.
  1. Write the actual dialogue first. When I’m working on dialogue, I always write the words first – what is the character saying? What are they trying to convey? Then, I go back and add in the attribution and body language. What are they doing? Do their actions match their words? Are they telling the truth? Are they uncomfortable? Confident? Scared?
  2. Incorporate body language. Body language is SO important – it gives clues toward the feeling and intention of your characters. It also provides a visual of what’s going on in the scene. Body language really brings the scene to life. I always have my characters performing some type of action while they’re talking. It could be as simple as walking along a beach or as complex as plotting to escape while bantering with their captors – make it interesting.
  3. Make your attributions clear. Your reader should never question who’s speaking. You don’t have to attribute every line of dialog, especially in a back and forth between two characters, but you don’t want your reader to have to backtrack and reread to figure out who said what.  I use “said” 90% of the time in attributions. Your reader’s eye glides right over it and they are focusing on what’s being said, instead of the attribution.
  4. Research that slang – make sure your language is current; even body language changes. For instance, a writer friend of mine had some teens high-fiving in one scene. When he asked some teenagers to read it and see if the dialogue worked, they told him, “High fives are out. Fist pumps are in…”
  5. Make it funny and fun. Dialogue is a great way to make the personality of your character known and add comedy to a scene. Consider the dialogue below, what do you learn about the characters here?
“Everyone knows hockey players have the best bodies,” Sugar says.
Blue readily agrees, “of all the sports,” she adds, hands spread wide apart to encompass every last one. Between them they own 76 Bruins game shirts.*     

As with any component of writing, reading always helps. Read your favorite authors and pay careful attention to the dialogue. Some of my favorites are Elmore Leonard, Janet Evanovich and Clive Cussler. Enjoy the conversations between your characters. Just allow them to reveal themselves to you. Make them compelling and comedic and, most of all, have fun.  
*Dialogue excerpted from my upcoming novel The Adventures of Blue Belly and Sugar Shaker Book One: The Powers that Be.

Corinne L. Casazza is a freelance writer based in Boston, Massachusetts. She is currently at work on her third novel. Corinne believes that through creativity and humor, we all find our own inner light.

Corinne’s novel, Walk Like an Egyptian is available at or from Llumina Press. For more information visit Corinne’s web site at or her Facebook Fan Page for tips for beginning writers.

Written by Fairy Dog Blogger

of One Resource for Authors

You can learn more about the author of this blog post in the following categories: 1st step to getting started, Coach me, Create a blog, Help me with copywriting, Proofread my book

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