Monthly Archives: May 2014

“Oh no! There’s too many speech tags,” she said

I know there are tons of grammar blogs that let everyone in on what you should and shouldn’t be doing with your writing. As an editor, everything I suggest is just that: a suggestion. My suggestions, however, are based either in logic or grammar rules. Today I wanted to talk about speech tags, and the following information is not wrong or right, just my opinion.

So, what is a speech tag? It’s the said, asked, suggested etc that comes after dialogue. So: “I just wanted to talk,” he said. As a reader (and editor, and I’m not singling out anyone here) if I have to read through too many he said/she said, I get bored. It’s repetitive and can become boring. So, how can  you tighten your text and still make it clear who is talking?

Scenario 1: If there are only two people talking, the reader can assume who is doing the speaking if we have established at the beginning of the conversation who is who.

“I’m sick,” Sammy said.

“What sort of sick?” asked her mother.

“I want to vomit.”

“Hang on, and I’ll get the bucket.”

If they happen to have a long conversation, you can remind the reader in a few lines, if you think they may lose who is who.

Scenario 2: This works no matter how many people are talking. Get rid of the said, asked, yelled, and use actions or descriptions. It avoids repetition and gives depth to the characters.

“I’m sick.” Sammy’s face looked pale.

“What sort of sick?” Her mother placed a palm on her forehead to test her temperature.

“I want to vomit.”

“Hang on, and I’ll get a bucket.” Her mother ran to the cupboard.

Scenario 3: But I want people to know my character is angry and they’re yelling.

Sometimes it’s better to try and convey how it’s said with actions or with the actual words being said.

Chris saw Samantha standing at the edge of the cliff. He ran toward her. “No, don’t jump!”

It’s obvious he’s yelling, at least it is to me. And I suppose the exclamation mark helped. I’m not a total speech-tag hater; sometimes it’s nice to write, “I think you have toilet paper on the back of your trousers,” she whispered to him as they walked out of the restaurant.

Anyway, as for most things, there’s a time and a place. Read through your story and see if there are some speech tags you can leave out or change to actions. Your readers will be happy you did.

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It’s Incredible! Realm of Blood and Fire Cover Reveal

I’m taking a break from madly writing to reveal the most incredible cover I’ve had the fortune of having for one of my babies. The Circle of Talia series has awesome covers, done by Robert Baird, but he has outdone himself with the cover for the final book in the trilogy: Realm of Blood and Fire. I know it’s my cover, so I’m not exactly unbiased, but I think it’s one of the best covers I’ve ever seen for a fantasy book, and it’s mine, yay! (and yes, I made it huge in this post lol). Readers will be happy to see Flux and Phantom in the foreground. It was amazing for me to see some of my characters come to life on the cover.

realm-blood-fire_ebook_resized

Realm of Blood and Fire will be released on the 21st of July. The paperback will be available from Amazon but the ebook will only be on iBooks—I’ve given them a one-month exclusive because they have been extraordinarily supportive of me throughout my writing career and they let indie authors do preorders. Readers can preorder their copy by clicking on the cover image in this post. The ebook will be available from all other channels as of the 21st of August.

For those who are waiting for Realm of Blood and Fire, I would like to say thanks for giving my first book, Shadows of the Realm, a chance, and thank you to all those who have let me know how much they are loving the series. It will be sad to say goodbye to Bronwyn and the gang, but there is room to write another series later, if I miss them too much. And here’s the blurb:

While the realmists watch, powerless to intervene, the gormons lay waste to Talia, city by city, moving closer to Vellonia each day. As the final battle nears, The Circle can’t meet the conditions of the prophecy, and hope is dwindling. But even if they can unite Talia, the prophecy demands that someone be sacrificed. Can Bronwyn and Blayke do what they must — destroy those they love to save their world?

Don’t wait; run and preorder yours now! 🙂

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Close Call is FREE for the First Time Ever!

Doris jpeg ebook cover

I’ve just done something I said I’d never do—I’ve put one of my books for free. I’ve always been against free books because authors put a lot of time and effort into writing the book, then spend lots of money getting it edited and putting a cover on it. Just to give other authors (who have not self-published) an idea, this book, even though it’s a novella, has cost me around $800. I had the cover done by a talented designer who does freelance work for one of the big 5 publishers, and my editor Chryse Wymer went through it with a fine-tooth comb. Of course, you can get cheaper covers, but I am really picky about what I want, and this couldn’t be done off the shelf (and some off-the-shelf covers are awesome, but this book needed something different).

So, the book was selling in dribs and drabs, and had it been a different book, I would have bided my time and waited for sales to pick up. But this book is awesome, funny and super original, and I know once someone reads it, they will have to tell their friends. I know you’re probably saying, “Of course you’d say that, you’re the author.” Well, yes, but I’ve had a lot of feedback that confirms my opinion. And I will ask you a few questions that prove this theory. Have you ever read a book about a talking vagina called Doris? Can you imagine vaginas and penises talking to each other and having the conversations you would never be game to have? How can talking genitals not be funny? Doris also has great advice and is determined to save her ‘owner’ Jemma from her own bad decisions. I admit there is an underlying message, and that is that women need to have better self-esteem and stop buying into the whole ‘women are only valuable based on how sexy they are and how appealing they are to men.’

Readers have said:  Absolutely hilarious; Heartwarming; A touching romance;  Too funny and clever; This story had me in stitches. If you don’t believe me, you can find out for yourself, and for the next two weeks it won’t cost you a cent. If you love it you will tell your friends, and maybe even leave a review, and that’s why I’m taking a chance and breaking my ‘no free book’ rule. I really hope you pick it up and enjoy it. Go now! It’s on AmazonSmashwords, Kobo, iBooks.

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