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Author Topic: Conversing with Characters
What better subject for this blog than the smart (and otherwise) mouths of characters? I don’t know about you, but I love the conversations in good romance novels – witty banter, verbal sparring, undercurrents, secret or blatant flirting – it’s a wonderful way to see the relationship of characters developing, and it can even be more interesting than the sex. J.
I love writing dialogue too. You can reveal so much, or even just hint at, the speaker’s character through what they say and how they say it. Very quickly, their speech can show them to be witty, aggressive, defensive, scared, kick-ass, whatever. Plus, a pause or a nervous action between words can be just as meaningful. Great fun for a writer. Especially because although your characters are coming up with all this (hopefully!) witty repartee off the tops of their fast-thinking heads, you yourself have all the time you need to think up their lines. It’s like those conversations you have in real life and several hours later, you think, “Damn, I wish I’d said that, it would really have put so-and-so in his place” or “If I’d only thought of this at the time, it would have cracked everyone up.” You can give your favourite characters all the quickness of wit you wish you had yourself J.
Then of course, there are accents, which are a fascinating part of everyone’s speech. As a Scot (by residence as well as birth), I’ve noticed with interest the tendency of many Highlander romances in particular to quote the direct speech of Scottish characters in dialect. I imagine it must draw readers into the story more, make it more real for them, to have the accent constantly there – especially if they like Scottish accents! However, my Scottish characters never speak in this “accepted” dialect – partly because, to me, Scottish speech is normal and I doubt I hear it as non-Scots would.
I tend to hear the speaker in my head, whether they’re Scottish, English, American, Hungarian or whatever, and I try to write their words in the style in which they’re flowing through my mind. I try to follow the rhythms and word patterns of the accents rather than altering the way the words are spelled
Which, is, of course, harder when you have a character from a made-up country J. Smoke and Mirrors, my new release, features a hero and several secondary characters from the made-up ex-Soviet republic of Zavrekestan. So I imagine Rodion speaking with a vaguely Russian sounding accent, with the very occasional not quite Russian word thrown in. Actually Rodion’s dialogue was great fun for me because he’s quick and humorous and not afraid of anyone. And when I was writing the scenes with Nell, my heroine, I was always conscious of the undercurrent of sexual attraction simmering between them, ready to erupt during any of their conversations. If you read the book, I hope you feel all those same undercurrents I did while writing it J.
Anyway, I’d love to know: do you have a favourite accent? And if you read it in fiction, do you imagine its sound in your head, or do you prefer it spelled out in the dialogue?
Smoke and Mirrors
The Gifted, Book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Suspense
Number of pages: 241
Word Count: 87,000
Cover Artist: Kimberly Killion (Hot Damn Designs)
Deceit and desire, and a treasure beyond price…
When struggling Scottish writer Nell Black accepts a one-off job with the police, translating for an arson suspect from the isolated ex-Soviet republic of Zavrekestan, she stumbles into a terrifying world of organized crime and paranormal abilities that turns her whole belief system upside down. Faced with an incomparable thief, hit men who spontaneously combust, gangsters, drug dealers, British Intelligence and a fiery goddess, Nell no longer knows who to trust. The man who saves her life is a criminal to whom deceit is second nature. He has more smoke screens and more plans in motion than anyone else can keep track of. He is, moreover, probably insane. Even his fellow gangsters are afraid of him. So why is he the one man Nell wants to touch her?
Rodion Kosar is in trouble. His convoluted plans all lead to one goal – the retrieval of his treasure – and to achieve that, he needs Nell to believe he isn’t the bad guy. He has many reasons beyond his own desires to make love to her. Especially when a plan goes wrong and he has to play dead before someone really kills him – either the police, the menacing Russian crime lord known as the Bear, or the powerful Guardian of the Gifted whom he’s defied once too often. Nell’s burgeoning gift of second sight could be his best route to the treasure, and yet keeping her with him spells danger. For Nell has her own agenda, her own mission, and she could just as easily cause his final downfall.
Marie Treanor lives in Scotland with her eccentric husband and three much-too-smart children. Having grown bored with city life, she resides these days in a picturesque village by the sea where she is lucky enough to enjoy herself avoiding housework and writing sensual stories of paranormal romance and fantasy.
Marie Treanor has published more than twenty ebooks with small presses, (Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Changeling Press and The Wild Rose Press), including a former Kindle bestseller, Killing Joe. Blood on Silk: an Awakened by Blood novel, was her New York debut with NAL.
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