October 17

Tip: Listen to conversations around you – not necessarily to eavesdrop, but to hear the way they talk, the cadence of their speech, what they say and what they leave out. Written dialogue is often stilted and formal, but should be more natural. Read your dialogue out loud. Does it sound natural, or too formal? But… as a warning… natural speech is also often filled with “junk” – hesitations, redundancies and more. Choose your dialogue words carefully and make them work for your story.

Thought for the day: “Write out of love, write out of instinct, write out of reason. But always for money.” – Louis Untermeyer

Jumpstart: An acronym is a word made up of the first letters of other words. For instance, Scuba comes from “self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.” Can you come up with acronyms for common items, situations or places?