DL Fowler's Blog

I Hear Voices …

Posted in Bloggers, Contest, Dialog, Emlynd Chand, Inside a Writer's Head, Show Don't Tell, Writing by DLFowler on February 14, 2011

If you’re a writer and you hear voices, that’s a good thing. It’s even better if your readers hear those same voices in your writing.

How do you make your readers hear the voices that echo off the membranes of your brain?  Here’s a sample that impressed me from an entry in Emlyn Chand’s flash fiction contest. It was written by CJ Cook.  

“So who wants to go next?” Ms. Carrol asked, her eyes scanning the crowd.  The children bounced up and down on their knees, their hands bolting into the air as they shouted, “Me, me, me!”

Can you see the whole kindergarten classroom in that short piece of dialog?

I did. I saw it in the bouncing “up and down on their knees”, in the “hands bolting into the air”, and especially in the “Me,me,me!” CJ didn’t elaborate on the toy boxes in their primary colors, the leprechaun sized chairs, or the elfin jackets hanging on hooks along the wall.  And notice, the kids didn’t bounce or shout ‘excitedly.’ I heard their excitement without being told it was there.


3 Responses

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  1. screen_scribbla said, on February 14, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Note to self. Thwack!


  2. MissCity said, on February 14, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    I’ll keep this in mind and use it as daily reminder to self about how “special” this gift is!


  3. CJ Cook said, on February 15, 2011 at 9:59 AM

    Heh *blushes a little* Thanks for the comments. If only writing an entire novel like that were as easy. Probably still a fair few -ly words in my MS, but hey, I’ve still got another round of edits to go before I even think of self-publishing or querying.


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