Sunday, July 31, 2011

Engaging Dialog

When I set out to write Alexios' story, I had a grand vision. He would be a prince who found himself in the predicament in the photo to the left. Not only did I have to find a way to get him bound to that rock, but I would have to come up with a way to rescue him because I hate leaving one of my heroes in a lurch.

Getting him literally between a rock and a hard place was relatively easy. Andromeda found herself in that very dilemma when her mother bragged that Andromeda was more beautiful that a local sea god's children. So it was easy enough to draw the parallel and have Alexios' father make a similar statement about his son and one of Apollo's sons.

Of course, Apollo couldn't let such hubris (overweening pride) stand and Alexios found himself bound to a rock waiting to meet his end. There is quite a bit more to the story than that, but that is the basic premise "Alexios' Fate" is built on.

I finished up my story at about 20,000 words and was rather pleased with myself. It was my longest finished piece yet and there was more set up than is usual with my short stories. Best of all, my voice/style had improved dramatically while writing it.

Reading back over my story, I discovered that it needed more dialog and I wasn't sure how I was going to get more in there. I made a comment to a couple of friends about that concern and Deanna Wadsworth offered to read over Alexios' tale with an eye to fixing that.

And boy, did she! She suggested all kinds of places for me to add dialog. I took almost all of her suggestions and loved what they did for my story. End of second draft had me at 29,000. Lots of dialog and the whole thing flowed so much better.

Further suggestions about getting to know one of the other characters better and adding more of a sense of the mythos have been incorporated. It will feel like reading a modern myth, like Homer has come forward nearly three millennia.

"Alexios' Fate" is now up to 36,000 and I have dubbed Deanna, the queen of gab, because she knows how to use it to good advantage in advancing a story and drawing the reader in. I hope to continue to put what I have learned at her feet to good use.


  1. Kayla Love it.. and leave him chained atleast a lil while.. and Hubris is a great word.. learned it in JH when I read Oedipus.. :) Looking forward to the release date....

  2. Thank you, Seban. I'll keep everyone updated as things progress with this story. I've only gone through the editing process once so far and with a much shorter piece so I have no idea how long to expect it to take.

    As soon as I know more, believe me so will everyone else!

  3. Awww, I didn't see this post yesterday. You honor me with your kind words. I just wanted to help a sista out. If it weren't for people giving me a few pointers here and there I wouldnt be published at all. I really can't wait to read this book! The new reincarnation sounds amazing.

  4. I'm just giving credit where credit is due, Deanna. You showed me how to take it from a good short story to a novella that I very proud of.
    I can't wait to share it with you and anyone else who likes the ancient times.