Arcs – like the Greek guy says! (not orcs)

Don McQuinn and I have indulged several conversations on techniques of fiction. Lately we’ve switched from the Celtic Swell to a couple of Greek hangouts. So our notes and scribbles are typically illuminated with coffee stains and ketchup.

Lately, we’ve been musing on — or been bemused by — questions of structure. Here’s a first conversation on structure in genre fiction.
ANNIE: If we’re going to talk about structure, I have to say first that I believe in the three-part act.
(draws Aristotelian slope) Aristotelian structure

DON: It’s worked for 3000 years. I think we should stay with it. Continue reading

Dialect in Dialog – doing right by the reader

That chat Don McQuinn and I began on Dialog in fiction has spun new conversations.
See Don’s recent James Rollins Interview on Dialog. (James Rollins writes  best-selling thrillers.)
(Our first “dialog” is here.)
Don asked Jim a proxy question for me in that interview: how to let readers know the meaning of foreign words in dialog, without disrupting the flow.  Jim provides great examples from his work in that interview with Don.
Why I asked: I wrestle with the issue all the time. Continue reading

Don and Annie Hit the Mark: Dialog

Dialog decoration       Don McQuinn and I have mused about fiction techniques and writing practices since some time in the last century, usually in a Seattle watering hole or on Don’s porch, with a view of Puget Sound. This new series shares our conversations. Our discussion of dialog was over lunch at The Mark in Burien.
Continue reading