Saturday 1 August 2020

# Book Tour # Tour Kickoff

#GuestPost - Bad Dialogue: The Book Killer by @CgWriter - #BookTour

About The Book Series
Check out the Book on Amazon

Ready For The World: Driver’s Education

Ready For The World: Driver’s Education follows the story of Brandon Delacruz, a fifteen-year-old Filipino American teenager trying to make his way through life during the late 1980s. What Brandon wants out of life is simple: a cool car, a chance to be one of the cool kids at school, and most of all, a cool girlfriend. But instead, all he has are his loving family and his lifelong friends, Josh and Ally, to help him get through the minefield of high school life. 

As he looks for ways to get the car and status, Brandon fails to realize that the girl he’s been searching for has been there all along. But before he and Ally can explore a new relationship, a tragedy occurs that changes their lives. And now Brandon will have to find a way to balance his deep friendship with the excitement, trepidation, and complexity that young love brings...all while trying to keep his grades up.

Check out the Book on Amazon

Ready For The World: Superstar

Things couldn’t be better for Brandon Delacruz. After a long and winding road, he finally has the girl of his dreams. To top it all off, he’s discovered his destiny. He’s going to write the next great novel. Not bad for someone who a few months shy of his sixteenth birthday.

But after a tumultuous start to the year, he finds himself stuck between two girls. On one side is Ally, his best friend since kindergarten who’s suddenly become more of a mystery. And on the other side is Rachel, a brilliant and strong-willed girl that isn’t afraid to speak her mind. As he sorts his feelings out, he’ll find that the world isn’t like the one he’s writing about in his book. Real-life is messy and perplexing, especially in high school. 

And Brandon will learn that life can offer true beauty and grace...and heartbreak.

Bad Dialogue: The Book Killer

We’ve all seen a movie where a character says something so cringe-worthy that we make a face. And if there are too many stretches of bad dialogue, one of two things can happen: 

A) People quit watching and look for something else.
B) People keep watching but turn the movie into a drinking game.  

In either situation, the moviemakers probably didn’t get the reaction that they wanted from the audience.

A good writer will show the reader how it feels and sounds to be in that world. And the dialogue is just one of the ways characters communicate with one another and express themselves.

For example, here are two friends having a discussion on what they did last night.

“Hello, Darius.”

Darius raised his head. “How are you, Dan?”

“Did you see the baseball game between the Dodgers and Giants last night?"

“Yes, I did,” Darius said with a frown. “As you know, I’m a big Giants fan.”

There’s nothing grammatically wrong with that exchange. But it doesn’t sound the way two friends might actually sound. And that’s where nuance or subtext comes in.

Let’s try again:

“Hello, Darius,” Dan said. His smile stretched across his entire face.

Darius looked up and shook his head. “Dan.”

Dan sat down and put his chair right beside Darius. They were an inch apart. “So,” he said as he put on his Dodger hat. “See the game?”

“Yeah,” Darius said. He gave Dan a playful shove that caused Dan to cackle in a fit of laughter. A second later, Darius couldn’t help but join him.

I used almost the same words of dialogue in both examples. But the second example implies a longtime friendship between the two men. Dan is a Dodger fan and Darius is not. They’re not afraid to tease each other about their opposing fandom. But they’re not about to come to blows over it.

This example also avoids the “information dump” kind of dialogue. In the first example, Darius says: 

“As you know, I’m a big Giants fan.”

If the two characters were really good friends, they would already know this and wouldn’t have to say it. Authors use dialogue to relay important information, character relationships, and feelings. But it needs to sound “right” or it will stop the momentum of the story.

If you’re having trouble with dialogue, try observing people. Listen to what they’re saying and at their tone. Are they happy? Angry? Joking? See what they are doing as they speak. Are they sitting close together or keeping their distance? What are they doing with their hands? Where are they looking? 

And once you have a line of dialogue written, read it aloud. Does it flow off the tongue? Does it sound like something the character would say? Are all the words necessary or can it be shortened? People often speak with a verbal shorthand when talking with friends and a more formal style with a boss, authority figure, or a stranger.

Writing dialogue isn’t easy. But dialogue is more than what a character says. It’s all in what they do, how they speak, and what they don’t say. That’s where the uniqueness of the character is. And that is what makes the reader keep turning the page.

About the Author:

Charmeljun Gallardo is a former Radiologist and author. His first book is  Ready For The World young adult book series. He graduated from San Francisco State University with a Creative Writing degree in 1996. He is a writer, photography enthusiast, sports fan, movie geek, stroke survivor, and an adventurous foodie. He lives in San Diego, California with his wife and son. 

Charmeljun on the Web:


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