Thursday, February 25

New Feature & How To Write a Hook!

Humdrum
Definition: monotonous, dull
Example: My American literature class is always humdrum.
Now, I got several emails over my Hooking Your Readers post. Many of you were wondering how to write those one sentence "nabs" as I call them. I wish there was some secret formula to tell you. Unfortunately, like everything else in writing, there's no easy way to do this. However, I will share a few tricks I've learned. As always, take them with caution. Just because these work for me, does not mean they will work for you. Again, I will be using examples from my own writing. Two you've seen for sure, but the others you haven't.
  • Always start in the middle of a scene. This is the biggest, most important advice I can give you. As you may have noticed with my hooks from The Sound of Snow, I started in the middle of each scene. Don't believe me?
"Kitty was ready to kill someone, damn the consequences."

"With five younger sisters, William Huntley, the sixth earl of Rochester, had thought he’d seen it all. Lord, had he been wrong."
  • Next, I've seen several books where they begin with a question. Although these work sometimes, I find more often than not they are redundant. It's like putting a question in your query letter, like: Have you ever seen a one-legged Rastafarian mow grass while riding a bike with his crutch?* Clearly most people have never seen that, so the question is dumb. The only time this works, in my opinion, is if the question nabs your attention and you want to find out WHY the author is asking you this. Another way this works is if the character comes back with some smart ass response, or some response that makes the question more amusing, like:
Have you ever seen a one-legged Rastafarian mow grass while riding a bike with a crutch? Neither have I.*
  • Statements are also very good at nabbing the readers attention. Again, you want the feeling of immediacy. Earlier I talked about starting in the middle of the scene, and this is what I mean. Even if the rest of your beginning has a slower feel to it, you have to have something instantly grab the reader and suck them in.
The thunder of horses woke her.
Using the moonlight that filtered in from the intricate wood screens as a guide, Adeena drifted down the private corridor to her father’s study.

His brother asked too much.
With his legs braced apart and his hands fisted at his sides, William de Clare stared incredulously at his lord. “Tell me you jest.”
Okay, now B.E. made a good point in the comments about hooking. She said that you need to "[h]ook 'em at the beginning and also at the end - of each chapter, each scene and anywhere else the reader's attention might wander." This is an excellent point that I did not address last time. Hooks aren't used only at the beginning of the book, or even at the beginning of each chapter. They are used everywhere. It is your JOB to hook your readers and want them to keep reading. But since that takes a much more detailed post than I have time for, I will just talk about beginning hooks and ending hooks. Here is an ending hook (admittedly not my best, but I don't want to post all my best stuff on here):
“Lord have mercy,” Elizabeth breathed, her eyes glued to his powerful frame.
Kitty nodded, unable to speak. She felt hot all over, flushed; her heart rate kicking into overtime as she continued to stare at him. Her mouth was dry. Her skin tingly.
Who was he?
I hope this helps those of you having troubles with hooks. If you would like some help with a hook or would like an opinion, feel free to email me!
*Yes, I actually have seen a one-legged Rastafarian mowing while riding his bike with his crutch. In 2006 I camped in the Jamaican jungle...but that's a story for another day.*

Wednesday, February 24

WIP Wednesday


Okay my lovelies, time for my weekly writing update. Now, I know I basically gave an overview of my week yesterday, but today I will go in a bit more detail about the actual writing and the two beta responses I got.

First off, writing is fun again. Woohoo! For a while there, I struggled big time to get even 100 words out a week. However, over the weekend I wrote roughly 3500 words (I haven't updated the bar on the side yet). Considering most of the weekend I was either distracted by the Olympics or researching, I am so happy with this number. If I keep that up every weekend, I'll fly by The Sound of Snow's number really quick!

I also spent a lot of time plotting this story. For my previous two stories I was a panster. But since that doesn't seem to be working out with me, I decided I'd plot a lot more. And so far, it's working!

Okay, now on to my beta responses. They were both pretty good so far. I knew the one was going to be more difficult to please since this is the genre she writes in *waves at Jennifer*, but I still think the comments were very positive. No big errors, just a few action cliches (running hand through hair, etc...) Overall, really easy fixes.

One thing I was surprised to see, however, was the request for more description! *squee* I LOVE writing description, so I am perfectly happy to oblige. I just need to add in more movements between the characters in the one scene and some basic "looks" description (another easy fix).

Oh, and my passive voice isn't as bad now. There were a few sentences (like, 3 I think) but my betas gave me suggestions on how to change them, and I went with it.

Overall, I am still giddy with excitement. I made it through a beta reading with two lovers of Medieval romance, one of which writes it, unscathed. I am so proud of myself *taps chest*

How is your story coming along?

Tuesday, February 23

13 Things I Learned Over the Weekend

First, hello to all my new followers *waves* I hope you have fun here. Feel free to comment or ask me questions =)
  1. I like writing Medieval romance so much more than Regency. It suits me-- I have more leeway to be a bit more lyrical in my writing style. Since my story takes place mostly in the Holy Land, this works out great.

  2. Apparently I love researching. Who knew the history minor in me would like this? (Yes, that was complete sarcasm).

  3. I already know WAY too much history. I felt quite geeky-- still do, in fact. It's handy though. I can look at certain websites and find the inaccuracies.

  4. I own too many history books. Seriously. About 5 books for every 100 years in history, starting at around 1 AD. I have 10 pre-Christ history texts. You do the math.

  5. I own too many literature books. Same as history except worse. I have more books.

  6. I learned that I LOVE Persian poetry from the 13th century. Adore it, can't get enough of it, will actually be buying a book on it Thursday.

  7. Apparently I love battle scenes in movies, and therefore, the battle scenes in books. Sighs. I have blood lust, though not in a vampire sense.

  8. Along the same lines, I tend to love plot lines where there is more drama. Regency romance doesn't tend to have much of this.

  9. I should have paid more attention to what soundtracks and movies are my favourites. This probably would have solved the genre issue a long time ago. (My favourites include: King Arthur, Kingdom of Heaven, Robin hood Prince of Thieves, Tristan and Isolde etc...).

  10. I learned that the word "hallway" wasn't used until 1875 and is American.

  11. Ditto for about another bazillion words. Although I'm not using Old English in this book (talk about a headache), I am trying to steer clear of words that will knock the reader out of the time period. However, things like "surprise" and "dammit" weren't around back in the early 13th century. In fact, "dammit" which appears in almost every Regency book, wasn't used until 1905. Interesting, huh? (Yes, I'm a nerd. I know.)
  12. I'm good at writing dialogue and description-- YES! -does a little dance in my chair-
  13. And most importantly... I learned I still love my country (I'm kidding, I always loved my country) and our men's hockey team even after the humiliating defeat on Sunday.*

My token "emo" picture =)
So there you have it. 13 things I learned about myself (and my writing) over the weekend. Several people have already read my prologue and chapter 1 (my parents, my boyfriend, two of my friends, and B.E.) So far, I've got the seal of approval. I am currently waiting back on one more beta reading, and then I will send it out to a few more people (Wendy, Di and maybe one or two more people). I know it's early to be getting people to read it, however I would like to catch any issues before I get too far. You know? Again, if you think you might want to try it out, let me know.
Have you learned anything interesting about yourself or your writing recently? Have you ever had to do extensive research for a book??
*This is a warning to any and all who feel like gloating. Trust me, I will remove your comment and you will be put on my bad list. Just because I can accept the loss does not mean I accept rude behaviour. Since Twitter has been full of rude behaviour over this, I feel the warning is needed. If we had won, I would never have rubbed it in your face. However, if the USA wins in the gold match (against whoever), I will accept gloating, lol.*

Sunday, February 21

Hooking Your Readers

As writers, we have many things we need to do to have a successful story. The characters have to be likable, the plot needs to be solid, and the writing needs to be good. However, none of that matters if you cannot get someone to pick up your book and read it. One of my beta readers and good friends, Jennifer, does this neat "First Line Fridays" where she opens up a book and gives us the first line (or paragraph) of a story and asks us if we'd want to keep reading. Not only has this been entertaining, but it's also been enlightening. The books I said no to did not have a very good beginning. There was no hook. There was nothing to keep me wanting to read.

Do you see where I'm going with this? As writers, one of our first jobs in the book is to hook our readers. In my opinion, this is the most important job. You may argue with me on it, but think about it. If your beginning does not hook, people will not keep reading the story to find out that you're brilliant!

Still don't believe me? Pick up any of your favourite books and read the first line.

I know many of you are huge fans of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Here is the first line to this book:
"I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by
wolves."
I'm not sure about you, but I want to find out what the heck is going on. I'd keep reading, regardless of whether or not I was all that interested, just to assuage my curiosity. If the writing is good after that initial hook, I guarantee you I'll be buying the book.

As well, for you writers who have different POV's in their story, you HAVE to hook us with all of your POV's, not just the first one. If Chapter One has Suzy and Chapter Two has Brian, you better be hooking us with both characters.

Alright, so for fun I thought I'd post some of my hooks from The Sound of Snow. I'd post two from my new work-in-progress, but I'd rather a few beta's read it first. Oh yes, by the way, I am going to need a few betas to read the Prologue and Chapter One of the new story within a few days just to make sure I'm on the right track. If you're interested, let me know in the comments. However, I do reserve the right to pick someone else (obviously).

The Sound of Snow hooks (one you've already seen):
"Kitty was ready to kill someone, damn the consequences. If one more middle aged, powdered and pampered gentleman groped her bottom, she was going to go find the nearest vase and smash it over his pink, balding head."

"With five younger sisters, William Huntley, the sixth earl of Rochester, had thought he’d seen it all. Lord, had he been wrong."

So, what do you think? Feel free to share some of your hooks in the comments!

Saturday, February 20

Castle in the Sky


"There is more pleasure to building castles in the air than on the ground."
- Edward Gibbon

Friday, February 19

What Do You Think?

Okay, so here's the deal. I've been having problems with my story. Not that the words won't come or anything, but that I'm not feelin' the plot too much anymore. I know the writing is pretty good, and I love my characters, but something isn't clicking. I think the big issue is that I've already learned so much from the 72 pages I've written that I want to change it and make it better-- which is great. But I don't have the time, or the energy to do that right now. It kinda just feels like a big stresser.

So. This leaves me with three options (that I see):
  1. Scrap the story.
  2. Stare at the story till my brain hurts and I have no hair left from tearing it out-- I've also gone insane by this point.
  3. Put the story aside (for now) and work on something new.
After talking with my Mum, I decided to go with option 3. I truly love my story, but it's not working right now. I know I can fix it, but my brain isn't ready to yet-- apparently. And honestly, I'm okay with that. Sure, I'd love to finish the story and query it... but if it's not up to snuff by the end, I wouldn't query it anyway. Therefore, it makes much more sense (to me, at least) to work on a new story that will be better than the last one-- and possibly query it when I'm done.
So I spent the day plotting a new story. I've got names picked out, and more concrete idea of the plot than any of my two previous stories (yay)! I hope to start on the Prologue and Chapter One tomorrow. If I get those done, I might ask for a few beta's to see what you think.
Oh, and by the way, this new story takes place in England and the Holy Land from about 1214-1215ish. It's only about 15 years after the 3rd Crusade with Richard the Lionheart.
I've always been more interested in Medieval Romances... it sort of makes me wonder why I ever started out with Regency....
What do you think?

Wednesday, February 17

Curling Explained

For those wondering what the heck curling is and why Canadians find it so entertaining:

http://www.anchoragecurling.com/description.htm

I tried to find a video explanation, but they were all slow. Basically, the point to curling is to have your rock closest to the center. At the end of the round, whichever team has a rock closest to the center gets the points.

It sounds boring, and can even look boring if you don't know what you're watching. But trust me, I've played curling (both on a team, as well as in gym class) and it's loads of fun. Just throwing the rock is hard because you're balancing on the rock and your broom. Not easy. The strategy alone is mind-boggling.




Okay, so do you see how they won the round (and the game)? They got like, a bazillion points because all of their red rocks were closer to the button than any of the yellow rocks. Ergo, they got like 5 points.

Hope that helps!

Oh, and if you haven't seen it yet, I posted a snippet of my story here. Check it out and give me some feedback =)

WIP Wednesday AND a Sneak Peak!!


So far this break I've been doing a whole lot of TV watching, which is unusual for me. But c'mon, it's the Olympics! Gotta scream and cheer for ma peeps (yep, when on break, my intelligence level drops dramatically). For you Canadians in the crowd, did you watch Alexandre Bilodeau win the first gold in Freestyle Skiing Men’s Moguls? Oh man, I did! It was amazing! My whole family started blubbering.

Anyway, my writing has been going alright so far. I've been pretty busy, so I haven't reached the numbers I'd hoped for. But that's okay =) I'm still stuck on this one scene, which I plan on tackling today. I'll update you later on how the battle goes.

Now, I decided I'm going to try something different today. I thought I'd post a snippet of my story! How's that sound?



Chapter One
1818

Kitty was ready to kill someone, damn the consequences. If one more middle aged, powdered and pampered gentleman groped her bottom, she was going to go find the nearest vase and smash it over his pink, balding head.

Shooting her newest groper a withering look, she fluffed out her skirts in an attempt to dislodge his slimy hand. But rather than let go, his grip tightened, squeezing one cheek painfully. It was going to be blue tomorrow, she was sure of it.

Sir, remove your hand or I shall be forced to remove it for you.”

Instead of cowering in fear as she’d hoped, the pudgy man grinned, showing a full set of yellowing teeth. “Is that so, love?”

Clenching her jaw, she took a covert step sideways. Hiding behind one of the ballroom’s pillars to escape the snide gazes of the ton no longer seemed like such a good idea. Silly her for thinking she’d ever get a moment of peace to herself. After four and twenty years she should have known better. Someone like her didn’t deserve quiet moments.

“Yes, that is so,” she ground out.

He sidled up beside her, close enough that she could see the pimples peeking out from beneath caked on powder. “I’ll take my chances.”

Sighing in annoyance, she glanced up at the ceiling. For what, she didn’t know. Divine intervention, perhaps? But no, the pudgy cherubs depicted above remained frozen in all their naked glory, grinning down at her in mischief.

Guess it was up to her to rescue herself from this blasted situation. Again.

***

So what do you think?

Tuesday, February 16

PHEW!

Okay, sorry I haven't been posting (or visiting most of your blogs). Yesterday and today I worked on a book review for my history class. Sounds easy enough, right? Nope, guess again. The book I had to review was England’s Troubles: Seventeenth-Century English Political Instability in European Context, by Jonathon Scott. It's a behemoth book at 496 pages and dreadfully boring-- I had to read it TWICE to figure out the thesis of the book. Yep, you read that right: TWICE!!!!!!

Anyway, after all that reading (and note-taking), I had to write a review of the book, including a 2 page summary. This wouldn't have been so hard if the book was actually interesting. But, alas, it wasn't. I struggled coming up with topics other than "I HATED THIS BOOK!!! WHY DID YOU MAKE US READ IT, WIGELSWORTH? YOU'RE STILL MY FAVOURITE HISTORY PROFESSOR, BUT YOU HAVE LOST BIG POINTS, MISTER! IF THE SECOND BOOK WE HAVE TO REVIEW IS AS BORING AS THIS, YOU ARE GOING TO BE DEMOTED TO SECOND FAVOURITE HISTORY PROFESSOR! SO THERE!"
Ahem.

So after 9 hours spread out over 2 days, I finished the essay at 2989 words. That is not including footnotes, since I used in-text citations.

Needless to say, I'm tired. My eyes are crossing. I need to bathe. I'm missing at least 3 pens. I suspect they're in my hair somewhere.

So, what did you do for Family Day on Monday... wait, it's a different holiday in America. What was it (I'm too tired to look it up)?

Sunday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day!

My own dashing hero.
I love you Chris!
*Yes, in the second picture Christopher is dressed up like a pirate. We were goofing around and Mum took a picture. We were both laughing.*

Friday, February 12

GO CANADA GO!!!!!!!


Tonight, the 21st Winter Olympic Games begin in Vancouver. To celebrate, I decided to post some very Canadian commercials. I opted to go with the happier ones, even though some of my favourites are from the army (and far too serious for this). Now, yes, most of these commercials are ads, but they're good anyway. I also wanted to put up all of our athlete's commercials, but there are far too many to do in one post. Perhaps I will do one a day for a little while?


















Who are you cheering for? Any sport you just have to watch?
I'm cheering for CANADA!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you hadn't already figured that out... And I have to watch hockey (DUH), figure skating, curling, snowboarding, skiing... Okay, so most of it.

Wednesday, February 10

Work-In-Progress Wednesday


Okay, so I haven't done much this past week. Thursday and Friday's writing sessions didn't go so well for me. I got really frustrated and had to set it down and do something else. I just couldn't seem to decide on anything. I'd write a sentence and then eye it uncertainly. It was awful.

Anyway, Saturday my darling Mum sat down with me and helped me out with some of the sections I was having problems with (THANK YOU MUM!!!!!!!!). After that, my family and I ended up watching the extended versions of The Two Towers and The Return of the King. Fabulous movies! Then Sunday I was out.

Sooo as you can see, not much was done. However, since Spring Break starts (for me) Thursday at 3:21 PM, I will be partying Natalie style-- A WHOLE WEEK OF WRITING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I only have one paper to write during break, but I'm hoping that will only take one day-- and it shouldn't take the full day. So yay!

So how is your story coming along??

P.S. ONLY 3 MORE CLASSES LEFT UNTIL I'M FREE!!

Tuesday, February 9

The Worst Day Since Yesterday

Posts this week will be slim to none. Due to personal goings-on, as well as an overabundance of school work, I won't be around that much. I should be posting a WIP tomorrow, but it won't be very much. I'll be back for sure next week (it's Spring Break.. THANK GOD).

I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Maybe I'll share my trials and troubles with you later.

Sunday, February 7

Sunday Funny

Here's a little something for you guys. Watch the stormtroopers closely and enjoy!!

Friday, February 5

My Lazy Day

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading your answers to yesterday's post. I love getting know how other writers get their ideas =)

Today is going to be a lazy, yet productive work day. Yes, lazy and productive. If it's not school work and I don't need to leave the house, I see my day as blessedly lazy. The productive part is that I plan on working on my story. Yay! So if you have Twitter, I'll be skulking around on there quite a bit (I like to talk to people while I write-- how weird am I?) I hope to get the edits done and polish it all up. I also would like to get another 2-3 scenes done this weekend. If I do all of that, I will be very happy!

What are you up to today?

Thursday, February 4

How Do You Get Your Ideas?

When reading a book, I often wonder how the author came up with certain ideas. Sure, I know the Lord of the Rings trilogy is based on the atrocities of the World Wars. But how did J.R.R.Tolkien come up with this mythical place called Middle Earth? How did he come up with the individual tales of each race?

Did he have a dream one night, showing him Frodo? Or Sam? Did he take a walk in the woods and hear the creak of the trees and imagined they were talking to each other? Did he hear a poem that just made something click in his brain? Did he see a picture? Did he smell a delicious home cooked meal and think of the Shire? Did he see a wise old man with a long grey beard and kind eyes, and think of Gandalf?

These are the sorts of questions that I ask myself when reading a book. What made the author write this scene, write these characters, write this story?

Then, because I obviously like thinking too much, I turn those questions on myself. Why did I write that poem? What made me use that word over another? Why does my character look this way, and not another? And I can honestly say, that I have no idea why those things are the way they are.

My current story, The Sound of Snow, all began with a very simple image. Here is the snippet I wrote down in my notebook, word for word:

There's a stone bench in the middle of an endless field of white, crisp snow. All you can see are the ornate legs, glistening with frost from the night's freeze. The seat is covered in a delicate powder that sparkles in the dim morning light. On top is a single red rose.
Covered in a blue cloak trimmed with white fur, she kneels in front of the gift. Her blonde curls peek out from beneath the hood, freezing against her skin. It looks like crystal.
Ever so gently, she picks up the rose and holds it in her mittened hands, leaning it against her smiling lips.
To be honest, I'm not quite sure where this sight came from. Some far recess of my brain, perhaps. It's hard to say. What I do know, is that my entire story sprang from this one little glimpse. The characters, the plot, the setting... all of them came from this image of snow, a bench, a rose, and a girl wearing a blue cloak.
How did your story begin?

Wednesday, February 3

Work-In-Progress Wednesday


Okay, so since last week I've done lots! Woo! I haven't written a brand new scene per se, but I have been editing and working on stuff my beta's pointed out.

One beta, in particular, pointed out that my one scene just had too much happening in it near the end. It wasn't badly written or anything, it just had too much junk in it's trunk (hah! I amuse myself sometimes). After dwelling on it for a few days, I agreed with her. The problem was, I didn't so much mind changing stuff around, I just wasn't sure how. However, I managed to figure it out and have been working on that. So here's a more complete list of what I've done:
  • Went through and highlighted (and eventually changed) overused words like sigh, smile, frown, and snort. I also highlighted variations of eye rolling. Yes, apparently my characters are smart asses. I'm not sure where they get it from...
  • I deleted unnecessary dialogue tags and tidied up a bit-- this was easy to do
  • I deleted a bunch of adverbs. This was really easy since most of them didn't need to be there at all
  • I went through and fixed some paragraphs with an overabundance of passive voice-- not as easy, but I had fun once I got the hang of it
  • And lastly, I cut my "Ballroom" scene in half. So far I've added two dinky transition scenes (they aren't even a full page long each). I've also started the next scene, which will be where my heroine learns something very important. My beta said it was rather unbelievable that my heroine would learn this important thing in the middle of a ballroom, so I'm making it more private. Most of the dialogue from the original scene will fit quite nicely in this new one, so it should fly by once I have time to work on it!
So there you have it. My writing week in a nutshell.
How is your story coming along?

Tuesday, February 2

The Right Word


"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." -Mark Twain

Monday, February 1

Subtle Differences in Language: Men

Since I started this new story, I've been thinking a lot more about what makes a character different from other characters. I'm not necessarily talking about what makes them memorable-- though that is important too! No, I'm talking more about what makes them simply unique within the story. It's no good having a hero and a heroine who act the exact same or sound the exact same. Not only is it boring to read, but it's also difficult to discern who is having that thought or who is talking. As we all know, confusing your readers is a huge no-no and will earn you a slap on the hand.

However, through my numerous years of devouring books, I've noticed that this is still a widespread issue. Due to this, I've decided to do a series of posts, each one geared towards helping your characters stand out. This is by no means an official guide. It's just my thoughts on the subject.

For today's post I will be focusing on how you can make your character actually sound like their gender. Specifically, I will be focusing on how to make your male characters sound like men.

First, the most important thing to remember is that men do not talk like women. This is one of the biggest issues I come across while reading. More often than not, male characters sound too feminine to be realistic. It drives me insane.

Here are a number of ways you could fix this:

  1. Listen very carefully to how men talk. This is easy, since you can do this absolutely anywhere-- it doesn't need to be someone you actually know. Some things to make note of: Do they drop certain words from their sentences to make them shorter? What sort of words do they use to describe things? Do they curse differently than women? Do they curse more often? Keep these sorts of questions in your mind while listening in. Coming up with a list of things you want to know will also help you.

  2. Have a man read your story and ask them if they would ever, EVER say that. More often than not they'll be blunt and tell you the truth.

  3. Have a man read the story out loud. Simply sit back and listen to how he phrases things. If it sounds natural to him, you're good to go. If there is a lot of stumbling or awkward pauses, chances are it's too feminine.

  4. If a specific word is too feminine but you can't think of how a man would say it, than ask a guy for synonyms to that word. I guarantee you that the first couple of words he comes up with will be 10 times better than the original, since it's coming straight from the mind of an actual man, LOL. This technique works quite well for me. At times I get stuck with what I want my hero Rochester to say, and what he would actually say. This is where my dad comes in quite handy. Most of the time he doesn't even realize he's helped me, (thanks dad!)

  5. Men think differently than women, so you have to think in a different way. I know this is difficult for us girls, who often have a billion and ten things running through out minds, but for the most part men think very simply-- not being mean here. Men will not have long-winded debates with themselves, or their friends. Yes they will have debates, but more often than not their debates can be answered with a simple yes or no, while ours cannot be. This is not always the rule, but it's handy to keep in mind.

  6. If you're still having troubles getting your male characters to sound like men, pick up any of J.R. Ward's books. She has some of the best male voices out there today.

  7. Another option is to watch a movie with very manly guys in it.
Other things to keep in mind:
  1. Men are blunt. Even the nice, charming ones are generally blunt beneath all that shiny veneer. Remember, with internal dialogue, he's likely to be even more blunt.

  2. Men speak in little catch phrases, often for descriptive purposes. Find something that you think works for your character, and then test it out how we discussed above.

  3. Have your male character refer to manly things. By this, I mean have them talk about electronics, or cars, or action movies. If it's a book set in a different time period, think of what those guys may talk about back then: horse races, wars, machinery, etc... This will help make your character sound more like an actual guy.

  4. When a guy is talking to his friends, their diction seems to drop to about 20 words. In other words, they do not spend a lot of time rambling on and on, but say what they need to in under five words. They also tend to be more vulgar. I'm not saying you have to throw that in to make it realistic, since I know a lot of you are writing YA. I'm just saying they do tend to be more crude.
So there you have it. My thoughts on how to make your men sound like men.
I hope I gave you some ideas!
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