#AprilPrompts Day 22 – Night

As this is the last post in the #AprilPrompts series, I decided to base this tale on my favourite paranormal creatures. Sorry, but there’s no prizes for guessing what they are!

Night

Night

Night

The newborn crept from the cellar. As she emerged into the night for the first time since her transformation, she gazed around in awe.

The sky blended hues of deep violet, midnight blue and plum, more exquisite than any artist’s pallet could replicate. Diamonds the size of a man’s fist sparkled overhead, backlit by a huge pearlescent orb.

She became aware of her heightened senses. Sounds which were merely background noise before, now almost deafened her. Crickets sounding like buzz saws, bats flapping their wings, hooting owls competed with car horns, voices laughing and shouting, a cacophony assaulting her ears.

As she wandered down the street, she could smell discarded fast food wrappers, exhaust fumes, beer, sweat, and the sweetest fragrance of all – blood.

Thirst drove her on, further into town where her food supply would be plentiful. Instinctively keeping to the shadows, she scrutinised the area. Secreted down an alley between two shops, the immortal waited. Within minutes, a middle-aged man staggered up the alley from behind and her bloodlust rose. As soon as he drew level, she pounced; sinking her fangs into his neck, she savoured the delicious fluid which slaked her thirst. Rapidly his heart ceased and she dropped him where he stood.

The vampire returned to the street, licking her lips. The night was now her friend.

vamp

 

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Avoiding the Drama Queens

This post appeared on day 2 of the Heart Search Blog Tour and was hosted by the amazing Kathleen M Barker, author of Ednor Scardens and The Body Wars. She gave me a subject she wanted me to write about and this was the result.

I’m sure we’ve all been there; we’re engrossed in a book, we get to an emotional scene and the dialogue is so over the top it’s either like eating a whole jar of syrup or drinking a bottle of vinegar. At that point, it leaves you wondering whether it’s worth carrying on to the end or chucking it in the pile to go to the charity shop.

When we’re writing emotional scenes, it’s very easy to get carried away in the moment and swept up in the heartache or declarations of love, especially if you are a romantic at heart. Even some films have dialogue which is over-mushy so you can’t always rely on them to be realistic.

So how do we do it right? How do we keep our dialogue realistic and not over-blown in emotional scenes?

Primarily I would say drawing on your real life experiences. Have you ever had a friend cry on your shoulder over the break-up of a relationship? Have you ever had a friend jilted at the altar? Has a friend ever come to you describing, with excitement over the moment his/her partner first professed their love or proposed? Do you remember a friend coming to you for advice on how to break off a relationship? I’m sure 99% of you can say yes to at least one of those questions.

Think back and try to replay the conversation(s) in your head. Write down what you remember. Even if she was the biggest drama queen going or he was theatrical to the nth degree, it still happened which makes it real. I’m sure some of us can recall more than one discussion, so write down everything you can recall and what the situation was at the time. Now you have something to draw on when writing your own emotional scenes.

Another thing to think about is your own personal experiences. I’m pretty confident when I say the vast majority of us had more than one boyfriend/girlfriend before getting married. So cast your mind back to some of the times when you and your partner parted company or exchanged the ‘I love you’. Think about what you felt, but also what you said to your friends and family about it. Write it down, even if its fragments of dialogue here and there, every little helps.

Put yourself in the minds of your characters (after all, you created them, you know what they’re like and how they think) and write what you think they’d be likely to say. If your character is a toughie who normally rolls with the punches and tells it like it is, they are obviously less likely to be over-emotional and gushy when someone tells them they love them, but then again even the toughest nut can crack. But even if your character is a soft as marshmallow it doesn’t necessarily mean they will pull out an Oscar-winning dramatic performance. This is where knowing your character is key.

When you’ve written an emotional scene, bookmark it and carry on writing. Once you are well past the dramatics, after a couple of days, go back and read the bookmarked section and ask yourself, is this realistic? Would this character talk like this? Refer back to your notes if need be (remembering the age you were when the incident occurred as teens tend to be more melodramatic than adults as a general rule). If it’s over-done, you can scale it back. A good editor will look carefully at these types of sections and will be the first to tell you if there’s not enough or too much emotion and suggest ways to improve it.

In conclusion, if your dialogue isn’t realistic and relatable, your character won’t be either. And if readers can’t connect with your characters, it makes it very difficult for them to enjoy your work.

I hope you found this useful. What are your thoughts on this subject (either as a reader or a writer)? Let me know in the comment form below.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO . . .

carlie m a cullen @ wordpress !

 

YAY!!!! One Today!!!

I made my first post on WordPress exactly one year ago today! I called it ‘Gosh, This Is Scary’. I’d never had a blog before and really didn’t know what I was doing. What’s more, I was a little lacking in confidence that people would want to read anything I might blog about. Proved me wrong on that score, didn’t you? 🙂

So today, even though we are so close to the Heart Search launch, I’m taking time out to celebrate and raise a glass of the best bubbly I can afford to each and every one of my followers (most especially to you as you are the people who gave me the confidence to continue and improve my content), to every person who has liked one of my posts, indeed to everyone who has taken the time out to read one of my posts.

Thank you all for making this first year so amazing and here’s to an ever better second year!!

Love Carlie x  ❤

Changes

Hi everyone,

Things in my writing life are moving up a gear or three, not only with the launch of Heart Search: Lost and book 2, Heart Search: Found with a provisional launch date of Spring 2013, but also with editing. It’s something I have a skill for and as such, my previous clients have been recommending me so I’m now in demand for editing services as well.

With all this in mind and the fact I want to be able to do alot more with the site, you are going to see some major changes over the next few days.

Firstly, I’m going to convert this blog to a website, which will be carliemacullen.com. As I’m staying with WordPress, I’m reliably informed that all followers etc should automatically migrate to the new website. When the change has been completed, I will put out a test post to make sure you all get it. If you don’t get notification of a test post by the end of this week, then please refollow and I apologise in advance for any inconvenience this causes you.

You will also see a brand new layout.

I hope you’ll like the new additions as they are added to the site. If there is anything you’d particularly like to see, please let me know and I’ll try and accommodate it.

Thank you all for your ongoing support – it means a great deal to me.

Carlie