Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dialogue that Shows, Not Tells

The Tucson Festival of Books is quite an event. There were over a thousand attendees perusing hundreds of booths set up on the University of Arizona Campus during their spring break. I belong to the Arizona SCBWI, the Society of Southwestern Authors and RWA, so I worked in all three of their booths.
I also co-presented a workshop on dialogue with Harlequin American author Cathy McDavid and Love Inspired/Avalon author Kim Watters. We presented a skit of really bad dialogue and each of us presented another skit where we had taken the bad dialogue and revised it to show three purposes of snappy dialogue: dialogue used to show information, dialogue used to show emotion and dialogue used to provide depth of character.

Okay, above is an example of boring information written in narrative tell not show mode. Let's show you how dialogue can change that.

Sandra worked her way through the mile-long row of booths. "Can you believe there are so many organizations featuring books?"
Cathy dodged the father pushing his twins in the stroller. "We need to find the Saguaro Chapter RWA booth and discover when and where we speak."
Sandra pointed to a volunteer dressed in a bright orange t-shirt with the tarantula logo for the Tucson Festival of Books printed across the back. "She has a map of the campus. I know it isn't back there because the east end features children's books. I just came from working the SCBWI booth."
Kim held up her phone. "Its listed in their apps." She stopped in the middle of the thoroughfare, blocking the flow of traffic. "The hospitality suite for authors is in the Student Union over there." She looked up and pointed to a nearby building.
"Good. There are comfortable places to sit where its air conditioned and out of the hot sun." Cathy changed direction barely dodging a man dressed as Darth Vadar. "Lets go there and get our bearings."
Sandra followed close behind. "We can polish our presentation."
Kim caught up with Sandra. "Do you have your dialogue finished?"
Sandra nodded. "I'm going to mention the do's and don'ts for dialogue that Myra Johnson presented in her blogpost." Sandra pointed to her handbag. "And I have handouts with an example of using tags that Mary Connealy used in her post plus a list of other posts presented in Seekerville by Ruth Logan Herne, Camy Tang and Debby Guisti."
"Smart thinking. We'll add them to the handout I have with a paragraph from Gone With The Wind. We'll let them practice their skills at writing dialogue."
"I have copies of Mary and Myra's books to give as prizes for those who are brave enough to read theirs out loud."
"Those are great resources." "Its wonderful to have such talented friends, but don't tell them I said so." Sandra smirked. "Their heads would puff up and explode."

Can you see how the dialogue and tags gave us the same information in an active voice? Let me give you the example we used in the skit.

"Hi, Cathy, hi Sandra, how are you today?"
"I'm fine," Cathy said.
"I'm fine, too." Sandra replied.
"How are you, Kim?" Cathy asked.
"Better today. I was sick yesterday."
"That's too bad. But I'm glad you're better."
"What did you have?" Sandra asked.
"A cold. I get everything the kids bring home."
"I had a cold, too. Last week," Cathy said.
"It's going around," Sandra added.
"Oh my, look at the time," Sandra exclaimed. "I've got to go. Buy Cathy. Buy Kim."

BORING but that is the way we talk. So the idea is to sound realistic, but not totally real.

Now here is basically the same conversation that gives information.

Kim adjusted her helmet. "Ready to head for the staging area?"
"I'm good." Sandra wheeled her bicycle toward the start line.
Cathy joined her. "I'm ready to kick action. How about you Kim?"
Kim's shoulders sagged. "I got sick last night. Something I ate at the party."
"You okay to race?"
Kim grasped the handles of her bike. "I have to get this win to qualify for nationals."

See how the tags and actual dialogue gives the reader setting, action, and hint of conflict and tension? Much more interesting and believe me, it was a challenge to make anything interesting out of that blah dialogue. LOL

Let me give you another example of dialogue giving information.

"Yeow!" Sandra's scream echoed down the hall.
DH's feet thudded as he leapt out of his chair. "Are you all right?"
"Come quick."
Footsteps raced toward her office. Sandra Snoopy danced around the room.
"What's the matter?" DH appeared in the doorway. A frown marred his rugged features.
Sandra pointed to the computer. "Look. My cover has arrived."
DH sagged against the doorjamb. "Yes, dear. Very nice."

Now that's exciting!

Yep, this is my new cover of my June release.
Doesn't that just dance with romantic summer fun?

Here's an exerpt from The Price of Victory

The others stared. Debra didn’t seem to notice—or care that she had the exclusive attention of a Silverwing. Sterling chuckled as he grabbed her hand before she could refuse and helped her up. Yep, that’s what he liked about her. No guile.

They wove past the refreshment table toward the French doors. Her hand felt right in his—soft yet strong. The rapid beat of Salsa music drew them toward the patio. He pressed her fingers to the rhythm.

She pulled her hand away and paused. Sterling saw the hesitation in her features. “Something wrong?”

“I don’t dance.” She turned away from the doors.

He stepped in front of her to stave off her retreat. “Let’s sit outside and watch.”

Her relief made him smile. He guided her over to the brick wall. “You ride a bike well.”

She drew her hand away and hiked herself up onto the low wall. Sterling sat next to her and reached for her hand. She started to pull back, but changed her mind. Sterling kept his palm flat with her fingers resting on top. No threat.

She stared at their hands. “Why am I letting you do this?”

“I told you. I’m your Prince Charming.”

Her mock groan included a reflex squeeze of her fingers. Her eyes locked with his and Sterling forced himself not to react.

“I guess I did need rescuing back there. They were nice to talk to, but I don’t really like crowds,” she admitted.

“See, we have something else in common.”

Her laughter blended with the fast-paced music. Her peach scent accented the fragrance of new spring flowers. Her eyes sparkled and reflected like the light of the stars in the dark sky overhead. Perfect. Now if this moment could last.

It didn’t. She shifted and squirmed and finally withdrew her hand. He figured it was in pretense of finding a more comfortable position on the wall, because she braced both of her hands on either side of her and scooted back.

“Comfortable now?” he asked.

“Better.” She smiled and they both knew it was because her hand was free.

He shifted so that he was looking her directly in the eye. “I like you Debra, but I won’t force anything.”

“That’s why I’m sitting here. You understand how difficult it is to be involved on the road.” Her eyes locked with his and he could see sincerity and a hint of loneliness. “It’s nice to be able to talk and not have to worry.”

Don’t let me ever do anything to lose that trust.

He smiled, resisting the urge to tuck a strand of her hair behind her ear. “I enjoy talking to you too. I’m hoping your enthusiasm will rub off on me.”

Concern reflected in her features, and Sterling realized he’d said too much. He hoisted himself off the wall. “Wait here. I’ll bring us some more juice.”

Idiot. Admitting his current faults wasn’t the way to impress a woman. Quickly he pushed his way to the refreshment

I hope this gives you a taste of using dialogue to show information. When my first draft is finished, I look at the sections where there is a lot of narrative and try to think of ways to make it either more action-packed or put it in dialogue.

Take a look at your WIP and find a paragraph you can change to dialogue. Post it in the comments and your name will be placed for a drawing of your choice of one of Cathy's Harlequin Americans, Kim's Love Inspired or a Seeker book. I will draw two winners and their names will be announced in the Weekend Edition.

For a treat, I'm bringing party food like they have for the cyclists. Healthy-full of carbs-fruits and vegetables-platters of all types of breads, rolls, crackers-platters with a variety of cheeses-lunchmeats-bowls of nuts. Help yourself.

And for you Seeker pals a HUGE platter of chocolate. Since Tina featured Sees and its my favorite, we have a selection from Sees Candies. YUM.


Heavenlyprincess said...

I can't believe I missed you at the Tucson Festival of Books! I was there both days attending workshops and lectures, wish I had been at this one! A session from Christians really would have been refreshing (really, I knew vampires were "in" but all this zombie, undead, criminal stuff? A breath of fresh air from you would have been nice!)

Maybe i'll find you next year!

Jordan Elizabeth

Helen Gray said...

Coffee pot's set.

Great examples. Now the trick is to incorporate the lessons.


Virginia said...

*groan* I was happy here at the computer until I saw those CHOCOLATES! Evil!
But great post! I've got to pick up this book... :)

Camy Tang said...

Your examples were awesome, Sandra! And I love the cover of your new book!

Since I am trying to shrink my large butt, I will munch on carrot sticks. :(

Ausjenny said...

Good explanation to a novice. and love the examples. the book looks really good I like bike riders being I ride a bike albeit not as much as I use to but appreciate bike riders.
the cover looks good too. Must say the chocolate looks nice. for a that matter the steak they just showed on tv looks really good. (must be over the bug I have had)

Lindi said...

Hi Sandra,
Great examples. I also love your cover.

Patsy said...

I've got my coffee and need some of that chocolate! I'm not a writer so I can't share any writing with y'all. But I sure do like to read! This book sounds really good.

Kav said...

Oh!!! Congratulations on your cover!!!! That's so exciting. I battle show not tell every single day. Honestly, you'd think I'd get it by now but noooooooo, every time I read over something it's glaringly obvious I haven't. And just when I think I might be grasping the concept I discover I have written a lovely page of show AND tell. LOL.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Jordan, I'm sorry i missed you too.

It was my first time there and I was amazed at the crowds that come for this event. Loved seeing the kids because its so important that they enjoy reading.

Are you from Tucson or did you come in for the event? There were lots of people who came from all over the US and Canada to attend.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Helen, You are our coffee princess. Thank you so much as I'm so ready for a cup.

Yes, its always easy to tell others how, but to see it in your own work????? That is a tough one.

Hang in there.

Rose said...

I thought South Dakota put on a great Festival of the Book. Arizonia's sounds awesome!

Very wise dialogue advice. It's a fine line to keep it realistic but not boring.

Great cover!!!

RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Virginia,

Those chocolates are yummy.

The book will be out in June. Glad you like it. Your kind words make my day--even better than chocolate.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Camy,

these chocolates are calorie free. I made sure to order the kind with no calories.

I do love carrot sticks too though.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Jenny,

Glad you're feeling better. An appetite is a good sign. smile

Writing about bike riders was fun. I met some really great cyclists and they gave me lots of great information.

We still ride a lot, but don't race anymore. In fact DH is on a 20 mile ride this morning. I tried doing the blog while taking that ride and it didn't work, so I'm home with the pups today.

Audra Harders said...

The festival sounded like a blast, Sandra. Actually, it sounds HUGE! Okay, attending the Tuscon Festival of Books is definitely on my wish list of things to do someday.

Great use and transition of dialogue. I could just picture the ducking and dodging going on as you and Cathy strolled through the crowds.

Love your cover! Makes me want to get out and enjoy the spring weather!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Waving to Lindi. Glad you like the cover. Its so exciting to see your name in print. FINALLY

Waving to Patsy. I'm a coffee lover myself. smile And get me a cup so I can curl up with a good book anytime. I love when I have a Seeker book to read.

I just finished Love on Assignment. Cara Lynn does such a great job with her historicals

I am now reading Mary Connealy's Sharpshooter in Petticoats. Should be a fun ride.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Kav, Don't beat yourself up. We all do that.

In fact many just go ahead and write the tell in their first draft to get the story on paper. Then its easy to go back and look for ways to show and revise your piece to do so.

Hang in there.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks Rose, Did you participate in the South Dakota Festival? Next year you can speak as a published author. hooray.

We had over 200 authors at the Arizona Festival. It was very impressive.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks Audra, Those summer covers are inviting, esp this time of year.

If you make it to the Festival, come stay with me. We'll have a blast. Contact the Saguaro RWA as they bring in lots of authors and set up the workshops for them.

You'll not only have a tax write off, fun networking with other authors, but also some warm sunshine. It was in the eighties that weekend.

CarolM said...

Um yeah... Forgot to stop by last night and leave out the goodies from Panera. No time to read right now but will definitely stop by later =D.

So here's bagels and pastries and muffies and all sorts of yummy breadness goodies.

I'm quite sure I need to read this when I'm not waiting for the bus to show up so I can run out the door... =D

Debra E. Marvin said...

Is that festival the same weekend every year? I've got to coordinate a trip someday. sounds great!

hey Sandra! great examples of 'showing' dialogue. There's no rest for the weary writer. Every word has to do its job...

I loved your excerpt, cover and the heroine's name. Old fashioned but sounds new at the same time..

Jackie S. said...

Fun post! Just a reader and would love the books in giveaway! Still praying for you/your Dad, Sandra.

Melanie Dickerson said...

I love that cover, Sandra! You must be so thrilled!

Some spicy dialogue is always welcome! I love it when the hero and heroine spar verbally. Thanks for the dialogue tips!

I really need to get some See's. I've never had it. But I can't imagine how anything could be better than Lindt!

Janet Dean said...

Sandra, love the cover of Price of Victory!! The title too. Excellent examples of dialogue that shows!

The Tuscson book festival sounds wonderful. And the Sees chocolate is a hook like no other. :-)

Helen and Carol M, thanks for keeping Seekerville caffeinated and fed.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh my stars, dialogue be danged, gimme the chocolate, darlin'!


Just a little, Sandra, sweet-thing. A smidge.

'sall I'm askin'.

And I'll take Mary's share, too. Save her from herself. I'm THAT altruistic.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks Carol for dropping by with the pastries. They will go great with the other goodies.

Stay safe and come back later.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Debra, Now why do you love my heroine's name???

The festival is held during spring break for the University of Arizona because they set it up on campus. Click on my link in the article and it will tell you when next year's event is.

Come to Desert Dreams conference in Scottsdale next spring. It is always a big hit. Editors love it. We have a large Inspie group here also. You'll love Arizona in the spring.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks Jackie, Dad is doing great. He bought an electric wheelchair so he has wheels again. He loves scooting around to all the events. I went with him the other night to the Tempe Art Guild. Artists network, critique and have speakers just like writers. So fun.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Melanie, Thanks for the compliment.

I haven't tried Lindt. So let's get together and share chocolate and compare? I mean we'll have to eat a lot of each to be sure don't cha think???

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Janet,

You're great at dialogue also. I loved reading the dialogue between Jacob and Callie in Wanted: a Family.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Ruthy Darlin'

There is no such thing as a smidge when it comes to you and chocolate.

I KNOW this. smile

So yes, you can have Mary's share. Don't tell though.

Can't wait to read Reunited Hearts

Susan Anne Mason said...

Great cover, Sandra! How exciting that it's almost release day. Well give or take a couple of months!

Yes, dialogue is SO important. For me when I read, it's the best part, and as a writer, it's what I love to write.

Thanks for the examples!


P.S. We don't have See's Chocolate here but it looks heavenly.

Julie Lessman said...

SANDRA!!! LOVE the new cover, darlin', no wonder you screamed -- beach, water and blue sky with two bikes cocked together -- PERFECT!!!

Fun post, Sandra, especially since dialogue is my favorite thing to do!! It's soooo cool to have those conversations rolling in your head like a movie, because it IS just like a movie -- second-by-second blips of talk, action, thought that take the reader frame by frame, making them feel the rhythm and flow of the characters and situation.

And I've always thought about "show, not tell" in a broad sense, applied to the whole book, but it's SOOO true in dialogue, so thank you for reminding us of that!!

Cannot WAIT to read this book, my friend.


Linnette R Mullin said...

Missy, I just left you a comment on yesterday's blog in response to your question.


Mary Connealy said...

Rose, South Dakota has a book festival? Where? Do you go?

Mary Connealy said...

Since it's cyber chocolate, we can all have all we want, no one has to share a bit.

(why do I feel like the one running the Seekerville asylum all the sudden?)

Mary Connealy said...

I think those bicycles are....reallly romantic.

Disturbingly romantic really.

I'm a little frightened of my reaction......

Tina Radcliffe said...

Love your cover, Sandra!!


Get that baby in the photobucket!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Sandra, you realize that's a BOY bike and a GIRL bike on that cover, don't you, darlin'????

AND a sandy beach.... gazing into the water.


Might be a little "Racy", dearheart.

(Get it??? "RACY?" It's a book about racers????)

I love it when I crack myself up. :)

And since I've had the honor of reading this book in it's earlier format, let me add that I loved Price of Victory from beginning to end, I loved being immersed into the world of cycling races because we're so stinkin' competitive around here that we don't play board games in interest of ongoing family harmony.


We're certifiable, so when I read Price of Victory, I totally empathized with these characters. Go big or stay at home.


CarolM said...

Had a chance to read... I KNOW I have a couple of segments at home I can apply this to and will later. Am at school [and should be grading papers :p] now.

One of these days when I get around to printing all of the Seeker stuff that I need to print off for my Master's level binder, I'm going to need at least two new toner cartridges and who knows how much paper :p. They're all so good and so worth looking back over!

LOVE the cover! It's awesome! I'm guessing it's gonna hop in my cart sometime soon too ;).

Andrea Chermak said...

Great cover! Does anyone else remember Radio Flyers, an old Kevin Costner movie about brothers who were cyclists? He had a brain aneurysm (kept secret) and pushed his aimless younger brother David into training for this big Tour de France-style road race in Colorado. The brothers weren't close, but the training brought them back together. Kevin couldn't finish the race, but David went on to win it for him. It was one of those bittersweet endings I just love.

Thanks for the preview, Sandra. I'm heading out to get my copy of Price of Victory!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks Susan. If you ever fly out west, look for the Sees Kiosk. They are in most airports. You won't be sorry. smile

In Phoenix, if you go to the main distribution center downtown, they give teachers, firemen and policemen 40% off. I guess that's another reason I love them.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks Julie, Good reminder that dialogue is like a movie. In fact, where I learned the most and best tips (besides from Seekerville of course) was in scriptwriting classes. Dialogue carries everything in a script so it becomes super important.

I can tell you love the dialogue because the repartee between your characters is always packed with emotion.

I can hardly wait for A Heart Revealed to come out.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Linnette, I should pop over to Missy's blog too. I was gone all day yesterday and missed it. She always writes a super one.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Well Miss Mary, I guess you would know. smile

And yes, don't tell Ruthy, but I set aside a whole platter for you. Specially for you. but if Ruthy finds out she will think I'm playing favorites. So mums the word.

And I must agree. The bikes are romantic. What is with that????

Holly said...

Considering I just had to read a book for a review where the entire thing was told not shown, I wish this were more common sense. 8 slow hours of my life that I cannot get back.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh Tina, I'm going to need Photobucket for Dummies. I know I saved that somewhere. I need to put my latest children's book in there too.

I'll try and do it on my own but don't be surprised if you get an email begging for help.

You all realize that Tina is the master in this electronic world? I bow in respect to her every morning, esp when I need to post on this blog. LOL

Sandra Leesmith said...

PS Tina, I'll send you a box of Sees if I need help. Will that make up for the time?

Kirsten Arnold said...

Love the cover, Sandra, and from what you shared it looks like a great read.

I tried to find a portion in my current ms to share, but didn't find anything and I'm at work so I don't have access to any other stories.

However, dialogue is my favorite part of writing! It's such a fun way of showing your characters' personality or setting a scene.


Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh my. It is RACY? Better get the rating chart out.

And you're right, Ruthy, the characters are cyclists who race.

Have you had your coffee yet? Its a good thing it isn't hot yet in upstate NY or all that corn would POP.

And I have to say our family is the same about games. In fact we rarely play them. Or at least they won't play them with me. That's why I never would make it at a casino. I HATE losing. LOL

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi again Carole,

Yes, there is a goldmine of info. Thank goodness Tina has archived it in alphabetical order so we can find all these gems.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Andrea,

Yes I remember that movie. I'm crazy about any movie with Kevin Kostner. I also loved the movie Breaking Away. I'm dating myself with that one. LOL But its a great one also.

Price of Victory isn't out until June. But you can go to your library now and request it. Avalon publishes hardbound books and targets libraries. So please, all of you, go ask for it at the library.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh Holly, My heart aches for you. I bet it was an old classic. The writing style has changed so in the last ten years.

Before that, we had looooong paragraphs of description and telling.

Some of it I love, but I have to admit I like the action that goes with writing today.

Keli Gwyn said...

Thanks for the great examples, Sandra. I love your new cover.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks Kirsten, Sorry you couldn't find a sample. I love to read how others work it out. It always amazes me how much difference a person's voice makes the same dialogue.

When Cathy and Kim and I read our dialogue from the same boring piece, it was so awesome how different they all turned out to be.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks Keli,

Waving at you. How's your weather? Hubby has his eyes set on the Sierras already. Its getting about that time. smile

Grammar Diva Darlene said...

Sandra! Wonderful examples. Dialogue is such an important part of fiction. Important enough to "show" not "tell."

Your new cover looks so inviting--good work, my friend. Gotta get that book.

Holly said...


No, I hate to say it wasn't. It's a book that is due to be published in May! It will not be getting a nice review, unfortunately.

Sandra Leesmith said...

DAAAARLEENE. I love hearing from you, Grammar Diva. Your blog the other day was soooo fun.

Are you going to Nationals this year? I hope so. Please please. We must get together.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Yikes. And it is being published? Yikes again.

Oh well, we all have different tastes. God does love variety. smile someone is bound to like it.

CarolM said...

Arizona... /big waffy sigh/ Oh to visit sometime soon... I'll have to keep this whole Tucson thing in mind...

Okay - here's one segment. This is from the brand new first draft MS.

Nate had just shifted out of reverse and into drive when Mom's car turned onto our street. He stopped and rolled down the window, updating her in a brief conversation. Fortunately, the hospital wasn't a very long drive and we made it in record time. By 8:30, we were settled into a labor and delivery suite.

I debated as I wrote it whether or not to show the convo with Mom but it's all stuff I'd already said in the convo to the other Mom so skimmed it here.

But what about this... [Heroine is in labor at the hospital, her doctor just broke her water thinking that would jump her to the finish line. No change so doc is headed back to her office.]

I nodded her direction. Her office was in the Turner Center, connected to the hospital by a walkway. If she took her time, she could be there in well under five minutes. If she hurried, she could probably make it in under two.

and turning it into...

I nodded her direction as she smiled and walked out the door.

"Shouldn't she stay close?" Nate whispered, one hand stroking the hair back from my forehead.

"Her office is right next door. Maybe a five minute walk with a broken leg. Probably more like three. And if they need her back here, she can be here in under two minutes. She was last time and she was six months pregnant then." He hadn't been with me for the previous two births. Even though he knew how close her office was, he didn't see how quick she could move when she needed to.

Or something. Made that up on the fly ;). That last little bit may be unnecessary since the reader would know that but there it is...

CatMom said...

Great post, Sandra - - thank you for sharing. Great examples too - - I'm learning SO much from the Seekers! ~ Love your book cover (know you must be super excited about it!). And that chocolate...YUM is the only word I can use for that! ;)
Blessings, Patti Jo

Sandra Leesmith said...

Carol, You're the only brave one we've had today. Good for you.

Okay, you changed the info from narrative to dialogue. Great going. You could even put that last tidbit into dialogue like he could ask how she knew and then she could comment about him not being there. Give her tone the clue to how she feels about that.

Thanks Carol. You're in for the drawing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi CatMom, It is amazing all we do learn from each other. Makes learning so much more fun.

Thanks for joining us.

Faye Rhys said...

That was great advice. Though it is so hard to follow sometimes.
Sounds like an awesome story!
I'm a really bad shower, telling is so much easier but is so hard to do!


Pat Jeanne Davis said...

A great post, Sandra. Thanks for all the wonderful examples. All the best with your debut. An eye-catching cover, too.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks Faye. You're so right. It is easier to tell than do.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks Pat Jeane. Best wishes._

apple blossom said...

oh, see's candies sure look yummy! love to win. thanks
ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

HeavenlyPrincess said...

I'm lucky to be from Tucson! I'm so glad we attended, I didn't even know about it until the day of (yes, I live in a bubble - a painting bubble that week. I was on a deadline!)

After a full day Saturday, I convinced my dad to take me back Sunday (after church). It should be even bigger and better next year. Every session I went to was full or overflowing (one moved to a room 2x the size and we filled every seat).

Since you're in AZ, too, Sandra, maybe i'll meet you before next year'sTFoB :)

Jordan Elizabeth

Grammar Diva Darlene said...

Sandra!! Even a grammar diva can't help using exclamation points.!!

I'm so excited for you and this book.

Yes, I will be at nationals. I have invited my ballerina daughter to share a room with me and to come to the RWA awards ceremony. In between RWA activities, I'm taking her to see the "real" Swan Lake ballet. She knows a couple of the dancers--yeah.

Other than that one night, I am free and I want to see you!

karenk said...

a great posting :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Apple Blossom, Yes, Sees is yummy. Thanks for joining us.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Yes, Jordan, It would be fun to meet. What writing groups do you belong to? Maybe we can meet at one of those meetings.

There is also the SSA conference in September and the Desert Dreams conference next April.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh Darlene, How fun to be with your daughter. You are so blessed. And yes, we need to figure a time together.

I can hardly wait. I think Ruthy is going to show us around some of the sights. I hope.

Guess that means I better be nice. chuckle

Sandra Leesmith said...

Karen K - waving.

Debby Giusti said...

I was just posting a blog on the Craftie Ladies of Suspense and saw a similar pic that Pamela Tracey posted on that blog today. She was at the SINC booth. Did you run into her?

Must have been a wonderful day. Atlanta hosts the Decatur Book Festival over Labor Day each year. Lots of fun, but it's always HOT!!!

Oh, that cover of yours! How perfect for your story. Loved your excerpt and your heroine's name, too! :)

Great points about dialogue.

Some years ago, I realized that breaking up long sentences into shorter bites helped me improve the dialogue in my manuscripts.

Healthy food? Really? I'll opt for the chocolate. :)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Debby, Yes, I did see Pamela at the dinner in The Olde Pueblo Grille which has yummy food. The Saguaro Tucson Chapter of RWA hosted the party for us.

We ran into each other off and on, but the fair was HUGE so didn't really see that much of her.

Does your RWA participate in the fair out your way. Wow, it would be hot. It was in the eighties in Tucson last weekend. So we were toasty too.

Thanks for the helpful hint with dialogue. Your books always have terrific dialogue. I can hardly wait for The Officer's Secret coming out in May.

PamelaTracy said...

Excellent cover. Charming.
Sandra and I are lucky to live fairly close to each other.
Jordan, there's actually quite a few Christian authors in the area. WE have a group called Christian Writers of the West that both Sandra and I belong to.

Lee Smith said...

I still hate "show not tell" but dialogue is my favorite thing to write and I *think* the area where I make the fewest mistakes.

I loved the examples and it sounds like you all had a good time. I look forward to hopefully meeting some of you in St Louis. :o) {crossing fingers}

Rita Monette, Writer said...

Chocolate was yummy, Sandra. Nice dialog. Your new book cover looks great!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Lee, It would be great to meet you in St. Louis. Quite a few of the Seekers are going and we always have get togethers in the evening. Stay posted to the blog and we'll announce when and where at the time.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Pamela, Thanks for mentioning Christian Writers of the West. I'm putting a link here so Jordan and others can find us.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Rita, Glad you liked the chocolate. Sees is the best. smile

Missy Tippens said...

Sandra, what a fun post! I'm sorry I missed it the other day. Thanks for sharing the great examples!!

Love the new cover!

Heavenlyprincess said...

Thanks for the info! I'm brand new to serious fiction writing, so I haven't joined any groups...yet! I do have some contacts in the AZ writing world, so that should be fixed soon :)

Jordan Elizabeth