Fida Abbott's Books and e-Books

Exploring My Ideas
Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, in the Summer 2019, category of Short Story
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Available to purchase: XlibrisAmazonBN, and Kobo
e-Book: 978-1-9845-1843-9
Softcover: 978-1-9845-1842-2
Hardcover: 978-1-9845-1841-5

Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, in the Spring 2010, category of Novel
Publication Date: February 24, 2010

Available to purchase: Xlibris, Amazon, BN, and Kobo
e-Book: 978-1-9845-1842-2
Softcover: 978-1-9845-1841-5
Hardcover: 978-1-9845-1843-9

Writing Gender-Specific Dialogue

Are you writing a novel or planning to write a novel?

Writing novel has higher level than writing non fiction. We are not only to do the research for the certain contents to compile the story, but we need to know how to craft the story. Many people have ability to write good stories but have not ability to write interesting stories. Practicing is the answer key besides reading the related contents about this case. Learning by reading and doing, is what I have done since I was child. Because of this, I become an independent learner. You might not believe it if I had been learning in 2 years before I decided to write my first e-book/book. Blogging was the first start. When I felt my blog was the ugliest and the worst in the world, I began to learn autodidact by visiting other better and good blogs and read their contents I need to know about to enhance blogging. From there, I improved my learning to know how to publish in the USA from many Websites while I was learning from many sources about writings.

There are three basic contents to build a novel as we all have already known. They are narration, description, and dialogue. This time we will focus to talk about dialogue. I had gotten some questions from my online Indonesian students, PMOH,  regarding how to write the right dialogues. As I presented my first chapter to be a must-read for their first writing task, I was sure they began to learn its answers. I like to give the answers of their questions by offering the fishing tools, not the fishes. By this way they will learn the answers by thinking and practicing.

Writing dialogue in a novel has been interesting to me since I began to write my first novel, Enthusiasm, in 2009. I enjoyed writing this part mostly. I didn't know why but I felt like in the real world when building the dialogues. It made me forget to take a break for awhile when my tummy began to scream.

To enrich our knowledge, below I enclose a related article about Writing Gender-Specific Dialogue, written by Rachel Randall, a content editor for Writer's Digest Books.

Writing dialogue to suit the gender of your characters is important in any genre, but it becomes even more essential in romance writing. In a romance novel, characters of opposite sexes are often paired up or pitted against each other in relationships with varying degrees of complication. Achieving differentiation in the tones and spoken words of your male and female characters requires a careful touch, especially if you’re a woman writing a male’s dialogue, and vice versa. In an excerpt from On Writing Romance by Leigh Michaels, the author discusses ways in which you can render the dialogue of your guy or gal protagonist more realistic and effective.
It’s difficult for a writer to create completely convincing dialogue for a character of the opposite gender. But you can make your dialogue more realistic by checking your dialogue against a list of the ways in which most writers go wrong.
If You’re a Woman
Here’s how to make your hero’s dialogue more true to gender if you’re a female writer:
  • Check for questions. Men tend to request specific information, rather than ask rhetorical questions. If your hero’s questions can’t be answered with a brief response, can you rephrase them? Instead of asking questions at all, can he make statements?
  • Check for explanations. Men tend to resist explaining; they generally don’t volunteer justification for what they do. If you need him to explain, can you give a reason why he must?
  • Check for feelings. Men tend to share feelings only if stressed or forced; they’re more likely to show anger than any other emotion. They generally don’t volunteer feelings. If you need your hero to spill how he’s feeling, can you make it more painful for him to not talk than to share his emotions?
  • Check for details. Men tend not to pay close attention to details; they don’t usually notice expressions or body language; they stick to basics when describing colors and styles. Can you scale back the level of detail?
  • Check for abstractions. Men tend to avoid euphemisms, understatements, comparisons, and metaphors. Can you rephrase your hero’s dialogue in concrete terms?
  • Check for approval-seeking behavior. Men tend to be direct rather than ask for validation or approval. Can you make your hero’s comments less dependent on what the other person’s reaction might be?
If You’re a Man
Here’s how to make your heroine’s dialogue more realistic if you’re a male writer:
  • Check for advice. Women tend to sympathize and share experiences rather than give advice. Can you add empathy to your character’s reactions and have her talk about similar things that happened to her, rather than tell someone what he should do?
  • Check for bragging. Women tend to talk about their accomplishments and themselves in a self-deprecating fashion rather than a boastful one. Can you rephrase her comments in order to make her laugh at herself?
  • Check for aggressiveness. Women tend to be indirect and manipulative; even an assertive woman usually considers the effect her statement is likely to have before she makes it. Can you add questions to her dialogue, or add approval-seeking comments and suggestions that masquerade as questions?
  • Check for details. Women notice styles; they know what colors go together (and which don’t); and they know the right words to describe fashions, colors, and designs. Can you ramp up the level of specific detail?
  • Check for emotions. Women tend to bubble over with emotion, with the exception that they’re generally hesitant to express anger and tend to do so in a passive or euphemistic manner. If you need your heroine to be angry, can you give her a really good reason for yelling?
  • Check for obliviousness. Women notice and interpret facial expressions and body language, and they maintain eye contact. If you need your female character to not notice how others are acting, can you give her a good reason for being detached? (*)
(Posted by Fida Abbott, author of Enthusiasm, May 24, 2014)


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