Sunday, October 6, 2013

Guest Post Author C.E. Kilgore

Character Development
Your Character Said What? – Developing Characters Through Dialogue
By C.E. Kilgore

I love dialogue. I love to read it and I love to write it. Dialogue can bring your characters and world to life, helping them to stand out and gain individuality from the typed letters on the page. When a book has strong dialogue, it can make even tedious but required plot scenes fly by and can pull the story along. When the dialogue is lacking, however, it can really drag the story down and make the characters feel like pure fiction.
The most important point when you begin practicing dialogue is to understand that every single character is an individual. No two characters should ever sound exactly the same. Even if they are from the same small town and might use the same dialect, they will each have their own way of saying the same thing. A really good way to practice this is to just write scenes of pure dialogue without any speaker identifiers. If you can tell who is saying what throughout the dialogue sequence, then you are doing it right.
Characters, like people, develop phrases or keywords. I am sure there is at least one phrase or word that you say yourself all the time without even realizing it. For me, I say ‘wonkey’ instead of ‘strange’ and I say ‘okie’ instead of ‘okay’. So, if I were writing myself, I would never say “It’s okay that the book was a bit strange.”  I would say “It’s okie that the book was a tad wonkey.”
Those subtle differences in local and personal dialect are what helps the reader get a feeling for your characters. Dialogue is as important to connecting your characters to your audience as what your character looks like or is wearing.
Another practice is saying your dialogue out loud. Speak it, and if it doesn’t flow properly then try adding more contractions or slang. Be careful not to have your character speak one hundred percent grammatically correct, unless they are someone who might do so, such as royalty or perhaps a grammar professor. Don’t be afraid to use slang or accents. You can create accents by cutting off letters and using slurs that would make your English teacher cringe.
“You are going to make me angry if you keep talking like that.”
“You’re gonna make me madder than a hornet in summer if you keep talkin’ like that, lady.”
See? Dialogue can be fun! Practice it, don’t be afraid to try new things and don’t let the grammar book hold you down.
To see how I use dialogue to help build my characters’ personalities, check out the first book in my series, Ghost In The Machine, for Free!

Book Links:

Full series informational Wiki:

Book 1: Ghost In The Machine – FREE full length novel
Genre: Space Opera / Science Fiction Romance:
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Book Synopsis:
"Love is like a wormhole. You stumble on to it blindly, it sucks you in and takes you somewhere completely unexpected. You can’t fight it, because that would tear your ship apart. You can’t control it, either. All you can do is set your thrusters on glide and let it take you where it's going to take you."

Going against the rules of her Vesparian Sisterhood, which seeks to keep its entire existence a secret, Orynn is thrown into the open by a request for help that she could not refuse. Seeking to reconcile past mistakes and gain a forgiveness she feels she does not deserve, the control over her empathic abilities is put to the test when the darkness that lives within her spirit threatens to once again destroy any piece of happiness that she allows herself to find.

As a Mechatronic Automaton, Ethan defines his world through a set of logically defined values and understandings. Encountering Orynn throws his system out of balance as he tries to decide if he should trust the feelings he is developing, or if he should follow the logic telling him that she is trying to control him for some unknown purpose. Should he keep her at a distance despite his want to bring her near, or should he follow the heart he swears he does not have? As his understanding of her develops, he begins to question all of his preconceived notions about both himself and the universe around him.

In his attempts to capture the Vesparian prey he has been hunting after for two decades, the First Commander of the Xen’dari fleet will stop at nothing and track Orynn to the ends of the universe. On a path of vengeance for a past he can’t let go of, he will do everything in his power to burn her world down around her feet until nothing is left but ash and the bitter taste of regret.

Ghosts of the past clash with hopes for the future in this first book of the series, set in a universe where nothing is as it seems at first glance and trust is a highly priced commodity.

Book 2: Whispers From Exile
$3.99 from all major online book retailers
Genre: Space Opera / Science Fiction Romance:
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The Ruisks were once a fierce and proud race with courageous spirits, but after over a century of being held captive under the oppressive leash of the Xen'dari Empire, they have become defeated, hollow shells that bow their heads in submission. Can Larx help his people find their courage again to stand against the oppression, and can he find his own courage to be true to his nature and the callings of his heart?

Torque has been a Central Agent for over one hundred and thirty years. Each day is defined by the protocols embedded into the subroutines of his Mechatronic mind. Orders are followed without question and his personal life is never put before the directives of the agency. That is the way of his universe, until one startling discovery about a friend he thought he knew redefines which protocols he gives importance to. Can he overcome himself as he fights to hold on to Larx and a bond that threatens to change his directive-driven world forever?

In Book 2, the rippling effects caused by Orynn's existence continue to move through the universe in unforeseen and unpredictable ways. Whispers of her aura linger, and the lives she touched continue to move the story of the universe forward. Follow the stories of the Central Agents as they continue to search for the truths about their universe and about themselves.

Book 3: Tracing The Stars
$3.99 from all major online book retailers (As of Oct1st, 2013)
Genre: Space Opera / Science Fiction Romance:
All syndicate links:
Amazon: Not yet available

Hankarron Eros has loved Tara since she had pigtails, but his fear of losing the strength and support that their friendship provides leads him to keep his heart's desires locked away. When the truth about his family is exposed and leaves him grasping to hold onto his ship, his crew and his sanity, words are spoken that can't be taken back and the presence he had grown so used to having at a convenient reach is gone.

Tara Flint has never denied her heart's attraction to the floppy-haired, brown-eyed Hankarron, even if he can be a stupid limik sometimes. Her strong will falters as she is forced to decide between a promise she made to her father, a boy she has loved since she had pigtails and the possibility of finding out what her life might be like without the presence of Hankarron always by her side.

When you get knocked down, you get back up and hit the other guy harder. Trip 'Wild Fists' Weston is a Runata'ji combat fighter at the top of his career with a fame and fortune he doesn't want and a Lucky Clover tattooed across his heart to remind him of the girl who is always just out of reach. When Tara's luck lands her in his lap without Hankarron on her heels, Trip wonders if this is his chance to capture his Clover, or if Tara's luck has other ideas in mind. Fate doesn't always give you want you want, but it will always give you what you need.

Jennadri Szina doesn't have time for matters of the heart or trying to get two wayward agents back on track. She's got a mission to run, a Director who is dying and a mother who isn't easy to impress. When Jehdra sends her to save Hank and Tara, Jen takes her mother's mission on at full speed, but she isn't prepared to manage 'Wild Fists' Weston and his damn dimple.

They say that the stories of our time will one day be traced into the stars to help guide others home. Fate strings intertwine with skipping stones across the stars of the universe, pulling it forward and writing new lines in the night sky as the Corwint Central Agent saga continues to lead Ethan, Orynn and Jarren towards a collision that holds the power to change everything.

Author Links:

Author bio:
C.E. Kilgore (1981 - ) has always had a love of romantic stories and science fiction. Although active in the writing community during her undergraduate studies, she chose to focus on her love of history and culture. Graduating with an HBA in History and a BA in Cultural Anthropology, she puts a deep emphasis on creating characters and environments within her writing that are full of both culture and history. The relationship development between characters and the worlds they live in is also an important aspect of her stories. Sarcasm, comedy, hidden "modern" references and subtle hints at underlined universal meanings are common within her writing style, but there is always plenty of action and a darker side lurking just around the corner.

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