How Do You Write Internal Dialogue?

Internal dialogue can be more confusing than one would think. I don’t believe there’s a “right” way or “wrong” way to write internal dialogue, but I’ve seen plenty of people write it in different ways. I’ll admit, I have a preference, but that’s just my opinion.

How do you write internal dialogue | Creative Writing | Writing Tips | Dialogue tips | RachelPoli.com

There are different forms of internal dialogue – direct and indirect.

Direct Internal Dialogue

Direct refers to a character thinking to themselves in first person. This means these are thoughts they’re actually thinking, not thoughts we believe – or the narrator is telling us – they’re thinking. This can be written in two ways: using quotations or italics.

Using quotations makes it seem like the character is speaking aloud. It’s up to the dialogue tag to show that the character is actually thinking instead of speaking.

Using italics without quotations, but still using dialogue tags, makes it easy to differentiate between thoughts and speaking. Both are fine ways to write internal dialogue, but I prefer the italics. I find it easier to read and follow along.

Indirect Internal Dialogue

Similar to direct internal dialogue except it’s written in third person. This also means the narrator is telling us what a character is wondering, or may be wondering. So it’s not the exact thoughts from the character but we have an idea of what they may be thinking.

How do you typically write internal dialogue? Do you like using quotations or italics? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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WIP Wednesday [August 2018]

Don’t even ask me how we’ve made it to the middle of August already because I’m kind of in disbelief of it myself. Though I know I shouldn’t be surprised because literally all of 2018 has zipped by. But anyway, here’s my August WIP Wednesday.

WIP Wednesday August 2018 | Creative Writing | Novels | Patreon | RachelPoli.com

First, I’ll say that August got off to an interesting start. For about the first week I was barely home due to family and friend gatherings. So, I got zero writing done that first week, plus a few extra days. I’m trying to change that and get a schedule in order.

George Florence & The Perfect Alibi

I’ve officially started rewrites for this final draft! Well, technically it’s not the “final” draft because it’ll need another round of edits or two when it’s done, but this is my final draft to write. The story will be finished after this, I promise. (At least, I hope I promise.)

Silhouettes

This is my next Wattpad project. I haven’t exactly pin-pointed the genre just yet. I had an idea for what it was going to be but it might change. I’ll mention some more information on this one soon enough, but writing the first draft has begun. I’m hoping to get it up on Wattpad sometime in October.

Patreon Project

This one is going well. I’ll be revealing this to the public soon (Maybe September). This project is being funded by my patrons on Patreon which is why only they know about it right now. They’ll be getting some special goodies along with it as well. So, if this interests you, feel free to check out my Patreon.

What projects are you currently working on? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Falling Up By Shel Silverstein [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: Falling Up by Shel Silverstein | Poetry | Reading | Childrens books | RachelPoli.com

I got the book at Barnes & Noble when I was a kid.

Summary:

Millie McDeevit screamed a scream
So loud it made her eyebrows steam.
She screamed so loud
Her jawbone broke,
Her tongue caught fire,
Her nostrils smoked…

Poor Screamin’ Millie is just one of the unforgettable characters in this wondrous new book of poems and drawings by the creator of Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic. Here you will also meet Allison Beals and her twenty-five eels; Danny O’Dare, the dancin’ bear; the Human Balloon; and Headphone Harold.

So come, wander through the Nose Garden, ride the Little Hoarse, eat in the Strange Restaurant, and let the magic of Shel Silverstein open your eyes and tickle your mind.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The cover portrays the title well and matches the illustrations used inside the book to explain the poetry.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I was very much into Where The Sidewalk Ends when I was a kid, so I ended up getting this book as well.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

Shel Silverstein upholds his reputation of writing silly yet witty poetry for kids. Each poem has the same premise of using the imagination and also having a certain rhyme or rhythm to it yet the content of each poem is vastly different from the last. The lengths of the poems vary, but they’re all quick reads and this is a book to keep turning the pages.Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was a great book to revisit from when I was a kid. My nephew is about 2.5 and I’d love to read this book with him sometime. This is a great one for kids.

Falling Up by Shel Silverstein gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you – just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.” -Shel Silverstein, Falling Up

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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All About Dialogue Tags

Dialogue tags are important and essential to use in every story we write. Are they always needed? No, but we do need them from time to time in order to know which characters are talking to each other or to themselves. So this post is all about dialogue tags.

All About Dialogue Tags | Creative Writing | Writing Tips | Writing Advice | RachelPoli.com

What is a dialogue tag?

A dialogue tag is a tag that goes before, in between, or after a piece of dialogue. It’s that little quip that says, “he said” or “Rachel cheered.”

How do you use dialogue tags?

Well, as I said they can go before or after the dialogue or in between it. Depending on where you put the tag, you need to make sure your punctuation is correct to go along with the dialogue. For example…

Rachel asked, “Where were you last night?”

“Why are you asking?” Chase replied.

“Well,” Rachel sighed, “you didn’t answer any of my phone calls.”

When do you use dialogue tags?

This is sort of like personal preference but also you need to read your manuscript and see what makes sense.

If there’s two characters speaking to each other and the banter is quick, one right after another, you can get away without using dialogue tags. Of course, use them in the beginning to make sure your readers know who is speaking.

“I didn’t know you were trying to call.” Chase said.

“Um, maybe you should check your phone then?” Rachel replied.

“What did you want, anyway?”

“It doesn’t matter now.”

If there’s a lot of detail and description in between the dialogue, a tag doesn’t hurt to remind your readers who’s speaking next. Also, if there are more than two characters speaking with one another, it’s a good idea to use tags so they knows who’s talking.

“What’s all the bickering about?” Chip asked.

“I think Chase is hiding something from me.” Rachel answered.

“It’s not just from you.” Chase replied.

“See?” Rachel exclaimed.

“Guys, please…” Chip sighed.

Overall, dialogue tags are a great way to convey the message to your readers about who is speaking and how they’re saying it. Though it’s not always needed and your readers can always infer based on what they already know.

Do you use dialogue tags a lot? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Short Story Sunday 225: Underneath [Part 2 – Interactive Story]

Short Story: Underneath (Part 2) | Flash Fiction | Short Story | Interactive Story | RachelPoli.com

Did you read Part One?

            Pixel turned around to walk away. She could hear the two boys chatting away about this “Underneath” thing, their voices getting softer the more she distanced herself from them. She had barely made it around the corner of the corridor before she twisted her heels right back around continuing to walk at her usual pace but back toward the boys again.

“Hello?” she called to them immediately flinching. That greeting didn’t sound convincing at all.

Still, it got their attention. Both boys immediately stopped speaking, frozen, eyes wide.

Pixel stopped once she was a few feet apart from them. “Uh, hi.” She said again.

“Hi?” Alvin responded. His eyes shifted toward Miles, who kept a steady gaze on Pixel.

“Can we help you with something?” Miles asked. He stood taller folding his arms across his chest, his muscles flexing in the process. Pixel took a step back. Was he going to try to fight her or something?

“Probably not,” Pizel said shaking her head. “I mean, you probably shouldn’t. I really came over here to talk to you because I’m nosy. Sorry. I didn’t want to interrupt. In fact, I walked away… but then I decided to come back for… some reason…” she began to chuckle. It was the kind of laugh that escaped your lips when you were really nervous or embarrassed – and she was definitely feeling both emotions.

Miles dropped his arms by his side. He sighed. “So, you heard us talking, then?”

Pixel hesitated to answer. She wasn’t sure what the right answer was. If she told them the truth that she was eavesdropping, they might get mad. Then again, it seemed as though they already knew she overheard them. So, if she lied, they might get mad at her for being a liar.

“I’m a freshman, new here, I don’t know where my class is. Help?” she blurted quickly and immediately regretted it.

Alvin burst out laughing. In fact, he nearly doubled over in he was laughing so hard. Pixel couldn’t tell, but it seemed as though there were tears coming out of his eyes. Miles, on the other hand, just looked confused.

“Listen, Lady,” Alvin said in between breaths, “while I believe that, I think it’s pretty obvious why you’re talking to us right now.”

Pixel felt herself blush.

“You wanna know about the Underneath too, huh?” Miles said with a smirk.

Pixel found herself nodding. She didn’t know why either. She didn’t want to be attending high school. She wanted to keep a low profile. Whatever these boys were thinking or planning, it must have been against school rules. So why was she trying to get involved in it?

Miles stretched out a hand. “Miles, as you might have heard. I’m a sophomore here.”

As Pixel shook Miles’s hand she noticed Alvin waving behind him. “I’m Alvin. I’m a freshman too, though I’m supposed to be a sophomore. I stayed back.”

Pixel nodded. She had no idea what that meant though she had a guess. She certainly didn’t want to repeat any high school years. Talking to these boys probably wasn’t the best decision she’s made… and she’s only been in high school for about an hour.

“So, you’re a freahman, new here, apparently.” Miles prompted. “What’s your name?”

Pixel opened her mouth and then froze. Pixel wasn’t a normal name. She was to keep a low profile here and she knew with a name like Pixel people would ask questions.

Words: 591

I’m writing this story with your help! Please be sure to vote in the poll above for what should happen next in the story.

I hope you enjoyed part one of the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Where The Sidewalk Ends By Shel Silverstein [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein | Reading | Poetry | Children's books | RachelPoli.com

I got it when I was a kid from Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

Where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins. There you’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I’ve always loved the book cover. It paints the title of the poetry collection so well. The drawing is simple and while it may seem bland to some, I find it to be perfect to go along with the illustrations inside the book.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I used to read Shel Silverstein a lot when I was a kid. I found this on my shelf and decided to read it again for old time’s sake.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is a collection of poetry aimed toward kids. Some poems can be long, but most of them are pretty short being less than a page long. A lot of the poems have illustrations similar to the cover to accompany the poem which are all well done.

The poems are silly and completely unrealistic, but that’s what makes them great. They usually rhyme and you can’t help but read them with some sort of rhythm in your tone.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

It was great to revisit Shel Silverstein again. I haven’t read his poems in a long time and I forgot how great they were. This is a must read for kids who are looking for something quick and silly.

Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“If you’re a bird, be an early bird–
But if you’re a worm, sleep late.” -Shel Silverstein, Where The Sidewalk Ends

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Time To Write: Set The Scene 10 [Creative Writing Prompt]

Last week’s writing prompt was a sentence starter. Check out some great pieces by fellow writers:

Now onto this week’s writing prompt:

Creative Writing Prompt: Set the Scene | Short Story | Flash Fiction | Inspiration | RachelPoli.com

Write a story based in the scene above.

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll share it next week. Please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt!

Happy Writing! If you want more, check out all my other Writing Prompts here!

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The Best Tip To Know About Writing Dialogue

Writing dialogue can be such a hit or miss. It’s something you can improve in but I feel like some authors are really good at it and some just aren’t. So, here’s the best tip to know about writing dialogue – in my opinion.

The Best Tip To Know About Writing Dialogue | Creative Writing | Writing Tips | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Keep It Realistic

Dialogue can be such a hit or miss. It can take a little while to get it “right.” When I said right, I mean get it to sound realistic.

It’s easy to make your characters sound like robots. Unless they really are robots, you don’t want them sounding like that.

The main goal of the dialogue is to get your characters speaking as though they’re real people having a real conversation.

This is pretty simple as though you write as you or anyone else would normally speak. The hardest part, I think, is to ignore the editor. If you write in Word Document then you know the red squiggly lines come after you – when you try to have someone stammer or when you try to have someone speak unclearly. Word doesn’t like it.

I’ll admit, I’ve edited my dialogue based on Word for a while. Then I realized it just didn’t sound realistic and now I try my best to ignore Word. I mean, Word is right sometimes, but not when it comes to that.

Be sure to listen to how people talk. Hear how they pronounce their words, tones, emotions, and even accents. Treat your characters like real people and you should be good to go.

What do you think? Do you agree with me or do you have any other tips? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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How To Format Dialogue

Dialogue is how we as writers show our characters talking. It’s a fairly simple concept, but formatting it isn’t always easy or straightforward. So, here’s how to format dialogue.

How To Format Dialogue | Creative Writing | Writing Tips | RachelPoli.com

Quotation Marks

Yeah, this is a given. Most dialogue is enclosed with quotation marks at the beginning and at the end of your character’s words. I’ve seen some stories where people don’t use quotations at all. I’m not sure if that depends based on where you are in the world or if that’s just a personal format choice from the author.

Quote Within Dialogue

A quote within a dialogue, or a character quoting someone else, is showed with single quotation marks around it.

Punctuation

Punctuation is tricky. I’ve seen people add it on the outside of the quotations, but it’s supposed to go inside the quotations. The punctuation is part of the sentence and the quotations is just like a cover of the sentence, so it doesn’t make sense for the period or question mark to be on the outside.

Actions

If the character is performing some sort of action before or after the dialogue, it goes in a separate sentence. However, if the character is doing it during the dialogue, their action is separated from the dialogue with a comma. If there is an action interrupting or in the middle of the dialogue, the next part of the dialogue starts with a lowercase letter.

New Paragraphs

We all know a new paragraph is indented as is when a new character speaks. It’s a new paragraph and is indented. When a character is speaking so much and a new paragraph is needed in the middle of it, there is no ending quotation. The next paragraph begins with a quotation and ends with one as well. It’s a continuation.

This is all common sense to people who have been writing for a while. Yet, we still sometimes make mistakes and some things are not always clear. Dialogue seems so simple and yet, look at the “rules” that go along with it.

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Jozi Flash 2017 By South African Authors [Book Review – Blog Tour]

Jozi Flash 2017 Blog Tour | Flash Fiction | Anthology | Blogging | Books | RachelPoli.com

I’ve had the pleasure of hosting and participating in the Jozi Flash 2017 Blog Tour! This is a different review than most since it’s a flash fiction collection there’s no set plot or character cast.

Book Review: Jozi Flash 2017 by South African Authors | Flash Fiction | Anthology | Blog Tour | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

I received a free digital copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

It’s not quite the Gummi Bears, but it certainly bounces around a lot.

Jozi Flash 2017 combines the talents of ten brilliant authors with one gifted artist, to bring you a collection of 80 flash fiction stories across eight different genres.

From a children’s story about the folly of summoning dragons, to the horrors held in deliciously treacherous ice cream, the authors take you on journeys that weave fantasy and folklore together alongside practical detectives and everyday tragedy.

With stunning artwork prompts by Nico Venter, these South African authors have created an anthology that will leave you breathless.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I was immediately drawn in by the cover. The colors seem to shine right off the picture and I think they go well together. Plus, the idea of showing off the genres as “books” on a shelf is a nice touch.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I read the first Jozi Flash collection last year and was excited to hear they came out another one. I was eager to give it a read.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is a flash fiction anthology so there’s no steady plot. Each author wrote a flash piece in each of the 8 genres presented in the book. Each genre had it’s own illustration and prompt that the authors needed to us for their story in that particular genre.

Each story is short and sweet (for the most part, depending on the genre). Even though each short shared the genre, prompt, and picture in common, each one was vastly different than the one before it. It was a great variety of quick reads.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was refreshing to read. It’s nice to bounce around the various genres. The book is about 160 pages long so it’s a great quick read – one you can pick up whenever you’re in the mood for a certain genre.

Jozi Flash 2017 by South African Authors gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“She pulled the trigger anyway. The click was as hollow as her hopes.” -Nthato Morakobi, Jozi Flash 2017

Download the book:

Chasing Dreams Publishing

About the Authors & Artist

Ten talented authors and one gifted artist joined forces to create an anthology of flash fiction stories that embody the multicultural melting pot that is South Africa.

For more info on the individual authors, take a look at their author pages here.

International Giveaway

Win free copies of eBooks by three Jozi Flash 2017 authors:

Beneath the Wax by Nthato Morakabi

1723: Constantine Bourgeois is a man of many secrets. Artisan by day, killer by night, he turns his victims into wax figures for his shop.

2045: Richard Baines works for the renowned Anthony Garfield Historical Museum. His mundane existence is a stark counterpoint to his fascination with serial killers and science fiction.

Constantine’s nightmares drive him to undertake a journey to uncover a long-forgotten secret. Richard’s research uncovers a company secret and the mystery of Madame Bourgeois.

Two men, two timelines, and truths that will only be revealed when they look Beneath the Wax

Dim Mirrors by Carin Marais

Dim Mirrors is a collection of 39 flash fiction stories that open windows into worlds of fantasy and nightmare. Interwoven with images from mythology and folklore are the themes of love, loss, and memory. The comical “Not According to Plan” leads to more serious and introspective works like “Blue Ribbons” and “The Destroyer of Worlds”, while mythology and folkloric elements come together in stories like “The Souls of Trees” and “Ariadne’s Freedom”. 

Sketches by Nicolette Stephens

Like art sketches, flash fiction stories are fleeting moments captured in a few hundred words.

In a world without men, the first boy child is welcomed as the saviour of his race; a cuckoo clock holds death and destruction in its beautifully carved figures; and a snowman holds a silent vigil of peace during war.

In this collection of 50 stories, illustrated with her artwork, the author delves into worlds of imagination and reality inspired by words and drawings.

Jozi Flash 2017 Blog Tour Giveaway | Ebooks | Reading | Book Review | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter Here.

Jozi Flash 2017 Blog Tour | Flash Fiction | Anthology | Reading | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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