silver tongues


Wounded Amazon, Franz von Stuck

In NEW AMSTERDAM, Elizabeth Bear expertly shows how much can be learned about a character through dialogue as well as how to use dialogue to advance plot. On page 18, the main character, the vampire Sebastien de Ulloa has a conversation with the delightful Mrs. Phoebe Smith, an American novelist. Both are characters of sharp intelligence. I learned these details:

1. Mrs. Smith has a wickedly wry sense of humor.

2. Mrs. Smith is a practical woman with acute powers of observation.

3. Mrs. Smith is a shameless eavesdropper.

4. Mrs. Smith is a woman of elegant manners and unshakeable composure.

5. Mrs. Smith speaks excellent German.

6. Sebastien de Ulloa, a sophisticated man of elegant manners himself, is a master of the art of interacting with humans.

There were many other wonderful details woven into the flow of the narrative. What I’m aiming to master is that same ability to deftly weave details into dialogue that work to illuminate character as well as advance story.

On vacation today, gave myself a long weekend, and I’ll be working on a number of writing projects. There’s stuff to do!

1. Continue story planning the last part of A Lamentation of Swans

2. Write new Gaius scene

3. Place Loose Daddy in Scrivener and do a scene by scene summary

4. Write another paragraph of the Riley short story

5. Continue prep work for vampire fantasy novel

Saturday I’m supposed to visit LACMA with a friend–but I have not heard from her so…maybe not.

It is wonderful to be free until Tuesday!



One thought on “silver tongues

  1. Have a great weekend. I recently read one of Elizabeth Bear’s novels, set during Shakespeare’s time, and the way she reveals multiple levels through dialogue is wonderful.

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