By Krista Lynn
On October 1st, Michele Drier made it clear. Draw your readers in by making the “story real enough to connect with them.” Do your research and give just enough real-world information to engage your readers. And what is the best way to pull them in with interesting information? Write good dialogue!
“Dialogue is emotion,” she said. She emphasized that books are about people and what they say in the story shows their true character. In a good mystery, dialogue develops the characters, shows how they feel about each other, while their discourse helps define the plot, and unveil the clues. Through well-crafted conversations, the reader may discover the very solution to the mystery. For Drier, it’s all about the interaction between the people in the story - and that interaction is forged in dialogue.
“Words hold emotion,” she said, and explained that it’s important to choose words carefully. Being a former newspaper reporter and editor in the time of the old-style typewriter with triple-carbon copies where every typo meant a major re-do, she admits that technology has made this is a great time for writers. Computers and word processing is a blessing, but also allows writers to be sloppy about word choice – it’s so easy to type quickly, hit the backspace or delete and keep going at a fast pace. The downside is that authors are not always so careful about what their words are. She cautioned that frequent review of their work with a critical eye is essential to understand “what the reader is getting out of it.”
In response to questions about her books, Drier described her popular Vampire series and her Amy Hobbes mysteries. It was clear that Drier practices what she preaches. In each of these books, she infused a real-world topic, i.e. Chernobyl in a story about nuclear weapons in one book of the Vampire series, and the challenge of the drought in California in the Amy Hobbes mystery, Delta for Death.
All in all, the “Dialogue” at today’s meeting was engaging and edifying and…REAL!