Friday, May 16, 2014

#1 Writing Tip from the Storyteller

Dialogue: Getting It Right

Shift from the role of writer to that of actor. Become your character. Say out loud what that character would say as s/he would say it. It might help to use a DVR and record your role-playing. Now, play back. Listen to you taking on the characters and saying the lines. Do they sound right? Natural? Are they appropriate to the character and the scene? Is the emotion right?

As we've gotten away from so many he-said-she-said tags, action beats are almost a part of the dialogue. To get them right, you might have to get up and act out the scene. Be aware of your facial expressions, your body language, your body positioning, how your character moves through the scene and relates to the other characters. Capture that on the page, leaving out the unimportant details your reader can intuit.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Telling at Wings Over Muscatatuck

Photo by Russell Hansen (1921-2002)
To learn more about Mr. Hansen work as a bird photographer, visit

Saturday, May 10, I'll present "Tales That Take Wing: Flights of Fancy storytelling program at 11:15 a.m. as part of the annual event at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, located two miles east of Seymour, Indiana, on U.S. 50. Other special events will take place on the grounds around the Visitors' Center throughout the day. Gather your fledglings, leave your nest, and fly on over!

The Refuge is beautiful year round, but it's especially lovely at the equinoxal seasons, so be sure to bring your cameras. You can enjoy the lakes, marshes, and numerous trails to accommodate even physically challenged guests. The bookstore/gift shop is one of the best I've seen at any nature preserve. MNWR is one of the few sites in the world that is home to the shy Copperbellied Watersnake. It's also the release site for many native river otters. Migratory birds, including Sandhill Cranes, make this a regular stopover. American bald eagles, as well as many other raptors are seen commonly throughout the Refuge.

I love MNWR. It's one of my favorite hangouts. Hope you come by and get acquainted this weekend. If you do, be sure to be there with your wings on by 11:15 and look me up. I'll likely be in or around the Visitors' Center.