The dialogue presentation I’m giving to NARWA on Saturday is almost ready. I’ve practiced it more than once (once in front of a human audience and twice for my cats, who didn’t seem impressed) and keep finding things to change with each telling.

I’ve also been plugging away on my WIP — Meg and Matt are a bit above the 40K-word mark now, so I only have between 15,000 and 20,000 to go. It might be time for them to stop with the deliriously happy lovemaking and get back to being in conflict. (… If only I were better at conflict — but that’s another post.)

The one thing I haven’t been getting ready for? The possibility of getting THE CALL that I’m a GH finalist. A part of me thinks I have a very good chance; another little voice says “not a snowball’s chance.” All the see-sawing is starting to make me a nervous wreck — and there are still several days to go before the calls go out.

For those of you not plugged into the whole Golden Heart experience, March 25 is the big day. (But I have to ask, are you living under a rock?)

Last year’s finalists are having a big countdown on their blog, the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood. I’ve been checking back there more often than usual because their excitement is infectious. (In fact, until they started their countdown, I’d managed to not think too much about the fact that March 25 was inching ever closer.)

After reading Monday’s entry on things you should do to get ready for THE CALL, I Googled myself (no, it didn’t hurt a bit!) to make sure people — important publishing-type people — could find me. I also checked the RWA Web site to make sure they had the correct contact info. (I’d hate to miss THE CALL because they had my now-defunct home phone. We switched from a land line to just our cells quite some time ago.)

Guess that means I’m as ready as I can be. Less than 10 days to go!

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I’ve had a busy Friday. I not only wrote about 800 words on Meg & Matt’s story, but also finally readied the talk I’m doing on dialogue at next Saturday’s NARWA meeting.

I know, I know. I’ve been procrastinating. A more conscientious person would have started preparing long ago. Actually, I did start gathering info on what makes great dialogue a couple of weeks ago. I just spent tonight finding examples from my writing to illustrate each point.

Here’s a sneak peek of the things I’ve determined make for great dialogue:

  • It moves the story along, intensifies characterization or both
  • It must be true to the character
  • It doesn’t necessarily sound like we talk in real life
  • It can include all the witty comments we don’t think of until it’s too late

Am I forgetting or missing anything? What do you guys think?

Since I launched “Operation Treat Writing Like a Day Job,” I’ve been productive … very productive … more productive than I was most of last year.

I wrote a couple thousand words on Meg & Matt’s story and sent out three more query letters.

There’s room for improvement, of course. I only logged a word count on four of the last seven days.

I’ll try to improve on that number this week. I also have some prep to do for our NARWA board meeting this Thursday.

I also need to start getting ready for my talk on dialogue at our next regular meeting. I’m a little worried about that — I know what good dialogue sounds like, but I’m not quite sure how to go about explaining it to other people.

I sense some research coming on! 😀