Day 20 – Streamline the Dialog

This is the continued saga of my foray into Janice Hardy’s Revise Your Novel in 31 Days at-home workshop (

It’s time to see if my characters sound as good as they look. Do they sound like real people and have their own voice and style of speaking? Does their language fit their age and status? Are they having an actual conversation, or just stating information for the reader’s benefit? Are they telling each other things they already know? Is there any pointless small talk?

My characters knew how they talked long before I did, which gives each one their own voice. My protagonist speaks very precise English, while a secondary character drops a lot of ending consonants. One speaks in long rants, while another speaks very little.

The last lesson (narrative) and this one are taking me longer than any of the previous ones, and I have fallen behind. I am combining them so I only have to go through my book once instead of twice. This will save time and, hopefully, get me back on track.

Results: While I know I don’t have to complete every lesson in a day, I have made the effort to do so. The 31-day teaser has me by the shirt collar and I don’t want to disappoint. It is too exciting to think I can cover all these revisions in a month’s time instead of dragging it out for many months, or, in my worst-case imagination, years.

Take-Away Value:

Although your goal, like mine, may be to finish these lessons in 31 days, you have to be realistic. It may take a little longer. Down the road, it won’t matter whether you finished revising in 31 days, 45 days, or 90 days. It only matters that you finished. That is the only goal worth worrying about.




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