Sunday, May 5, 2019

Writing From the Heart in Every Thought, Dialogue and Action

May 5, 2019

Happy Cinco De Mayo! You know what that means. Everyone comes together on this to celebrate and to drink Margaritas. Often in life, we accept dates or celebrations without completely understanding. Therefore, I decided to take the time to give a little history of this celebration. Cinco de Mayo (pronounced [ˈsiŋko ðe ˈmaʝo] in Latin America, Spanish for "Fifth of May") is an annual celebration held on May 5. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army's victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza.. And, now you know as you attend the many festivities held throughout the country.

Writing From the Heart in Every Thought, Dialogue, and Action is Essential for a Bestseller

by Dr. Melissa Caudle

When you author a novel, many first-time authors make the mistake by not adding a character's inner voice into their manuscript. The inner voice of a character gives your readers more information into the secret life and thoughts of a character that might not otherwise be revealed. As you develop your character, develop and use their inner voice to create conflict within the dialogue. Without it, your character comes across as bland and the average run of the mill. Inner dialogue allows for your character to say one thing, move or respond one way when they actually mean something else. Here is an example in this short dialogue with the inner voice. 

Melissa flashed a thin-lipped grin to Irma. "I'm thrilled that you dropped by today. It's been way too long."

"You know the saying, I was in the neighborhood, so I decided to drop by and say hello."

"Glad you did. There's a lot for us to catch up on."

After reading the above dialogue, what tone did you come away afterward? Are they friends? Are they foe? Are they related? At this point, the reader is clueless and the only way to answer the questions is for the author to either clarify with a backstory, which is boring or write creatively using a character's inner voice. Now read the dialogue with the inner voice of Melissa which guides the conversation in a totally different direction.

I  can't believe she dropped by without calling. Melissa flashed a thin-lipped grin to Irma. "I'm thrilled that you dropped by today. It's been way too long." Her eyes diverted Irma's soft-guilty gaze.

"You know the saying, I was in the neighborhood, so I decided to drop by and say hello."

"Glad you did. There's a lot for us to catch up on." She drew a deep breath. Rudeness has always been my niece's issue.

As a reader, we learned a great deal about Melissa and how she really felt about her uninvited visitor -- Irma is Melissa's niece who she considers rude. We learned this through Melissa's inner dialogue. That conversation is now set to head in a conflicting direction, and remember, conflict is an essential element for every scene you author. A bit of a warning, don't add inner conflict for the sake of it. Always have a goal in mind and write from your heart. Don't be afraid to say things or to include actions for your characters to develop them. Make those actions and the dialogue authentic and true to the character.


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Meet Author Stephanie Basco Sullivan

Often, a book crosses that path that is pure and written from the heart and that is exactly what MY HEART SHAPED WOMB is written by Stephanie Basco Sullivan available in paperback and eBook. The book is also available in both English and Spanish.

After reading today's author tip, you know the importance of authenticity and Sullivan delivers. I hope you enjoy meeting this blog's author.

Book Title: MyHeart Shaped Womb

Book Can be purchased on Amazon in Kindle or paperback, available in English and Spanish.

Link to book on Amazon:

Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I was born and raised in Ruston Louisiana. I currently live in Choudrant Louisiana. I went to Ruston High School " Go Bearcats!" Class of 1998. I worked five years as a Veterinarian's assistant and in 2009, attended Louisiana Vocational College and earned my Associate's degree in Nursing. Due to a work-related injury and health problems,

I am now retired, which led me to write my book. I'm married to Shane Sullivan who is also a nurse. Through him, I have a wonderful stepson, Joshua, who is a senior at Louisiana Tech University. I'm most of all a proud mother not only to him but to Shyla, who's been by my side since my daughter's funeral. 

This book is a  very personal journey on loss, and grief, what has been the most difficult in writing it?

The whole book was, in a way difficult to write but especially writing about the day I lost my daughter and the funeral itself was the hardest to write. I relive it everyday but seeing it in words touched a sacred place in my heart.

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

 I have to give all the credit to my publisher, Jodi Hockinson. I was unsure of what I wanted, but she designed a cover so perfect that it took my breath away the first time I saw it. She put a lot of heart and soul into putting my hearts feelings in color if that makes sense. 

Who has been the biggest influence on you personally and as a writer?

I would have to say God, and my daughter's memory influenced me the most to write my story. Of course, my husband and counselor encouraged me as well. However, my daughter's memory was the reason I wrote the book. I just felt led by God to share my story.

What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

Some of the obstacles I've faced were from people who haven't lived through the things I have. Some people can push aside their feelings and walk through life as nothing has ever happened to them. However, for many of us like me, burying my only child was too much to handle. It's a subject that some people keep hidden deep inside and I think that is sad in a way. Keeping loved ones' memories alive is part of the healing process in my opinion. 

Tell your readers about your book.

My book is meant to be an inspiration of hope. That even though you will never be the same person you were before a tragedy such as this but that there is some life to live. I stress the importance of getting counseling and if necessary medication to help cope and have a life outside of your grief. 

Who is your target audience and why?

My book is for mothers who are or might be going through what I did. I want them to know that there is nothing wrong with grieving. That there is no time frame on how long to mourn your loss.

For other parents going through the loss of a child, what advice can you give them?

The only advice I can give to parents going through this unfortunate life changing event is this. Don't let others tell you how to grieve or when to stop. This was your baby. A gift from God even though he took them home before us. Only you know how to honor the memory of your angel. I make my daughter's flower arrangements every year. That's my way of honoring and caring for her. However, please seek counseling. It helps. Don't let anyone tell you differently. 

If you were going to give one reason for anyone looking at your book to read, why should they buy it?

To spread awareness and hope for coping with such a tragedy. To educate the importance of getting help and recognizing the signs of depression. That even though the memory of your child clings to you getting and having support makes it much more manageable.

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

My most significant success in life has been my survival. From birth, my life has always been uncertainty, but through the grace of God, I've managed to push myself to a point in my life that I can take pride in knowing I'm a mother to an angel even though it's been my greatest burden to carry. 

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

I don't know if there's one thing that separates my story from others in my genre. Life throws us different obstacles. Each unique in their way. It's the path you choose to survive that separates us. People mourn in their individual ways. Surviving it is what makes us unique in our testimonies to others.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

Writer's block never really played a roll in this book because I had been living it for over 13 years. So it came naturally. My second book, however, has proven to be a little more challenging. Even though it too will be based on my life, getting started has proved a challenge. However, I've been praying for guidance.

What one piece of advice do you have for new authors.

My advice to new authors would be just writing from the heart. Don't be afraid to express what you're feeling even if it may offend some people. You never know when your words could be the answer that someone out there is looking for.

Tell your readers anything else you want to share.

I just want to thank everyone who has read my story. A lot of love went into this book along with painful memories. It's not easy putting yourself out there with a story like mine, but I want to help others and hopefully with you, the reader I can help someone like me have hope and know that they are not alone. That we are mothers. Mothers of Angels. Which I feel is somewhat of an honor God gave me.