Monday, November 16, 2020

A TV Guide to Teen/YA Dialogue


Today I'm handing my blog over to Tyrean Martinson, author of Liftoff, a fun, new YA scifi novella. In the meanwhile, I'm over at Tyrean's blog. I also have a short guest spot on Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog, so please visit there as well. Take it away, Tyrean.

Teen/YA dialogue, like any dialogue in any novel, is dependent on character, and is often used to indicate different character traits. While I know I used the phrase, “Cool,” more often than most people I know, one of my daughters says, “Coolio,” with a hint of sarcasm. After watching Community, our whole family started saying, “Cool. Cool, Cool, Cool,” like Troy and Abed. In real life, the phrases we use indicate something about who we are. They can be considered habits of speech. With characters, these habits can become catchphrases or markers of character within a dialogue. 

 If you’ve watched Scooby Doo, you know “Zoinks!” is uttered most often by Shaggy, “Jinkies!” is usually Velma’s catchphrase, and “Jeepers!” is more often said by Daphne than any other character in the show. “Looks like we’ve got another mystery on our hands,” is Fred’s signature line. Between all the variations of the Scooby Doo universe, there are more than 120 episodes filled with dialogue and these catchphrases come up in nearly every episode. The danger is that catchphrases can become overdone, so in later renditions, the Scooby Doo creators tried different phrases, or mixed up which character used them. 

While catchphrases are useful, we don’t want our readers to start thinking we’re lazy as writers. This means, we need to dig into our characters and figure out why they say what they say. In Liftoff, my characters are a teen girl from Earth and an alien boy from a different part of the galaxy. They have a few discussions about language, which was my way of addressing the problems with slang, and also addressing the issue of “universal language” that shows up in many science fiction tropes. Sol doesn’t understand Earth slang and he’s reticent about details concerning the war his people are involved in – both were something I did purposefully to share who he is as a character. 

While I think TV is usually a half-step behind the most current slang, watching some episodes of shows set in modern culture can be a way to begin to understand modern teen/YA slang. If possible, find out what teens you know are watching. Ask parents of teens about slang and word usage, as well as references. My character Amaya has been sheltered by her parents, was sent to private schools, and she enjoys reading; she makes some references to indicate those things about her character. 

Dialogue is often at the heart of how we show who our characters are and how they are developing throughout a novel. It can be tough to do well, and I think in many ways, it takes practice, as well as research. In addition to using TV to guide our dialogue, we always need feedback from beta readers. I know many teens are busy with activities and homework, so I have found the best way to get feedback is to choose a scene or a chapter, and ask for feedback on that. This goes for parents of teens, as well. I ask them to be honest, even if it’s brutally honest. I want to know if I’m doing it right, or not. I changed some of my dialogue because of feedback I received from beta readers who only read three to four chapters. I applied their help to the rest of the book. 

Writing requires dedication and some of that dedication requires listening to the world around us. Listen for the cadences of speech, the cultural references, and the slang in real world conversations and on television shows, and it will help guide you. At the same time, much of writing takes practice. So, write the dialogue. Get it on the page, and get help as needed. 

 

Liftoff: The Rayatana Series, Book 1

A spaceship in disguise,
an Earth girl searching for a sense of home,
and a Thousand Years’ War between alien races,
all collide on a summer afternoon.
 

An old movie theater welcomes Amaya in and wraps her up in the smell of popcorn and licorice. But one sunny afternoon during a matinee, the movie screen goes dark. The theater rumbles. 

Amaya gets trapped in the middle of an ancient alien conflict. Angry and frightened, Amaya entangles herself in a life-changing cultural misunderstanding with Sol, a young alien who keeps omitting key information, even while they’re on the run from his enemies. 

What will it take to survive a battle between alien races involved in an ancient war? 

Liftoff is a fast-paced read for fans of Code 8, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Cobra Kai. 

Kindle - Barnes and Noble - Kobo  - Smashwords - Goodreads 

Tyrean Martinson is an author and teacher from Washington State. As a former fencer and kickboxer, she enjoys writing fight scenes in fast-paced novels and novellas. As a teacher and writing tutor, she loves to get students writing and reading comfortably by any means: talk-to-text, short writing assignments, short stories, novellas, and adventures. She wrote her latest novella, Liftoff, for herself during COVID, but realized it also fits a dream she’s had for a while: to create a short, fast-paced read for teen/YA readers who love popcorn movies, adventure, and sweet romance. 

Blog - Newsletter - Instagram - Twitter - Facebook 

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Don't forget to visit Elle Cardy over at Alex's Blog and over at Tyrean's blog

 

Update: I have a guest post on Ronel Janse van Vuuren's blog 

 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The Reason Behind Choice of Genre #IWSG

Today is the official release of Well of Ash, a YA fantasy novella. 

I have a special treat for you. For a limited time, you can get a free copy of the novella. Get your free copy here

If the whispers call your name, run! 

Seventeen-year-old Ashina has more in common with an untamed fire lizard than the people who are supposed to be her new family. After running away, she’s drawn to the city’s mysterious Great Well. No one knows who built them across the world or why. To linger near makes the skin crawl and the mind drift in nightmares. And yet this one calls to Ash in whispers that pull her closer. 

Despite the warnings from a handsome stranger with gorgeous eyes, Ash searches for answers in dangerous places. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of peculiar events she can’t explain or escape. When both her sanity and life are threatened, she realizes she has more to lose than she thought. Ash must find the answers before she loses everything she holds dear. 

If you like dragons, magic, and a fierce heroine with a wounded heart, then you’ll love Well of Ash, a YA Fantasy novella by Elle Cardy. Jump in today to unravel the secrets. 

If you’d like to support me by buying a copy, then it’s also available on Amazon for Kindle and Paperback

If you don’t have a kindle, you can download the free kindle app for your phone, tablet and/or computer. 

A quick shout out to some supporters. Please visit their blogs and say hi from me:

Jemi Fraser, Diane Burton, Tyrean Martinson, C. Lee McKenzie, Ronel Janse van Vuuren.

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The optional IWSG question of the month: Why do you write what you write? 

As Elle Cardy, I write young adult epic fantasy. I also write scifi short stories and anything that has speculative elements. My fiction will always have something otherworldly and unusual. It will always have fierce female leads. And it will always have some kind of mystery that needs unraveling mixed in with high stakes. Why? Because that’s what I love to read. 

I prefer stories that are set in other worlds, or stories with otherworldly elements. 

Stories that are quick and easy to read. 

Stories with heroic acts and lots of heart. 

Stories that show people overcoming impossible odds. 

Stories that aren’t bogged down in politics or court intrigue. 

Stories that aren’t weighed by complex worldbuilding that has nothing to do with the plot or characters. (But I do love intriguing worlds) 

Stories that open the door to imagination and adventure. 

Why do you read or write certain stories? 

 Please mark Well of Ash "To-Read" on Goodreads. Every little bit helps.


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Cover Reveals and What it Means to be a Working Writer #IWSG

I have two cover reveals for you today. Both novellas! The first is the young adult fantasy novella I've been working on for longer than expected. I blame a dead computer and other distractions. Well of Ash is a standalone with dragons, magic, and a touch of romance. It will be released early November. 

I am currently looking for more critique partners and/or early readers. If you're interested, let me know in the comments or in an email.

 

The second cover reveal is a YA scifi novella by Tyrean Martinson. Liftoff is book 1 in the Rayatana Series. The release date is November 10th.

A fast-paced read for fans of Code 8, Captain Marvel, and Cobra Kai

An old movie theater welcomes Amaya in and wraps her up in the smell of popcorn and licorice. But one sunny afternoon during a matinee, the movie screen goes dark. The theater rumbles. 

A spaceship in disguise, an Earth girl searching for a sense of home, and a Thousand Years’ War between alien races of The Great Galaxy, all collide on a summer afternoon. 

When the spaceship rumbles to life, it traps Amaya in the middle of an ancient alien conflict. Angry and frightened, Amaya entangles herself in a life-changing cultural misunderstanding with Sol, a young alien who keeps omitting key information, even while they’re on the run from his enemies. 

What will it take to survive a battle between alien races involved in an ancient war? 

Liftoff is an action-packed science fiction novella for teen/YA book lovers who enjoy space battles, fistfights, and a hint of romance. 

Pre-order Sale: 99cents for Kindle. This price is only guaranteed through the first day of book release.

To find Tyrean Martinson: Blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.

The IWSG question this month: What is a working writer? 

I started writing in my early teens and it took nine years to finish my first book, which I promptly shelved. I literally wrote a sentence here and there, a single paragraph one month, then I'd have a burst before slowing down again. It may have taken close to a decade to finish, but I still saw myself as a working writer because my ultimate goal was to get published. It didn't matter that the first book didn't reach that goal. I'm a firm believer that no writing is wasted writing. You're only a hobbyist if you strictly write for yourself with no intention of sharing it with anyone else. At least, that's my definition. What's yours?



Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The Ultimate Beta Reader #IWSG


Two weeks ago I released the box set of my Wielder's Storm trilogy. It was fun to do the cover for it and get the series out there as a complete ebook set. Now I've set my mind on a new book. This one will be a standalone (maybe). I plan to release it before the end of the year. I also have another series in the works which will be released next year.

Next month will be the first anniversary of my first novel and going indie. It's gone by so fast and its been a crazy roller coaster, but I've been loving it. I'm insanely busy with my plans and with other commitments I've made this year. I think I'm happiest when I'm busy.

How about you? What have you been doing?

Now on to the IWSG question of the month:

If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why? 

Patrick Rothfuss, author of Name of the Wind

While this epic fantasy is long and rambling, it is magnificent and beautiful and it sucks you right in. The characters are complex and interesting. The world is rich and detailed. The magic system is intriguing. Patrick knows his craft!

How about you? Who would you pick?




This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month, members post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG or want to learn more, then please go HERE.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Wielder's Storm Box Set Release

It's here at last! Wielder's Storm Trilogy is now available as a complete set on Amazon. It's available as an ebook for cheaper than if you'd buy the series separately.

Wielder's Storm Trilogy is an action-packed epic fantasy that will sweep you across the high seas on a thrilling adventure full of exciting twists.

This complete box set contains Wielder’s Prize, Wielder’s Curse and Wielder’s Fire.

Wielder’s Prize
Snatched for what she isn’t. Hunted for what she is.
Despite having an abusive cook as a father, Jasmine wouldn’t change her life on the high seas for anything—until that life is shattered. When she’s snatched from the only home she’s ever known and forced to crew a different ship, she learns a terrible truth. She is an untrained magic wielder who is a threat to everyone if she can’t control her power. But she’s not the only out-of-control wielder on the high seas, and the secret of that wielder could change everything she thought she knew—if she can survive.

Wielder’s Curse
A dark vision. A dangerous curse. A fierce girl caught in between.
Jasmine thought her adventures were over, but terrifying visions continue to haunt her. When a loved one’s life is threatened, she risks everything to hunt down the would-be assassin. What she finds is not what she expected. Too late, she realizes she’s endangered the ship and crew. On the run, she is pursued across the high seas to an unknown land. If she can’t master her power, she won’t be able to protect anyone. If she can’t accept help, then she could turn into something worse than the thing that hunts her.

Wielder’s Fire
Jasmine’s secrets have been laid bare, her magic stripped. All she has left is a fire in her soul to defeat the oncoming storm.
Shipwrecked on a forsaken island, Jasmine has nothing but her anger and determination to keep her warm at night. Without her magic, she must find a way to defeat a powerful enemy that can raze townships and summon sea monsters. When she discovers an ancient magic, she embraces it. But it may not be all it seems, and she could be exchanging one sword to the throat for another.

For fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, who love exciting tales with dark secrets and unexpected twists. Lose yourself today in Elle Cardy’s epic fantasy adventure.


And if you've already read the series, please consider leaving a review.

Amazon, Goodreads, Bookbub
 
Please head on over to S. A. Larsen  for a spotlight on Wielder's Storm.