Gordon Korman's Advice on Dialogue & Adverbs

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Gordon Korman's Advice on Dialogue & Adverbs

Post by E McD » February 26th, 2010, 6:37 pm

I got to meet and chat with Gordon Korman today! Very, very cool.

Anyway, I had to share what he told me about dialogue. He said every character in a novel should have dialogue fingerprints - certain expressions or quirks all their own. Perhaps it is the way they say hello or some silly nickname they give people, but it should be obvious without the need of speech tags who is talking. I really like the idea of "dialogue fingerprints."

I also got a chance to ask him his opinion on adverbs. Verdict? He likes 'em! He said it's personal preference - especially when writing for kids. :)

Did you know that the man published his first novel when he was 12?! He's 47 and has written 69 books. He says he averages a new book (from idea to final draft) every three months and that he is ALWAYS mapping out one book while writing another and editing/revising a third. Can you imagine? Makes my head spin...
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Re: Gordon Korman's Advice on Dialogue & Adverbs

Post by dementedtinkerbell » February 26th, 2010, 8:17 pm

That's a really useful idea actually. I didn't think of adding quirks to my characters dialogue to help differentiate between them. Thanks for posting this, it's given me a way to bring out my characters a little more instead of them being a tiny bit flat. I understand about having a lot on the go though, I have gotten halfway through the first draft on one of my WIP's, done the outline for a second and am sketching ideas in for NaNoWriMo. What can I say? I adore deadlines :D
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Re: Gordon Korman's Advice on Dialogue & Adverbs

Post by ThinkBlue » March 1st, 2010, 2:36 am

My kid brother loves his 39 Clues series. It's very cool you got to meet him.

And I agree, adverbs for kids aren't such a bad thing at all. Harry Potter anyone?

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Re: Gordon Korman's Advice on Dialogue & Adverbs

Post by polymath » March 1st, 2010, 12:20 pm

I've contemplated for a long time why and how ample use of adverbs works in one text, but another text sparsely using modifying parts of speech works equally well. I found an answer in several of the ten elements women use in their speech. Robin Lakoff's Language and Women's Place, Harper-Row, 1975.

Women's rights have come a long way since 1975; however, "women's speech" hasn't appreciably changed since then. Rather, women's speech seems to be diffusing into society at large and supplanting men's speech. Young persons regularly use women's speech. Male adults frequently speak with women's speech in context-appropriate situations.

A brief summation of Lakoff's "Women's Speech" at changingminds.org;
http://changingminds.org/explanations/g ... nguage.htm

It's worth noting Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga's ample usage of adverbs and other elements of women's speech demonstrates a perceptive awareness of a voice resonating with the core target audience, young women.
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