Here are three quick tips on dialogue. No comments on my stellar acting, please! If you can’t watch this video, try this:
My parents were adventurers. In my lifetime, the only time they truly got along was when traveling. They lived in separate houses 400 miles apart, but remained married, and traveled together a lot.
The way we camped was to pack the trunk of the car with sleeping bags, a stove, a tent, water, gasoline, and a box of food, then drive–only backroads– highways were for tourists, not adventurers. When it came time to sleep, they’d pick a spot that seemed safe and secluded to put our sleeping bags on the ground if there was no rain, tents if there were. I’m pretty sure we were trespassing in farmer’s fields much of the time, and that was mostly okay in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, as was sleeping on the side of the road.
Sometimes, people DID consider it trespassing, as when some shepherds in Turkey attacked us in the night and we had to make a getaway across a river, but that was before I was born.
My novel Blue Woman Burning (due out in December 2021), is partly autobiographical, and starts with one such trek from Santiago, Chile to Oneonta, New York, in a Dodge Dart sedan. 12,000 miles. Took us six weeks. Here’s a picture.
If you have any writing block tips, add them below! I love to hear from you.
Who knew this medium could help you revise and memorize? First you have to find a poem that fits easily into 60 seconds. It can’t be much more than 20 lines, because you need to speak slowly if you want people to really absorb it. Normal speaking rate for public speaking is about 150 words a minute. For poetry, I’d go slower. You have to do so many takes that it forces you to learn the lines and to make better decisions about how to say them. Add a little music, flip the camera around to record something besides your face once in a while, and voila!
One special effect on Tiktok is devil eyes, which gave me the idea that I should use it to read my story “Lilith Confesses” from my book Strange Appetites, due out on Amazon in September, about the baby-strangling, demon-birthing first wife of Adam’s from Jewish mythology. At 340 words, it was way too long for Tiktok, which tops out at 60 seconds. Here’s the result. I like it better than the original.