Monday, March 3, 2014

Book Tour for Into the Darkness by K.F. Breene (GIVEAWAY)

Today's week starts off with a book featuring a favorite theme of mine.  Keep reading to get a taste of the gritty paranormal read, Into the Darkness by K.F. Breene, and learn even more about this unique read by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  Also enjoy some writing tips about dialogue from K.F. Breene along with filling out the form below for the chance to win a $50 Amazon GC to make this tour stop complete!  And now, let's welcome K.F. Breene.......

A lot of authors have trouble with dialogue in their books. Dialogue, some books, is written like an essay, or a professional letter. In other words, with correct grammar, punctuation, complete sentences and structured paragraphs. And while this technically correct, it makes for a tedious and unrealistic read. 
Maybe I should step back and give you a little history on my writing.
Like many, I’ve been writing since I was a kid. And when I say like many, I mean normal people. I wasn’t, nor am I still, a budding writer (despite the fact that I do write). Instead, I was a kid that occasionally had to write a story for homework. I wrote a million and a half book reports—I hated every one of them. I researched and wrote other reports. When I got older, I graduated to writing essays. In college, there was a period where I had to write an essay a week.
This is not an embellishment. One essay per week for about a year and a half. I became a freaking master at writing essays.
The thing with essays is, there’s a structure. I learned this in grade school, yes, but I didn’t fully understand it until college. I didn’t realize that if you had the formula, you basically just cut out half the work. Outline it out, fill it in, and nail it down. Not too hard. You can make an argument about anything, and as long as you have enough supporting evidence, you’re fine. You’re just making a point.
I’ve made a great many points in my time.
When I write a story, I’m not making a point, I’m having an experience.
If you look back at this post, you’ll realize that, unlike when I write essays, I am speaking to you (the reader) casually. I am communicating with you via words on computer as I would use words from my mouth.
Was not has become wasn’t.
It is has become it’s.
I use “and” at the beginning of a sentence to continue the thought along.
I throw in ‘freaking’.
I use fragments: “One essay per week for about a year and a half.”
I write my thoughts down as if I was talking to you right now. This is not grammatically correct. Which is the point. One of the main things people love about my stuff is my dialogueand how the characters think.
For organic dialogue, I try to get in the character’s head. I’ve even gone so far as to cut off half-way through a sentence because another thought popped in, taking them in a different direction. I might’ve wanted to speak on that first point for a second longer, but now I’m spun in this new direction. And I go with it. More often than not, if something crops up, I go with it.
Another thing I do is allow for how the character speaks. In Jessica Brodie Diaries, there was a guy that always used a deep South slang. “Good ‘un,” was used. “I ain’t got no idea,” might’ve been in there. There was also an Irish girl, so she might’ve said, “Ah sure, I’ve no idea.” Or, “What’re ye on about?”
I hear the accent in my head, and write it down how it sounds. If someone is slowly winding up (starting to freak out), sentences get shorter and shorter, more choppy and panicked. I want the reader to hear the character’s voice when he/she reads the dialogue.
Some characters, like Stefan in Into the Darkness, speak a touch more formally. They have a certain position in society, or have been around for a long time, and they don’t chop their sentences up like speech today. This is an example of a character that comes later in the series: “I will let you know if I cannot fulfill that duty.” This is instead of: “I’ll let you know if I can’t do it.” That was a conscious choice for that particular character (who is a touch odd, by the way).
The drawback is, I do lose some readers with my shotgun style writing. I get some reviews about the “terrible editing.”
These days, my books go through two or three rounds of edits and a few picky beta readers (critical readers). My team catches spelling and grammar issues as well as plot holes, inconsistencies, and other problems. The editing is 95% sound.
So the “terrible editing” these readers are speaking of is everything I’ve described above. I could wine and dine them with a structurally correct essay-extravaganza, but I’d bore myself. Writing is fun—imagining people talking to each other and thinking absurd thoughts is a good time. It’s my style. Some love the realism of it. Some don’t. But for authors wanting more realistic dialogue, it’s important to write like you speak/think. That’s the key.

I’d always been different. I saw objects in the night where others saw emptiness. Large, human shaped shadows, fierce yet beautiful, melting into the darkness. I collected secrets like other women collected bells; afraid to fully trust lest my oddities be exposed.
Until I saw him. He’d been gliding down the street, unshakable confidence in every step. It wasn’t just that he was breathtakingly handsome with perfect features. Something about him drew me. Sucked my focus to him and then tugged at my body. As his eyes met mine, I was entrapped.
No one had noticed him. He’d been right there, just beyond the light, but only I had perceived.
I had to know if he was real. Or maybe I really was crazy. And even when my secret box was blasted wide open, dangers hurled at me like throwing knives, I couldn’t stop until I unraveled his true identity.
I just had to know.
“She was fated to live.”
“Then why must you save her?”
“Often Fate is struck down by dumb luck.”


As I met his black eyes, his puzzled expression deepened. “You’re human…”
“We established that, yes. What I want to know is, if I am human, what does that make you? And why do I notice you when others usually don’t?”
His head cocked to the side. His easy balance, his lethal edge; he was like a blade resting on billowing silk. “Very few humans are able to withstand our pheromones. Fewer still to break a Kolma once it has been placed. You’ve not been trained, that’s obvious, so how is this possible when you’re definitely human? Do you possess the blood of another species?”
I could barely think past the pounding ache of my body, begging to touch him. I needed to get a grip! He was revealing some very interesting factoids that I needed to jot down in my mental notebook.
His nostrils flared. “Charles was right; your arousal is a unique scent. Like a spicy, warm drink on a mid-winter’s night. It rises above other smells, entrancing the mind.”



A wine country native, K.F. Breene moved to San Francisco for college just shy of a decade ago to pursue a lifelong interest in film. As she settled into the vibrant city, it quickly became apparent that, while she thought making and editing films was great fun, she lacked cinematic genius. For that reason, her career path quickly changed direction. Her next goal was a strange childhood interest, conjured at the dining room table while filling out a form. For some reason, her young self wanted to be an accountant. Thinking on it now, she often wonders how she had any friends. Regardless, it was the direction she finally took.
While she could wrangle numbers with the best of 'em, and even though she wore the crown as the most outspoken, belligerent accountant in the world, her mind got as stuffy as her daily routine. It was here that she dusted off her creative hat and began writing. Now she makes movies in her head, not worried about lighting, shutter speed or editing equipment. Turns out, a computer is much easier to manage than a crowd of actors. She should know, she was an actor at one time.



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  1. Once one of my characters was speaking in a dialect and my sis really attempted to make it clear to me that I should write exactly the same way I talk, be it descriptive text or any character's dialogue. Apparently it "leaves a very bad impression if author depicts someone different from themselves, and no one likes to read such weird and grammatically incorrect text".

    1. Ah, but, in a global economy, how you speak isn't necessarily how your reader speaks. Plus, if you only write how you sound, all of your characters will sound the same. That said, everyone's style is different- each author has to find their own way :)

    2. I did bring up I don't want all my characters sounding the same. She said I'm being a bad writer for not agreeing to her, as a critic's, argument. I dropped the topic fast as telling her I can't agree with everything thrown my way would likely have made things worse. Furthermore, I mainly write for the fun of it :)
      I really like your tips, btw. Realism, even in supernatural themes is really important to me :)

  2. I really enjoyed your comment. I think that good dialogue is really important to a story.

  3. I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. Interesting info about dialogue

  5. The excerpt was great. It hooked me and had me wanting to know more about the characters.

  6. I like the dialogue to actually sound like the character. Not everyone speaks the same, heck even in the US there's no one way fits all. There are so many different dialects and languages, and it's important to me for a character's dialogue to match their background/culture/ethnicity/where they're from.

  7. I received awards and accolades for my writing while in college pursuing my BA in Communication. I've even been published on three occasions. All for research writing lol. Therefore, for the reasons you pointed out above, I am not a writer, although many times I have tried to become one. Some how, I'm unable to break out of that research mode whereby I present the facts ma'am and nothing but the facts smh.

  8. As an ex executive managing editor for a publishing company, I totally agree with your post. I would always tell my authors to "Write it like they would say it!" and throw grammar rules out the window. I did stress that if you wanted the dialogue to make an impact that goes beyond capital letters and italics, go the long way and use "Do NOT" instead of "Don't", because it does leave quite a punch.