The Daily Journal, Wednesday, July 3

In today’s Journal

* A brief note
* Topic: On Dialogue
* Daily diary
* Of Interest
* The numbers

A Brief Note

My wife’s birthday is tomorrow, July 4. Yes, that’s what all the fireworks are really about.

Additionally, my youngest son came down last night to spend the next few days with us. As a result, my time with the Journal (and all other writing things) will be limited for the next few days.

I’ll strive at least to list some items in “Of Interest” for you, and should the mood strike, I might even write a topic or two.

Otherwise, probably not a lot.

I hope you will have a pleasant Independence Day.

Topic: On Dialogue

Today in “Of Interest” you’ll find a (rare) link to a Reedsy post that actually delivers mostly good information.

A few bones to pick:

1. In their rule 10, they use this example:

“Never underestimate me,” she said with a smirk.
“I wasn’t planning on it!” he replied. “You stole ‘The Unstealable Diamond,’ after all.”
“Well,” she said, “I had to find a way to get your attention.”
“You got my attention, all right.”
“I think we should celebrate with a night out,” she said. “Dinner’s on me.”
He remarked, “Dinner can be on you for the rest of our lives.”

Here’s how I would have written that example:

She smirked. “Never underestimate me.”
He frowned. “I wasn’t planning on it. You stole The Unstealable Diamond, after all.”
“Well, I had to find a way to get your attention.”
“You got my attention, all right.”
“I think we should celebrate with a night out,” she said. “Dinner’s on me.”
“Dinner can be on you for the rest of our lives.”

Just below that is a segment on How to format dialogue. Here are my notes, by their numbers:

1. DO NOT indent (begin a new paragraph) with each line of dialogue. DO indent each time a new character begins speaking or (sometimes) after the original character’s dialogue is broken by a narrative beat (she smiled, etc.).

4. Yes, if you exactly quote within a quote, use single quotation marks around the inner quote. But in this case, The Unstealable Diamond, since it’s capitalized, is the name of something. No single quotation marks.

The rest of the post is mostly valid. Where it isn’t valid, at least it isn’t harmful.

For a great deal more on writing dialogue, I recommend my award-winning Writing Realistic Dialogue & Flash Fiction, which you can find at Smashwords (all eformats) or Amazon.

Rolled out way late at 5 after a late night.

This writing thing never ceases to amaze me. With probably most of the day taken with visiting, I almost gave up on the idea of adding to my WIP this morning.

Honesly, I even thought about tanking the whole thing and starting over (or starting a whole new project) on July 7 or 8. (Critical mind, anyone?)

Then I opened the document and read over what I wrote yesterday. I assumed I wouldn’t like it, and that not liking it would validate my all-but-made decision to tank it.

Only it didn’t happen that way.

When I got back to the white space, my characters and their situation took over. My fingers began to move on the keyboard.

The next thing I knew, my cigar had gone out and I’d written the much of Chapter 3. Only 1014 words. I’ll wait to file this edition of the Journal to see whether I write anymore today, but that’s a good start on the day.

Nothing more today. Other things to do. I’ll be back in the morning.

Talk with you again then.

Of Interest

See “Book Tour!” at Check it out. He’s writing his next book while on his book tour. Persistence, anyone?

See “How to Write Dialogue: 10 Simple Rules (Plus 5 Mistakes to Avoid!)” at

See “Watch the re-cast of our D2D AUA Webinar!” (video) at

See “Microsoft’s Ebook Apocalypse Shows the Dark Side of DRM” at

In addition to TPG’s take, I would remind readers that a license for an ebook really is the equivalent of the license you purchase to watch a film at a movie theater when you buy a ticket. You don’t own the film. You license the right to watch it.

Likewise, you don’t own an ebook whether or not it has DRM enabled. You only license the right to read it one time, or however many times you can read it before the license is revoked, if it is.

Fiction Words: 1014
Nonfiction Words: 770 (Journal)
Total words for the day: 1784

Writing of Marco’s Way (novel)

Day 1…… 2159 words. Total words to date…… 2159
Day 2…… 1014 words. Total words to date…… 3173

Total fiction words for the month……… 3173
Total fiction words for the year………… 354511
Total nonfiction words for the month… 3800
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 188000
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 542511

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 7
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… 1
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… 1
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 44
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 194
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

2 thoughts on “The Daily Journal, Wednesday, July 3”

  1. Harvey,

    Thank you for your service to our country. 21 years is a long time to let Uncle Sam hold a blank check with your name on it. Without patriots like you we wouldn’t have a July 4th to celebrate.

    And thank you for your service to writers everywhere through this blog and your fiction and nonfiction works.

    And Happy Birthday! to your wife.

    • Thanks, Bob. Truth be told, I’m a slow learner. Hence my 21-year civilian-appreciation course. (grin)

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