Consonance By Lisa Malabanan
Published: August 25, 2012.
Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary,
Romance Print Length: 369 pages
Elle Martins is a gifted musician ready to start her first
year at College. She is not alone. Elle has the security of her best friends
and boyfriend nearby, attending the same University. Everything seems new and
exciting, but the moment she joins a rock group, her life changes. The band
becomes a favorite among the college crowd. Their performances are a hit thanks
to Elle’s musical genius, and the band garners recognition from a major record
Throughout the school year, Elle struggles over music, decisions,
insecurities, and most of all, love. She is grateful for many amazing
opportunities, yet the chance of a lifetime is within her grasp. Can she choose
the ultimate dream or leave the people she loves behind?
Guest Post !
Using Humor in Dialogue
I’m a new author, so I’m learning and growing as a writer. I
don’t claim to be an expert on how to write good dialogue. Although I can share
how I used funny or sarcastic dialogue to engage the reader’s interest
throughout my first book, Consonance.
My genre is new adult and chick lit. I chose the categories
because I like the coming of age aspect. The transition from high school to
college and from college to adulthood is a sensitive time. I remember this
difficult and emotional period in my life. On the flipside, I remember how
exciting, fun, and scary this moment can be too.
That phase of my life was a long time ago. Still, I recall
that period of life vividly when I look back on my relationships, encounters,
travels, and struggles. Some of my experiences influenced the scenes and dialogue
in the story.
College was a great for me. I’ve met a variety of
individuals. Many are from diverse backgrounds, culture, religions, age groups,
and social status. The majority of my good friendships are with men. Nothing
romantic, at least not on my end, but it’s easier for me to interact with the
guys. Of course, I don’t want to disregard my friendships with the girls
because I have a handful of them.
Being friends with the boys wasn’t always simple. They can
be rude, blunt, and insensitive. I needed to have a strong personality and some
confidence in order to hang around the guys without running away offended. Men
have a sarcastic and “fresh” sense of humor. I had to be just as witty in
return. The jokes, competitiveness, teasing, dares, pranks, and debates pushed
my creativity to try and outdo them. I learned how to act and react with the
different men in my life, past and present.
Humor is one of the qualities that help me maintain a good
relationship with both men and women. I realized this back in high school, used
wittiness in college, and applied it throughout my adult life. It was natural
for me to utilize some sarcastic humor for the dialogue between my female protagonist
(Elle) and her male friends (Drew, James, Kevin, and Ryan) in the book.
One of the main reasons that kept my readers’ interest in
the storyline was the dialogue among Elle and the guys. The bickering between
Kevin and Elle was the most engaging. Both Elle’s and Kevin’s character have
distinct personalities which often conflict with one another. The tension,
whether flirtatious or feisty, provides the fuel to their funny scenes.
Awkwardly, I smile in response, unsure of what to say next. Drew nods his
head and then advances towards the vicinity of James and Sean. Ryan waves with
a return grin and follows behind Drew.
Kevin pushes his luck and chooses to stay, glimpsing the skimpy outfits to
tease me. “Looking for a sexy outfit to wear for me?”
He’s obnoxious and despite Tiffany’s and James’ warning, we banter. “Not!
Slutty ain’t my style.”
Kevin persists. “They’re not slutty. I’ll help you find something...aha!”
He pulls out this heinous blood sucker getup, “Be a vampire, and I’ll let you
sink your teeth in me. C’mon, I know you’re thirsty.”
Enraged, I refuse to back down. “Even I wouldn’t be that desperate for your
tainted blood. I’d rather stake myself.”
Kevin chortles. “I knew you were into some kinky things.” Next, he takes
out another lewd garb infuriating me. His devious grin widens, suggesting, “Be
a sexy nurse, and I can be your patient.”
He’s defiantly flirting after James instructed him not to. Sean is
close-by, and I should walk away although my stubbornness continues. I sneer,
“Sure why not. I’ll check your temp by shoving a giant thermometer up your
He laughs and steps closer, “Ooh promise! I think I have a fever.”
Furious, my fists are clenched, and I’m ready to shove him with all my
might into the display of tacky costumes. Once I raise my hands to make contact
with Kevin, he grabs my arms to lock behind me, lifting my body up at the same
Now his gaze is leveled to my scowl, saying, “You have to be quicker and
stronger to take me down Elle.”
I admit that writing dialogue is tough. I rely on my past
experiences for ideas on the characters’ conversations. Learning to communicate
and relate with diverse people and different personalities helps a lot. I’ve
recently learned to say the dialogue out loud, so I can hear if the lines make
sense, if it’s appropriate for the character’s personality and age, and to
listen out for natural speech.
Pay attention to persons’ mannerisms, style of clothes,
inflections in voice, quirks, use of slang or profanities, and facial
expressions. Study how people react to you. Are they comfortable, upset,
anxious, calm, giddy, nasty, uninterested, nervous, afraid, eager, or violent?
Depending on the reaction, I may change the way I interact or talk with them. I
see a lot of these actions and consequences in my everyday life. Of course,
using humor appropriately helps to ease any tension.
Just observe the casual conversations happening in the
environment. Basically, eavesdropping and spying. The couple sitting across
from you at a restaurant are laughing and chattering. What are they so
entertained about? Maybe they are gossiping about a friend getting drunk at a
party, or remembering a “bad date” encounter, or a practical joke one of them
played on a coworker. Curiosity and imagination are as useful as real incidents
in creating dialogue.
I’m grateful to have those fond memories of college, to have
good relationships with many amazing people, and I look forward to meeting more
individuals. Perhaps I’ll make new friendships and write about those
experiences. After all, the end of one story allows an opportunity to write a
Thank you for having
me as a guest on your blog. I had a great time sharing my experiences with you
and your readers
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I am a graduate of Rutgers College of Nursing and work as
a Professional Registered Nurse in the field of Perinatology. I currently live in the
Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania with my husband and two children. At the age of six, I
discovered piano and classical music. A variety of music genres influenced my life
through the years, and I’m passing on a love of the arts to my daughter and son.
Reading fiction is my escape from the chaos and stress of a demanding yet
rewarding profession. For me, writing transcends the diversion of a good
book. The experience is like commuting on a New York City subway; diverse
people enter and exit the scene, sometimes delays and derailment occur during
creativity, and a train of thought is missed or passed over on occasion. In the end,
an arrival at my destination is what I hope to accomplish, and I invite readers to
take that ride with me.
CONNECT WITH LISA: