Friday, March 7, 2008

DUAL BLOG - He Said/She Said Woes & Writing Your Own Sales Copy by Robert W. Walker

DUAL BLOG – He Said\She Said Woes & Writing Your Own Sales Copy, by book makeover artist Robert W. Walker, author DEAD ON

I work extremely hard to remove as many He Said, She Saids as possible in my manuscripts; one of the ways to reduce the number of unnecessary words is to not attribute a line to anyone but rather follow it or preced it with some character's action, which says it was her line or his line due to its being positioned in same paragraph as speaker. You don't see ANY he said, she said in a single comic strip frame or movie frame, do ya?

I like most suspense authors who are on the bestseller list like Robert Parker, Lee Child, and many more, but it's just lazy writing when a book is scattered with he saids, she saids; it is almost as endemic and sickening as hearing the phrase "I think...over and over in any and almost all TV interviews, esp. with politicians. Don't tell me what you think you think, just tell me what it is--the belief, not what you say you believe.

Example My Bad: Mary was angry when she pushed Bill to the floor. She shouted as she pushed him, "You get your filthy hands off me."
Bill worked to regain his feet, and he thought he should come up swinging, so he did. On hitting Mary, he cried out, "That's not the answer I was thinking I’d get, sweetheart.”

Example My Good: “You get your filthy hands off me!” Mary pushed Bill, and he fell to the floor.
Bill regained his feet and came up swinging, striking Mary. “That’s not the answer I want, sweetheart.”

Why on earth do you need to say who said what? Now if you get all your characters, say three, sitting around a table and yammering, OK, maybe some attribute as to who is speaking when helps keep a reader on course but it oughta be used like salt and pepper. Too much spoils the dish.

Now doing a full 180, I want to save you years of grief and explain that the most important story you will ever write is the short-short story about your story—what you would want to see on the back flap of your novel when it sees publication, the copy that will sell it to an editor, or get you a reading from an agent or editor. I always attach my “dream copy” to the manuscript I forward with the intention of selling it. This copy can also be used in verbal pitches. Here is the one I used to sell Five Star books on my 2009 publication DEAD ON. Don’t just read it, study it. See that it is couched in present tense. Read it as a writer – to determine its efficacy and pointed-ness, how it answers in dramatic form the five W’s –who, what, where, when, and why. And in the style of it HOW.

Title: DEAD ON, A Marcus Rydell, Kat Holley Mystery

Private Eye Marcus Rydell is fighting to keep his hold on life in modern day Atlanta Georgia. He is a detective struggling with suicidal tendencies due to his having been disgraced and having lost all he holds dear four years earlier. Marc’s suicidal gun to mouth is only stopped by his cop’s instinct and the promise brought to him by Dr. Kat Holley. She makes him an offer at the point of a gun, one he can’t refuse, for it actually provides him a reason to live in the form of vengeance. Rydell sets aside his plans of suicide to chase a killer who, four years previously, hurt both Kat and him in immeasurable ways. The hunt takes them to the darkest regions of the Atlanta night and the Georgia forests where the monster they are chasing turns on them amid the spectacular Blue Ridge Lake region.

Our flawed heroes hunt a psycho Rambo type who is hunting them. The killer bundles people into square blocks, breaking every major bone, packages them up, hangs them on a tree, builds a fire below them and they die a horrible, torturous death. This monster has eluded police and the feds for four years. Along with a sharp, black German shepherd named Paco, Marc and Kat—who fall in love along the way—must end the maniac’s life before he ends theirs.

Author Bio: Robert W. Walker lives in Charleston, West Virginia with his RN and author wife Miranda and two daughters, two sons, a dog, a lizard, and too many bills. Rob loves traveling and sharing his hard-won lessons on writing via his online Write to Sell class. Contact rob at or become a friend at and for E-books by Rob, see and always return to Acme Authors right here!

COMING ATTRACTIONS from award winning author, Rob Walker – DEAD ON from FIVE STAR PUBLISHING early 2009

Happy Penning,


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