Hi! I’m Cordelia Kingsbridge, and I’m pleased to welcome you to the blog tour for my novel Can’t Hide From Me. Thanks so much for checking it out!
Cordelia’s Writing Hacks
I get a lot of questions on Tumblr about writing tips and tricks that I’ve picked up along the way. Here are three of my favorites:
- Act out your dialogue. I’m a big believer in reading your entire story out loud, in fact, but it’s particularly vital to do this with dialogue. Have you ever read a novel in which the dialogue was so stilted and awkward that you found yourself thinking nobody would ever talk like this? That’s because the author never heard it out loud! The best way to ensure that your characters’ conversations have a smooth, natural flow is to actually hear them spoken.
Acting out dialogue – if you really commit to it – also shows you which body language, facial expressions, vocal intonations, etc. are most organic to the words and the context, which can really help if you’re stuck on those. If you’re feeling too self-conscious, try doing this in the shower!
- Slow progress is better than no progress. Even when you know where you want to take a scene or chapter, writing can be a slow, laborious process. Sometimes it’s because the scene itself is tricky; other times it’s because you’re struggling with motivation or inspiration, or because you’re having an off day and having trouble concentrating. When this happens, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by thinking about how much you have left to write. Just take it sentence by sentence.
I mean that literally. Apartment needs to be cleaned? Go throw a load of laundry in the wash, come back to the computer, and write one sentence. Then go do some dishes, come back, write a sentence. And so on. Maybe your inspiration fires up again and you end up sitting down to write the rest of the scene. Or maybe you do just write the scene one sentence at a time over the course of an entire afternoon.
Either way, the important thing is that words were written. Any forward movement is progress, no matter how incremental.
- Don’t be afraid to write in formats other than prose. Two types of scenes where this is especially helpful are dialogue-heavy scenes and action scenes.
When you have a really dialogue-heavy scene in which several important pieces of information need to be communicated, it can be overwhelming trying to coordinate the dialogue, action, and internal narrative from the get-go. I’ve found it helpful to write scenes like this as a script first: just dialogue and occasional notes on expression or intonation. Once I have the conversation structured so that it flows well and includes all necessary information, I go back and rewrite it as prose, incorporating action and internal narrative as appropriate.
For action scenes, especially fight scenes, try writing out the choreography first. I would actually go so far as to say that you need to do this before you jump into the prose. Make sure the sequence of actions is clear and logical, because once you add the POV character’s emotions and internal narrative into the mix, things can get messy fast. If you’re building off a framework of strong choreography, it can help avoid confusion and continuity errors in the scene.
About Can’t Hide From Me
Charles Hunter’s team is on a mission to extract an unidentified ATF agent from an undercover job gone wrong. All they’ve got to go on is the rendezvous location—until Charles recognizes the ex he hasn’t seen in years. Their “simple rescue mission” is about to get a lot more complicated.
For Ángel Medina, adjusting to life after his cartel nightmare is hard enough without confronting memories of a failed relationship. All he wants is a fresh start. But when a violent stalker lashes out from the shadows, Ángel realizes his nightmare is far from over.
As the stalker’s obsession escalates and bodies start dropping, Charles and Ángel are thrown together in a desperate search for the culprit. Tempers flare and old passions reignite, drawing them back into the same turbulent relationship that once ended in disaster.
But the stalker isn’t letting go—and the next strike might hit straight through the heart.
Available from Riptide Publishing
About the Author
Cordelia Kingsbridge has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh, but quickly discovered that direct practice in the field was not for her. Having written novels as a hobby throughout graduate school, she decided to turn her focus to writing as a full-time career. Now she explores her fascination with human behavior, motivation, and psychopathology through fiction. Her weaknesses include opposites-attract pairings and snarky banter.
Away from her desk, Cordelia is a fitness fanatic, and can be found strength training, cycling, and practicing Krav Maga. She lives in South Florida but spends most of her time indoors with the air conditioning on full blast!
To celebrate the release of Can’t Hide From Me, one lucky winner will receive a $15 Riptide Publishing gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 8, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!