Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Experts in writing remind us to note the differences in females and males when we delve deeply into their points of view. Men and women have different thought processes. Ya think? The same applies to dialog, experts claim. Men don't talk in complete sentences. Well, yes, there are those grunts one has to interpret as yea or nay grunts.

Still, the men I know speak quite well in complete sentences. Take my husband, the retired English teacher, for example. When he's not humming or singing--yes, he is a delightfully upbeat soul--he expresses himself in grand fashion. My oldest son, another language arts teacher, speaks with an effective turn of the phrase, too. Although I must say Steve can speak volumes with that arched eyebrow thingy he does when he finds what you're saying is infinitely stupid. My youngest son, who can monopolize a phone conversation for a good hour, speaks rather effectively, also. So, how can I realistically write dialog for my male characters when the men in my life don't speak in fits and starts?

When I'm out and about, I listen to the way people talk. I note the way women often jump from one topic to another in mid-stream as if their minds were racing on an idea treadmill. Men tend to repeat themselves, especially when conversing with other men. "Like I was sayin'..."

Women do use more adjectives. Men use more slang. Generally, a man's replies to a female's questions are short--probably because he's learned he only has .2 seconds to reply before the woman hits him with another question or a barrage of rapidly-fired sentences. Or is he merely responding in mono-syllables because he finds what the woman is droning on and on about inconsequential?

We are wired differently, aren't we? And thank goodness for that! Women love to talk. Men love to tune them out. Make sure you, as a writer, use those differences. Don't have all your characters sounding alike. We all have our own way of communicating--good, bad or grunty.

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