Friday, April 12, 2019

Weekend homework

Do you recall this interchange from Plotting for Beginners:

'I detest dialogue,' he said, shuddering.

'But dialogue's the best bit.'

'When I open a book and find dialogue, it's a stark reminder that there are going to be people in there.'

That, my friends, is a direct quote from Dave, who is currently formatting my new novel for publication.

Yesterday, mid-format, he came in the room and said 'Do you think you've got the right title for the book? You're looking for click-bait. Who's going to be attracted by a book called EVEN WHEN THEY KNOW YOU?'

'I would,' I said. 'I'd be intrigued.'

'Really? Well, OK.'

I'm looking at you now, readers. 

1. Would you check out a book called EVEN WHEN THEY KNOW YOU?

2. What does the title EVEN WHEN THEY KNOW YOU suggest to you?

3. How do you feel about the original title FRIENDS, LOVERS AND TREES?

Answers in the comments section below. The easiest way to comment is to click on the Anonymous button and if you want to, you can give your name at the end of your answer.

I'd so love to hear from you. 


Helen said...

Even When They Know You would draw me in more than Friends, Lovers, Trees - but the author would draw me in more... and possibly the cover image (even though you shouldn't etc).

As for dialogue, it's one of my biggest determiners of the quality of an author. I can't stand bad dialogue - the sort that explains things to the reader that the characters already know, eg "I'm just popping over to see Julie, your sister, as she only lives in the next village and you know how down she has been since she broke her leg falling off the horse." Or dialogue which sounds more like written English, so it's too formal when read out loud.

I'm pleased to say you pass the dialogue test but I've read a few books from other authors lately which didn't. One, on the other hand, passed the test so well that I read some dialogue in an Australian accent, and only discovered the speaker was Australian on the next page. And no, there was no mention of "G'day", "Sheila" or "Bruce".

Sue Hepworth said...

Thanks for all of this, Helen. It's very interesting, as well as helpful.

I completely agree about dialogue - I always check the dialogue before I buy a book to see if it is realistic, lively and interesting.

What is the book with the Australian in? I'm intrigued, and I'm looking for something to read.

Sally said...

I would/will be drawn to your new book. I like the title Even When They Know You, it's intriguing, makes me want to know more. Sally

Sue Hepworth said...

Great! Thanks, Sally!

Anonymous said...

Neither title calls me but it’s generally a cover and not the title that gets my attention on a random search of the bookshop shelves. Online it would have to be the author, surely?

Sue Hepworth said...

Yes, it would be the author online. But if it were tweeted or blogged about (as publicity) it would be the title and/or the cover.
But I might be getting some printed to sell at Hassop Station, as it is set in and around the Monsal Trail.

Helen said...

It's The Salt Path, by Raynor Winn - I'm sure you'll have heard of it, everybody seems to be reading it

Sue Hepworth said...

Oh yes, it’s on my list.

Anonymous said...

I suppose everyone will bring their own response to a title - but I agree with others on the now discarded title (Friends, Lovers, Trees).

While a quirky grouping, it is a bit ... flat. Sounds potentially description-heavy.

Whereas ‘Even When they Know You’ is definitely oblique, and intrigues by what it leaves out.
My personal response tends to supply a negative as the implied missing information about ‘them.’
As in ‘They’ll Let You Down, EWTKY’.

Which is surprising, since I’m not usually glass half empty - so maybe it’s to do with the rhythm of the words, emphasising ‘even’, as though there’s a contrast going on.

Thanks for putting the question out there, Sue - very interesting to consider the different impacts.
Hope the various responses help.

Sue Hepworth said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Thea.
This is so interesting.

And to those who have tried to comment and for some reason been unsuccessful, I am very sorry. I have no idea why the comments facility is so unreliable.

Anonymous said...

Have been forced to hibernate due to unreliability of comments function! Am popping my head up now to see what’s going on

Anonymous said...

Relieved. to see my comment published rather than cast into cyber darkness Agreeing with Helen and some others that your new title entices more than original one. As for dialogue... it’s crucial to my enjoyment and I am a harsh critic of the phony. To the extent that it will often cause me to cast the book aside. As a prolific library user, this is so easy to do, of course.

Kristine said...

Hi Sue,
I was intrigued by Helen's comments on dialogue in novels as I too will put a book back on the shelf if there seems to be too much conversation. As a fairly normal Australian (well as normal as you can be at 70) who has never watched "Home and Away" or "Neighbours", and doesn't know anyone who says, 'sheila, g'day or Bruce (?)', I was wondering what in the dialogue of "Salt Path" suggested Australian. Needless to say I have reserved the book at my local library - seems it is popular here too - and look forward to seeing whether I too can pick the Australian character of the conversation.
Best wishes Sue with your next novel, I'm sure it will do well.

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you for your comments, Ana and Kristine. I'm so encouraged.