Can I Include Dialog in My Story Plan?

This is something I regularly do when composing a plan for a new book, and find it can be extremely helpful when writing up the initial rough draft of the manuscript. It really depends upon the kind of book one is writing, and how one feels when they are writing whether or not to include dialog in the plan. I find that some books are more along the lines of just plotting the action in the first instance, and segmenting the scenes into chapters or parts of a chapter without dialog.

Story Writing Plan Image (Image Credit: jppi at-

Story Writing Plan Image (Image Credit: jppi at

Many times when writing the plan, I find myself carried away by certain scenes, and the dialog just flows from these character exchanges. By having scenes peppered with dialog in the plan, it can make the writing of the first draft so much simpler, as it can be a matter of copying these scenes into the rough draft, and using these as a starting point when refining the particular book in later stages.

If you are not certain about including dialog in your initial story plan, give it a try and see how it works for you. Every writer is different in the way they plan their stories, and execute the writing of these. If you are like me and dialog can crop up when least expected, run away with this if you feel it works, and expect to make yourself excited about the story, and readers in the process when you publish the final draft!




Comedy-romance novella MARIEL’S MARRIAGE MAYHEM is now available to readers. It can be found on the following sites:



Barnes and Noble







Double Cover Reveal: ALBY MARTIN and SILAS SAVAGE

Today I have a double book cover reveal rounding out my books for 2016. New adult romance novelette ALBY MARTIN is first, due in October 2016, followed by short story romance SILAS SAVAGE, the sequel to MAN ON A MOTORBIKE, which will be released in December, 2016.



Cute, spunky university student Alby Martin likes nothing more than to take life as it comes, with a big smile, and heart to match. One day at the park he encounters Faire, a young woman with a troubled home life, and Alby becomes enchanted with the ethereal, but unsettled young woman. A central thorn in Faire’s life is her stepfather Everett who is suspicious of anyone who comes into contact with her. Faire had made a promise to her late mother to look after Everett which he exploits at every turn to his advantage. Will Everett’s interference in their relationship be the ultimate straw, and Alby come to regret his attachment to Faire?



Tragedy has visited Linda’s life yet again, and unable to cope with the loneliness she moves in with her parents. One day she meets the man on the motorbike one year after their initial encounter, and is drawn to get to know him better, despite her parents’ misgivings. Will his moody disposition, and secrets from his past make Linda regret that she came into contact with the enigmatic, volatile Silas Savage?

The Long and The Short of it – Short Books Examined versus Longer Works

This is a topic upon which I ponder every so often – are shorter books looked down upon compared to longer works by readers, or, do readers and writers have a special affinity for bigger books for specific reasons? There are some points which have cropped up repeatedly over time that I would like to examine, and I find these particularly interesting, and helpful, as I myself often write shorter books. I will list each of these points, and detail some of the reasons why these may be so, but also, depict the other side of the matter.

Bookshelf Image from Morguefile by Eamir

Bookshelf Image from Morguefile by Eamir

1.  Short books are haphazard, often badly written, and skim over plot details which longer works explore at a much more leisurely pace, not taking into account the emotional factor for the reader.

This is relative to the reader, and how they envision the individual book, but this can also pertain to a book of any length. Like everything, what is gold to one person may be rusty to another. I have read books which, while in the scope of a short story, novella or novelette, offered long scenes, emotional hooks, and twists and turns that were, quite simply, revelatory. I believe readers may have the preconception that they may be ‘cheated’ if they read a shorter work, but, from experience, this can be alleviated by certain factors for the writer of shorter works.

Having longer scenes interspersed with briefer ones, rather than a collection of short scenes can create the impression of length and smoothness to the reader, and that the shorter book resembles a longer work. Also, segmenting the book into chapters can also make scenes flow better and offer a greater sequence of events, instead of just one unbroken slab of story.

2. Longer books earn more than shorter works, thus the leaning towards them by readers and writers alike.

This does seem to be true from viewing the top books on the websites such as Amazon, and what is in the best-seller lists. The books which are bigger are also generally more expensive, and have more reviews, than the shorter works. The earning power of longer books is probably another attraction, specifically at Amazon, with the feature of 70% royalties for works 2.99 and above. The affinity for longer works, though, neglects the fact that there are some great works waiting to be read which are of a shorter length, and offer the power that a bigger book can, just in a shorter format. There are often shorter books which are priced in the 2.99 bracket, and which possibly earn as much as longer books in this category which is another point to consider.

3. The author who writes shorter works cannot ‘write’ bigger books, thus, they compose briefer works.

From the many short stories that I have read over time, I have found that this is not the case. There are writers who have written both short, and longer books. Stories sometimes do not need to be long, a series of events can be summarised in fewer words than going for a lengthier version, which may become repetitive if stretched out too far. This, by and large, depends upon the writer, and how many characters they wish to deal with. The multi-character narratives are often longer works as they examine/compare/contrast more characters than a shorter work, but, smaller narratives can do the same, but with less characters, and a tighter framework.

What do you think? I have outlined some of the points (probably the tip of an iceberg) which I have seen crop up often about short versus longer works, and would love to hear your viewpoint on this matter.