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10.01.2009

Writing Dialogue and the Apex Halloween Contest

I'm really enjoying Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series. His research is meticulous and I really like his pacing. Crisp, ten-page chapters that move well and are nicely stuffed with Bosch's personal and professional tribulations abound in these books.

Bosch has his requisite demons and he's more than driven, but he's also a fighter with a sense of fair play. He's one of the good guys, despite his questionable methods, and the kind of character you hope truly exists in law enforcement.

Connelly's Los Angeles is well rendered. A former reporter, he knows the city and its flavors well, giving each of the hundreds of neighborhoods in greater L.A. a fair shake. In that way, he reminds me a lot of Jon Kellerman.

My only gripe is with the dialogue. Almost none of his characters use contractions when they speak. It seems disjointed in spots. These are cops, right? Notorious manglers of the English language...

Still, the books are great. I'd say they're required reading for any aspiring crime writers.

Also, in terms of a market update, Apex Books is hosting its fourth annual Halloween Contest. This one closes on October 15, so try to work up something quickly if you'd like to enter. The prompt (sci-horror blending urban legends and aliens) is awesome, and I'll be ordering the finished anthology.

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