Dialogue and action. Set the scene.
In the rough draft, dialogue is not my friend. Generally, my characters overstate the obvious, say things in long, awkward, complete sentences that no one actually says, and generally talk too much–especially in battle or fighting.
Basically, they talk like Legolas from the Lord of the Rings movies.
What is interesting, in going through my edits, is how often shutting my characters up and describing their behavior makes the scene so much better.
For instance, in the opening scene, my hero, Michael Lodestone is fighting an imortal wizard who was once Rasputin. (I explain how he came back to life after he was killed and transformed another body, including the DNA, to look like him later in the story.) Here is an example of my cheesy dialogue:
Gregori drew low to the ground like a lion ready to spring [lose the cliche]. “I always knew it would be you who…
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