Tag: Sabrina Salter

Sabrina Salter

To Cuss or Not to Cuss

 Cussing. Swearing. Cursing. Blaspheming. Call it what you want. Many people do it, some don’t. Writers know how important word choice is. Dialogue is more authentic when it sounds like how ordinary people talk. So what is a writer to do about “The Seven Dirty Words You Can Never Say on Television” made famous by George Carlin when arguably all but one of those words are heard frequently in the conversations of ordinary people.            My father had a master’s degree in English from Boston University, uncommon in his generation. He worked in promotion and advertising throughout his career, beginning with a stint in the Navy under Admiral Halsey working on the Victor at Sea series. Believe me, this man knew his words. An excerpt from a little parent bickering: “Kay, don’t be so banal.”Would this man ever start a sentence with “Gosh”? Hell, no. Kay, on the other hand, replaced words she considered “vulgar” with ones acceptable to her. Sh*t became “burp.” “When are you going to pick up all that burp in your bedroom, Michele?” I’ll save how she renamed body parts for another day.            How we use our words is a reflection of who we are and what […]

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Oh, the Places You'll Go

Warning: These photos of the places that inspire my fellow Miss Demeanors will cause longing and dreaming (and, we hope, a little fear about the darkness lurking beneath all that beauty). The only remedy is to open up a book. Tracee: First off, I start with Switzerland! Everything about it is special. Kidding aside, when I develop my story I think about places in Switzerland that are special – meaning there is an element of unique to that place. A castle on the shore of Lac Leman? An elite boarding school set in a chalet? The world’s leading watch show? The task is to share these with readers without too much description. What is the essence of the place? Perhaps the people who are there (their behavior, clothing, actions); the smell (fresh air, smell of cows, chocolate); the architecture (new concrete, historic stone). I find myself diving in and then trimming the description, and trimming. People need enough to understand the atmosphere but not build the building. Paula: I fell in love with Vermont many years ago, and so I set A Borrowing of Bones there simply because Iwanted to visit this wonderful place in my mind as often as I could. The research trips where I get to go […]

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