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Sassy Sarcasm with Dellani, Karen, Rachel and Ruth

We’re doing something a bit different today. Instead of just one author, you’ve got FOUR! There’s a reason for this, so please bear with us but a moment and read on.

Sassy Sarcastic
Sassy Sarcasm

Sarcasmˈ/särˌkazəm/ Noun: The use of irony to mock or convey contempt. Synonyms: derision, mockery, ridicule, scorn, sneering, scoffing….

And the list goes on. It’s important to define this word, because not everyone knows what sarcasm is, but we all use it to one degree or another. I’m convinced my family would be unable to communicate without it. In fact, my youngest son was, without doubt, the most sarcastic five year old in his kindergarten class.

Sarcasm is a tool that, when used properly, can add interesting dimension to an author’s dialogue. Imagine your favorite characters on a TV show or in a movie, chances are, they’ve got a snarky side. These characters, and their lines, are memorable because they really spice up the chitchat. This witty repartee is fun to listen to, read and to write. I’ll be honest, I don’t think my characters could communicate without sarcasm, either.

I’ve been told I’m sarcastic. I shall neither confirm nor deny this allegation. Instead, I’d love to share some of my work with you and you can judge for yourself. Over the next few weeks, a few of my (supposedly) sarcastic friends are going to talk about using sarcasm in our work and in life. Rather than giving them a big introduction, I’ll let their work speak for them. If you’d like to find out more about these ladies, click the Guilty Parties link above.

Sit back, sip your favorite beverage, (I find that sarcasm is best with lemonade, but you be the judge) and be prepared for some dry humor, wise cracks and a tad bit of sarcasm. Just a little…not too much….

© 2017 Dellani Oakesdellani photo dark red

Undiscovered – Dellani Oakes

Someone wants movie producer Kent Griswald dead. Unfortunately, the first attempt is foiled by the fact that it’s not Kent on the beach, but his younger brother. In broad daylight, in front of dozens of witnesses, someone takes a pot shot at Connor. Detectives Weinstein and Scott are dispatched to investigate.

Detective Vanessa Weinstein came on the scene ten minutes after the shooting. Aggressive and competitive, she was an up and comer. She knew how to play the game and used her femininity to her advantage. Dressed in a black power suit and a very white shirt, she stood out clearly on the beach. Somehow, in some mysterious way that Walter Scott couldn’t explain, the woman didn’t sweat. Her black hair was sleek, unmoving in the wind off the ocean. Her skin was perfectly dry, not even a bead of sweat on her full lips.

Undiscovered by Dellani Oakes - 200

“The rest of Daytona’s in hell in this late season heat wave and you stand there looking like the Sugar Plum Fairy,” Scott complained, wiping his face with a handkerchief.

“Don’t sweat in my crime scene,” she said in a bored tone. “What’s going on upstairs?”

“Got two perps, one actual shooter, one decoy. Second guy left his weapon. Your guy left a shell casing. Looks like both had the same kind of gun. No serial numbers on mine.”

“Why would they make it easy? You didn’t find my gun, huh?”

“Nope. But the shell’s a 5.56mm, so we’re figuring they both had identical weapons. MSSR.”

She nodded, taking a sip of hot coffee from an insulated mug. Scott slurped water from a rapidly warming bottle and wiped his brow on his fist.

“Jeez, can we at least get outta the sun? I’m gonna fry.”

“You should try getting a tan, Walt.”

“I’m Scottish and Scandinavian, Ness, I don’t tan. You could put me out here all day, I’d burn red as a beet.”

“They’re purple.” She moved into the shade of a cabana bar where they’d set up their command center.

“Whatever.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

KAREN TIMMYS 2013

Dead Men Don’t Swing – Karen Vaughan

My characters wield sarcasm like well-sharpened sword. Laura Hamilton Fitz uses sarcasm to deal with sticky situations when faced with bad-asses trying to kill her and annoying people she has no patience for. Many people will tell you she has an attitude but as a busy mom, CSI and corpse magnet extraordinaire. (see I used sarcasm there) Laura doesn’t have time for BS.

Stella is Laura’s nemesis (next to her mother of course) and knows how to push the girl’s buttons. I am surprised that Stella herself hasn’t made it to Laura’s hit list…. Anyway, in one scene from Dead Men Don’t Swing Laura puts Stella in her place after the pest gives her a hard time about doing a eulogy for a dead, and might I add, not well liked tenant.

Dead Men Don't SwingI went down the hall to the laundry room. I couldn’t even fathom doing a load before checking the traps and washing out all the machines before using one. I was just putting my loads in when Stella flounced in. I gave her a look that said, “Don’t start lady.” She’s either dense or doesn’t care and got on my case about the eulogy.

“Ya know Stella, you’re usually an astute woman but right now you are down to two brain cells and they are limping. I am only going to say this once, so listen closely! You can shove your eulogy! I don’t know the guy. The other tenants aren’t being forthcoming with details except for stuff I refuse to put in a tribute to the dead man. I also don’t have the time for this crap and it’s not my job.”

© 2017 Karen Vaughan

Ruth Davis Hays

Ruth Davis Hays – Translations from Jorthus Series

Tools of the trade Sarcasm can be a fun and useful tool. It can be brought up in different ways. It can be presented in the narrative to express a character’s particular view of the world:

High school locker rooms. Every kid’s favorite place. The arena to expose our physical flaws to our worst critics like exposing our jugular to a vampire. (Watchdogs, a young adult novella in progress)

Or it can be a personality trait displayed in speech:

The Illusion by Ruth Davis Hays“A snow storm in the desert? Nothing out of the ordinary here!” Keinigan tried to pry a laugh from his dour companions.

Yet, his question was taken in earnest by the good dravan scholar, who proceeded to educate him on climate aberrations and how a reoccurring anomaly marked over a span of documented time can be construed as an ordinary pattern.

Keinigan groaned and pulled his cloak down over his head to block the freezing winter winds. The amount of snowfall was indeed strange for this area, but he made a mental note not to attempt humor around Master Calbraum anymore. (The Illusion, a Jorthus novel in progress)

My favorite, from time to time, is to use it to quickly convey a relationship between characters:

Before Dharromar could open his mouth, Keinigan’s fist smashed into his jaw. When the stars cleared from his brain, he was blinking up at his attacker. “I get the feeling you’re not happy to see me,” the changeling groaned from the dirt.

“Actually, I’ve been waiting to do that for a long time.”

“Feel better?”

“Little bit. You?”

“Wonderful. Your concern for me is truly touching. Now if you really want to be a help, you could come down here and suck my bolls.”

“Maybe later. I’m too busy celebrating.” Keinigan shuffled around the tent randomly as he listened to the voices of Lylith and the magda councilors filtering through the fabric. “Didn’t you hear? The changeling has returned to save us! Hoorah! The darquone are already retreating just hearing you’re back. I feel folching fantastic!” (The Illusion)

When the bite of sarcasm is set in contrast to more sincere narrative or dialogue, it stands out to the reader and punctuates either the writer’s opinion of the character or the situation. I find it incredibly irresistible at times, but must remind myself to read it not as intended but as written, in order to find out if the words are successful. If the sarcasm does not come across, either I am not doing my job or I need to rethink my use of the tool.

© 2017 Ruth Davis Hays

Rachel Rueben

Fedelta – Rachel Rueben

Disheartened, Cassie began to make a quiet retreat when she turned around and saw a homeless man who put his hand over her mouth and dragged her towards an abandoned building behind the brownstones. Biting his hand, and elbowing him in the face, she managed to free herself from his grasp. Turning around, she kicked him right in the yam bag when the homeless guy yelled in agony, “Damn’ it Cass!”

Doing a double take, she looked closer at him only to realize it was Amato. “Jesus, John, what the hell you doing walkin’ up on me like that?”

“Tryin’ to get you out of trouble!” he said through gritted teeth. Doubled over, Amato took deep breaths trying not to vomit in the alley.

Blushing, Cassie tried not to laugh. She was tempted to apologize but that wasn’t happening. Besides, it was nice to know she could still handle herself even in her messed up condition. A few minutes passed before she asked, “Ya gonna be alright?”

Fedelta 2He looked up at her bewildered, “No wonder we broke up.”

Shrugging her shoulders, she answered right back, “Not every man can handle a strong woman.”

“Not every man wants a ball buster.”

Straightening up, Amato signaled for her to follow him as he limped away. Not feeling all that great herself, was starting to feel a sharp pain in her head. She had forgotten to take her meds and was now paying the price for it. As the two of them hobbled away from danger, the sounds of the city permeated the air playing a soundtrack to this ridiculous love story. Sirens, barking dogs and Amato’s bitching rang loudly in Cassie ears as she wondered how the hell they were ever gonna make it through this?

© 2017 Rachel Rueben

Join us the 15th of every month when one (or more) of us will share snippets of our stories — focusing on sarcasm, of course! We will comb through our work and find the best bits for you. You have our promise on that! Would we lie to you? ~Dellani

Source: Sassy Sarcasm with Dellani, Karen, Rachel and Ruth

When You’re The Killer!: A Revelation About Writer’s Block

Cereal Authors

pinterest_7ad39d2556 Image via Pixabay

In the last year I’ve been suffering from writers block and I couldn’t understand why?  I mean I could see the story clearly but I had trouble coming up with the right words.  Every scene was a struggle, which led to me abandoning the story (Miss Mary Mack) several times.  Then one day I was having a discussion with a friend who was having trouble dealing with her teenage daughter when she came to the realization that their problems were rooted in the fact that they were both so similar.  Now if that isn’t the ultimate form of irony then I don’t know what is?  However as my writer’s block continued, I read several articles on why authors write themselves into their work and reached a shocking conclusion: I was Miss Mary!!!

No, I don’t go around murdering people, (although those thoughts do pop up in my…

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So New, It Doesn’t Even Have a Title

Cereal Authors

A work in progress:

The juice box was definitely against me. Its resistance was punctuated by a taunting titter.  My efforts to open it were futile, it mocked.

WIP copyNo, wait. The snickering was not the juice box. It came from down the lunch table.  I didn’t even have to look their way. I knew who was laughing, and I didn’t want to see if it was me they were laughing at.  In my heart, I knew it was.

I continued to stab at the little cellophane covered hole with the sadly beveled end of the hard plastic straw like Van Helsing at the climax of a bad B movie. The final strike bent my straw, but rewarded me with a squirt of lukewarm apple juice in the face. An arterial explosion worthy of the best special effects artist in the business.

The laughter from the perfectly coifed girls at the…

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Character Quotes from Bad Day by Dellani Oakes

Cereal Authors

character-quotes-imageThere was some fumbling with the curtain and a young doctor poked his head in with a grin. “Am I in the right place? I’m looking for Reva Kelly?”

I waved, smirking sardonically. “You’ve found what’s left of me.” I grinned shyly.

He eyed me in a more than professional fashion, lingering on my broken ankle. Then his gaze drifted back up to my eyes, focusing there.

“Red hair,” he murmured.

“And green eyes,” I countered. “And you are?”

A brown haired, sun bronzed love god, by the look of him. His eyes were a amber brown with little flecks of gold.

“Sorry, I’m Mr. Perrine’s personal physician.” He smirked and winked.

“You are really a doctor, aren’t you?” This was from Jane. I guess she felt like I did that he looked really young.

“Of course. Doctor Hal Perrine at your service.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s…

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AN ODE TO SNAPPY DIALOGUE

Cereal Authors

MY MOM ALWAYS TOLD ME TO FIND A GOOD HOOK IN YOUR STORY TO ENGAGE YOUR READERS. WHAT BETTER HOOK THAN GREAT DIALOGUE.

SOME AUTHORS SWEAR BY DESCRIPTIVE NARRATIVE  OTHERS LET THE CHARACTERS TELL THE STORY BY WHAT THEY SAY.

I, FOR ONE, LOVE GREAT DIALOGUE AND I KNOW A FEW WRITERS WHO AGREE THAT DIALOGUE TELLS THE STORY. SURE YOU NEED SOME NARRATIVE TO DESCRIBE WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE STORY BUT READERS REALLY RELATE TO WHAT THE CHARACTERS ARE SAYING.  IT MAKES THEM REAL.

HERE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITES FROM MY BOOKS AND THOSE OF A FELLOW AUTHOR DELLANI OAKES. MY OPINION IS “DELLANI IS THE QUEEN OF DIALOGUE!”

DEAD ON ARRIVAL

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CHAPTER 1

“Okay Gerry,” I said, “cut the crap!  How did you get Velcro’s’ body in here?”

“What do ya mean how? You mean you think I did this, thanks a lot!” he…

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Review of Dead Men Don’t Swing by Karen Vaughan

Cereal Authors

Dead Men Don't SwingLaura Fitz is at it again! Cookie the Corpse Magnet can’t seem to stop this propensity for finding dead bodies. The fact that she finds this one is lying in the dumpster, isn’t really her fault. She’s doing an assignment for her crime scene investigations class, when she comes across the body of Dennis, a resident in the apartment building. Once again, Laura becomes embroiled in an investigation that brings her to the brink of disaster. Her long suffering hunk of a husband, Gerry, can’t keep up—poor guy!

Karen Vaughan’s cozy mystery, Dead Men Don’t Swing, is a wonderfully entertaining read. Her characters are funny, quirky and full of life. Her stories are top notch and full of sarcastic humor.

Vaughan has delivered another villain to loathe in the person of Missy Sawyer. Fortunately for Laura, Missy is more cocky than capable. I love following the antics of Laura…

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Character Quotes from So Much It Hurts by Dellani

Cereal Authors

character-quotes-image“Do you cook?” Yancy asked.

“I do. Why?”

“Because we get tired of eating out. If we pitch in on ingredients and assist in the kitchen, will you cook?”

“I’d love to.”

“Sweet. You don’t mind cooking for a crowd, do you? Because when word gets out….”

“Not at all. Dad runs a restaurant back home. I’ve worked there since I was ten. I can make a vat of chili that will put hair on your chest.”

“As long as it doesn’t put hair on my ass,” Flynn said, shoving the elevator open. “I don’t like waxing.”

Pia snorted. Yancy leaned over, speaking in a stage whisper. “Flynn hasn’t reached puberty yet. His ass is hairless as a baby’s butt.”

Flynn reached around and rapped him on top of the head. “At least I don’t have back hair.”

“I don’t have back hair.”

“Seriously, you should see him at the…

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