Sunday, March 11, 2012

Color your Writing with Foreign Language

I would like to think that my upcoming book, Speak Spanish in 90 Days, is among the easiest methods to learn Spanish. Before I start bragging, I must applaud retired TSU Houston foreign language professor, Marcel Crespil, Ph.D, for his unyielding assistance as editor and consultant to this piece of work. Without him, the quality of this work would not have been possible.

Okay, now I can brag. The element that sets this book apart from others is based on my own experience in learning foreign languages, coupled with the common pitfalls experienced by others. For example, years ago when I first studied Spanish in High School, it was difficult to master, mainly because most teaching methods attempted to exercise the use of all verb forms - future, past and present - at once, therefore, after two years of study in high school I had not advanced.

In my last year in High School, my family moved to a predominantly Latino community and six months afterwards I was fluent in the language. Here's my point: there is a method of learning that makes the process far more efficient. We have discovered language barriers and provided a tried-and-proven method to learning.

In  the book, Speak Spanish in 90 Days, readers will be excited to discover that after 15 minutes practice per day, they will have gained a grip on the language after 90 days. What does that mean to you as a writer? It means you can create colorful dialogue of Latino characters whether your setting is in Latin America or the U.S.A. and the book will enable you to do so with an immediate degree of plausibility. Foreign language allows you, the writer, to break the monotony of dialogue and color it with fresh insights.

For example, what if you were writing a romantic piece whereby an English speaking lady walked past a gentleman she found handsome and heard him say to a friend, "Como bonita es ella?"

What if she understood that he had said, "How beautiful she is." Now, you can make her smile and lead the reader into a description of the characters and the scene.

What if she responded to the gentleman by saying "thank you" in English? Where will it lead? You might put them in the market place in...let's say Cancun, Mexico. Maybe she wants to bargain but only understand a little Spanish. Maybe she may ask this same gentleman to interpret for her. Whether you write, mystery, suspense thrillers or romance, you can twist Spanish dialogue to serve your purpose; for example a suspense story may make a different twist on the same scene. "What if the man said, "Necesito hallar adonde vive." I need to know where she lives, or, "Ella no me gusta." I don't like her. Can you imagine where that might lead in a suspense story, especially, if he starts to follow her?

What if she remembered what he said and stopped by a news rack to purchase a Spanish book to look up those words? What if she felt the man was following her but never looked over her shoulders? What if she found the Spanish book, interpreted his words, looked over her shoulders and saw this same man, quickly, duck into a dark alley?

Foreign language dialog is another tool to create and magnify red herrings and elements of foreboding to your fiction.

Try it. You might like it.

Speak Spanish in 90 days (c)copyright 2012 Hamdani

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Barry Writes: Why I Love My Fellow Writers

Barry Writes: Why I Love My Fellow Writers: I love writers because I love words and the potential to ride them vicariously throughout the world. I am helplessly romanticized by the som...