How Do I Love Thee? Dialogue Tips to Avoid Being Cheesy


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Sometimes writers get into the habits of making their characters sound a bit too cheesy when writing romantic love interests in books, plays, films, etc. Now, I’m not saying this amazing line is cheesy because it’s not, but if you met a man/woman/guy/girl on the street had some coffee with them and then they said this to you, you’d be running for the hills, right? Er…I hope you would be.

Make your dialogue real.

Look I love Hallmark movies. I do, I love them. Especially at Christmas time. I can’t wait to watch them because they make me happy. They don’t even have the cheesy dialogue I am talking about. If they can do it, you can too.

My best advice is think about your own life. What did someone say to you that swept you off your feet? What is a cheesy line or was it sincere?

I find that the best way to be sincere in dialogue is to continue to always be thinking about what the character wants in every scene. Everything comes back to character–notice this theme. It’s important.

You can also read books that you love and look for the dialogue.

One love story that I read every year is the YA The Fault in Our Stars—Gus never drops a line on Hazel Grace–he is a real person. He isn’t cheesy in the least. Sure John Green could have loaded up the cheese factor but he kept it real and that’s why teens (and adults) all over the world fell in love with their story.

*Speaking of Gus—he has a very unique way of speaking (back to an earlier post)

In films.. Star Wars…

“I love you.”

“I know.”

No magical line was needed.

It is all real and the love story works.

This is important and I read work all the time from writers who make the mistake of trying too hard to be clever and it just comes off cheesy.

If you haven’t been in love like this yet or can’t honestly remember the dialogue you and yours exchanged read, read tons and watch films and TV.

You can do it. I know it!

To become a VIP head over to my new splash page and sign up now. You will be the first to know when new courses drop—this year. 

Monday Goals April 15th


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I just got back from the Iceland Writers Retreat and I was put down by a wicked bronchial thing that I got from a girl who sat down on the last day, coughed on me and then said, “don’t worry, I’m not going to lick you” SIGH

I’m behind in my writing so this week my goals are simple. I’m going to WRITE.

How about you??

What are your goals?

Happy writing


Writing Wed


I love this quote. I have no idea who first said it. (If you do, please comment) but it’s great because it makes me think about my actions.

What can I do today that my future self will thank me for?

I know! Work on my novel.

So this morning, after going down to Pike Place Market and grabbing some Seattle coffee, I’m going to sit outside and enjoy the amazing PNW air and write a bit. Probably not a lot but I’m going to aim for 30 minutes. If it starts raining, then I’ll do that in the airport but someday I’ll be happy that I never gave up~~

So.. you know what to do. Go. Write.


Tips for Tuesday–DIALOGUE TAGS


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Dialogue tags continue to stump many writers, new and experienced.

I’m not sure why this is, maybe it’s because we as writers feel the overwhelming need to paint a detailed picture. We want the reader to not miss even for a second what we mean—right?

She said angrily. She yelled with the noise of thunder. He howled like a wolf. –these are not needed.

My rule of thumb is when in doubt use SAID.

***The way a character speaks is so uniquely them that it should be obvious who is speaking but sometimes it’s not, so fine–use he said, she said, they said..

Don’t over think it.

In preparing for this blog, I found this article that does a great job of further explaining what I mean.

I have posted the link below. I hope you like it and I hope that it helps!

An exercise: tell your friend, spouse, neighbor, anyone a story about a conversation you had with someone else, do you ever overly describe the way they said it? HINT–you don’t. People don’t. Go do this and you’ll see what I mean.

If you do. If you are the type who uses adjectives to describe the way someone spoke–well that just might be YOU and the way you as a character speaks, but in books it pulls readers out. In screenplays and teleplays, it confuses the actors–or they will follow exactly instead of doing what comes naturally. I would say in scripts—NEVER qualify ever. Scripts don’t need tags.

Monday Writer Goals-Halló from Iceland


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I’m in Iceland for the Iceland Writers Retreat which officially ended yesterday! It’s so amazing here. I love it. Today I have a free day and I’m planning to spend the day doing literary things.

The week is a lot for me to figure out this week because it will basically consist of traveling and readjusting back to California time, so here is what I will do TODAY.

Write because I’m super inspired after the past few days of workshops.

Read because I love getting lost in books.

Finally, explore the city a bit.

What are your goals for today or for the week??

**it’s okay to make daily goals when the week is too busy, unorganized or just too crazy. Be kind to yourself. 

Hello From Iceland


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Hello! I’m at the Iceland Writers Retreat and can’t be more excited to dig into my novel, some amazing reading, enjoying food with new friends, and today–going on a Golden Circle Tour arranged by the retreat. I’ve never been to Iceland before so this is a dream come true.

I hope you all have an amazing day.

I’ll blog about specifics about the retreat and Iceland next week.

Meanwhile, you can follow me on Instagram where I’m sure to be posting pictures.


Unless of course, the connection is spotty, then pics will be next week too.

Which writing retreats or residencies have you always wanted to do? 

I still have some DREAM ones listed and linked below.

Paris Writing Retreat 

Northern California Writing Retreat 

Writing Between the Vines 

Better Books

I plan to do them all & more.

Have a super rest of your week. Happy writing. 


Writing Wed


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Hello dear Writers.

How are you?

What is going on this week?

I have just landed in Iceland and am so excited to meet up with all the new friends I met via FB before the retreat has even started.

This morning I plan to drop my stuff at the hotel and find the nearest cafe, grab a cuppa and write a bit. It may not be brilliant but that is the goal.

How about you? Will you write today? Even for 10 minutes, no excuses?

We can do it!! That’s all for now because–traveled for over 20 hours to get here!! YAWN! 


To sign up for information on upcoming courses and exciting news hop over to my new website and sign up to be a Judanie Bean VIP 

Tip for Tuesday–DIALOGUE-Be UNIQUE


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I’m traveling to the Iceland Writers Retreat this week so this will be short but to the point.

Dialogue is so important in showing us who the character is. This is true for all writing. Screenplays and teleplays and stage plays rely so heavily on the way characters speak and what they say that it’s even more important to nail it.

This doesn’t mean being overly clever, it means being UNIQUE.

One example that I LOVE is the show, the GILMORE GIRLS. They have a very unique way of speaking. It’s very specific and so much that other characters in the show comment on the way that Rory and Lorelai speak. Watch it. You’ll love it, or hate it, either way, you will see what I mean.

Other shows that have GREAT & UNIQUE DIALOGUE ARE:


THE BIG BANG THEORY (especially Sheldon)



Homework this week is to watch tons of TV and write down the names of shows that you love or hate because of the way they speak. Why do you feel that way?

Be Fearless Today (and Every Day) THURSDAY


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Happy Thursday!

So I asked over on Instagram how your writing week went.

I’d love to hear. I was inspired to write this today because so many of my FB friends have been posting about the fear of rejection, especially after getting rejected.

Please, friends, do NOT let fear stop you. 

We ALL get rejected all the time. Even when your book is a best seller someone will hate it. That’s just a fact.

When you are a top showrunner and your show is on HBO, or NBC or Netflix and is nominated and even won awards people will still hate it.

The life of a storyteller is not easy and I am cheering you all on for just being here and continuing to put your stories out there.

I hope that you had an amazing week and even if you didn’t, that’s okay.

What are you working on today?