What is your hero thinking in a time of crisis?

Dialogue is the best way to tell a story. But don’t forget that crucial inner dialogue characters have with themselves.

I’ve heard it always, and I know it’s true.

People read a good novel.

They go to the movies and watch the novel come to life on screen.

Time after time, they walk out of the theater and say the same thing.

The movie was good.

They liked the book better.

Ever wonder why?

This is what I believe.

In the movies, we see the characters and know what they look like.

That’s all.

We watch the action.

We watch the characters watch the action.

We see them smile or frown, cringe or arch an eyebrow, spit in disgust or nervously rub their chins.

That’s all we can do.

In a novel, however, readers are permitted behind the curtain. They can crawl inside a character’s head and know what he or she is thinking. We better understand why they react the way they do. We learn all about their dreams, their fears, their hopes, their motivations.

Sure, dialogue is important in books and on the movie screens.

Dialogue is the best way to tell a story.

But don’t forget that crucial inner dialogue characters have with themselves.

It’s called deep point of view, and it’s the way we build characters and make them unforgettable.

In my thriller,  Lovely Night to Die, Roland Sand is a rogue CIA assassin faced with an impossible task. The Deep State within the government has deemed at the President must die. Sand has been given the mission. He has no idea that the CIA has captured the girl he loves. He meets destiny on a cold night in Chicago.

This is the way I wrote his internal dialogue and deep point of view.


THE RAIN HAD slacked off to a hit-and-miss drizzle by the time Sand saw Air Force One touch down, spraying ice and water from beneath its tires. The plane turned off the runway and began its long, slow roll toward the north end of Terminal C. He and Pendleton lay face down atop the edge of the building.

Black roof.

Black rain gear.

Black hood.

Black rifle.

Black night.

They were one with the shadows.

A delegation of dignitaries made its way across the tarmac to await the plane and greet the President. Chicago would have its pomp, circumstance, and formalities despite of the miserable weather. The number was sparse. Only six had walked out of the terminal, all wrapped in raincoats and huddled beneath umbrellas. They were working hard to keep their backs to the wind.

Sand mentally checked off each face that came into view. Two belonged to Secret Service Agents. He didn’t know their names, but they had faces you always saw when the President came to town. The mayor of Chicago was right behind them. He looked as if he would rather be somewhere else. The head of the political party was lagging back, anxiously glancing left to right and back again, rubbing the palms of his hands together.

Sand had not expected to see the One-Eyed Bohemian, but he was the only one grinning as though he didn’t have a care in the world. Kolinski worked best behind the scenes. Those who knew his name had never seen his face. What was he doing out front?

Sand turned his attention to the lady, long black hair draped across her right shoulder. Black dress. A raincoat the color of crimson. Eleanor Trent was as elegant as any woman he had ever seen. But her eyes were darting back and forth, wide with fright. She was biting the rich red gloss off her lips.

Kolinski held her arm.

His right hand had been shoved into his coat pocket.

He had not yet looked toward the roof of Terminal C.

He knew where the shot would come.

“What’s Eleanor doing out there?” Sand hissed at Pendleton.

“You heard Kolinski.”

Sand waited.

“She is his insurance policy,” Pendleton said.

“What does that mean?”

“Kolinski doesn’t trust you.” Pendleton’s face was hard as alabaster flint. He gripped the handle of his pistol until his knuckles were white. “He says you don’t have a very high regard for human life, especially your own. Quite simply, he doesn’t know if you have guts enough to shoot the President of the United States.”

“You’ll shoot me if I miss,” Sand said softly. “He made that point clear.”

“You’re not afraid to die.” Pendleton turned his head so he could look Sand squarely in the eyes. “One quick shot. You go to sleep. No worries about penitence or purgatory. That’s where the girl comes in. The Bohemian wants you to know one thing before the plane shuts off its engines.”

“What’s that?”

“Miss the President, and the girl dies.”


Lincoln’s thoughts are his own personal demons.

Inner dialogue and a deep point of view let you know why he does what he does.

They explain the tormented man he has become.

Please click HERE to find Lovely Night to Die on Amazon.

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