Hope everyone had a good weekend. This week I’mgoing to focus on two more important aspects of writing, dialogue and point ofview.>>
Writing dialogue is one of my favorite things aboutcreating a story. Some writers have an ear for it while others struggle. Greatdialogue is something that makes a reader sit up and take notice. However, donepoorly, it can stick out like a sore thumb and have a reader cringe, so there’sa lot resting on learning the skill. >>
Sowhat is great dialogue?>>
I think it has the following characteristics->>
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It’sNatural Sounding>>
Good dialogue never sounds too formal, meaning thatit has contradictions and slang thrown in now and then.>>
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ItDoesn’t Tell the Whole Story In One or Two Character’s Lines>>
Some writers yes, even published ones, use dialogueas a vehicle to tell the reader everything they want them to know. Take itslow, don’t put words into your character’s mouths all at once…feed it to themslowly.>>
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Theperson doing the speaking doesn’t tell the other characters information theyalready know just for the sole purpose of telling the reader>>
This is one of my pet peeves, not just in books buton TV too. In fact, I see TV shows doing it all the time now. I know thatmedium only has maybe 45 minutes to get the story across during each episode,but I still think it’s lazy writing. An example, two forensic experts talking,and one saying, I’m putting this under the microscope to look for latentfingerprints. We might not know that but another forensics expert would. In abook this would come across as not true to life and the writer would losecredibility with the reader.>>
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It’sDistinctive to the Character>>
Dialogue done right allows the reader to know justwho’s doing the talking. It’s specific to each of your characters. It might bethe way the character phrases something or even pauses between words orthoughts. >>
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Itreveals something about the character and other characters or even the plot>>
It’s always doing something. It’s never static or adead weight. We learn something we didn’t know a page before or even in theprevious sentence, and it also progresses the plot>>
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Waysyou can improve your dialogue writing->>
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Practice-I’vefound that rather than avoid things you’re not good at, practice can makeperfect. When you sit down to write spend the first ten minutes just writingdialogue.>>
Eavesdrop-It’sa good vice to have when it comes time for writing dialogue. Sometimes it’s notso much what people say but how they say it. >>
ReadDialogue-and the best way to do that is to pick up ascreenplay. A good ear for dialogue is a must for a screenwriter.>>
ReadAloud-one thing I do when I’m editing any of my work be infiction or non-fiction is to read it aloud. You’ll hear what’s working andwhat’s not, and this is especially true for dialogue.>>
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If dialogue is your Achilles heel; or if you feelthere’s a section of dialogue that’s not working in your story, how abouttrying to incorporate any or all of the characteristics I’ve mentioned and seehow it changes things.>>
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Ifyou have any questions about dialogue or anything else I’ve covered so far, askaway. Later this week I’ll be talking about Point of View so have your questionsready for that topic too.>>
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