dialogue as a playwright. I was the creative arts director for 11 years at my
church. We did everything from the 30-second sermon starter to full-length
musicals. When I first wrote my first few scripts, my actors often used
different words that I’d written, or they changed the sentences around, and
dissected the changes and found the common ground. I wrote like Snoopy, trying
to be literary. Gag. The lines were too perfect and not realistic.
dialogue actually pulls you out of the story because it’s so stiff and
unbelievable? Or worse, it sounds like an info dump, as if the writer’s saying,
“You won’t understand this unless I explain it to you.”
That’ll make me throw a book across the room faster than a politician can empty
your wallet. Unless it’s on my e-reader; then I’d delete it before it
contaminated the other e-books.
in a book?
starters. And it has to be organic to your character. If you’re an Oregonian
and writing about a Southern Belle, you’d better have a Cousin Sue Ellen read
your manuscript, or it may well be stereotyped. The same goes for Sue Ellen
writing about a Yankee.
adult book and don’t have any teens or twenty-somethings living at home, and
you aren’t sure how the characters would really talk? Go to a local mall and
hang out in the food court and eavesdrop. Listen to the half sentences,
colloquialisms, and especially to the way people answer questions.
make is found in the way characters answer questions.
are you headed this fine morning?”
going to the hardware store to get a new float for the toilet.”
care about Bob’s toilet, unless his four-year-old flushed the latest Wiki-leaks
state secrets. A bit more realistic might sound like this:
would have this conversation. If it were women, it still wouldn’t be complete
sentences, but it might go something like this:
sale, and you know those new slip covers I got for the den sofa? John ruined it
with cranberry juice.”
mustard on my bedspread. Why can’t they be more careful?”
conversation veered off the main track. We women do that. Men, not so much.
master at building conflict into dialogue. A few lines from Save the Date illustrate this point
throw people to the ground. What else is there to know?”
you met your last girlfriend?”
seriously and he kept asking instead of commenting on what she said. It was
brilliant dialogue for building character and a great example of verbal
written in books you love
conversation and study their responses
of dialogue to share with us?