Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Tuesday's Inspiration - On Dialogue
Perhaps this is more of a writer's tip but the essay by Bill Pronzini struck me as interesting. Years ago, when I began writing I discovered writing dialogue wasn't as easy as listening to people speak. When people speak, there are a lot of empty words or sounds. Here's the quote that set me thinking and made me remember something I read years ago, but can't find the article or book on writing where I read it.
Here goes with the quote. "There are, basically speaking, two schools in the writing of dialogue. One is "short dialogue; the other is "exposition dialogue."
Short dialogue is a back and forth conversation between two people and it bounces. The Exposition kind is a longer with twists and turns. This is what got me in trouble since I often had the speaker covering many subjects in his single bit of dialogue. If I lost myself during the exchange between the characters what was I doing to the reader. The bit I can't find where I learned how to separate my dialogue into manageable segments said when the character says something needing s response from the other character or characters stop there and allow the other character a voice.
Sometimes the short kind of dialogue becomes boring, at least to me. So I try to combine the two depending on the character. What I really try to do is fit the style of dialogue to the kind of story I'm writing and to the characters who are speaking.
So think of dialogue as an important part of your writing and a way to show the reader the character's development, give valuable information and advance the plot.