Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Writing ABC - D Is For Dialogue #MFRWauthor #dialogue #writer's tip

I debated over two Ds I feel are important but decided on Dialogue for the D factor. Without dialogue the story becomes more tell than show and can be boring and a drag. Dialogue means people interacting and can be the point in a story that sets much. Dialogue allows the writer to depict the characters, to provide information and to advance the plot. Good dialogue does one or more of these actions.

Dialogue can also be boring. Allowing the characters to go off on long rambling passages can send the reader to sleep. Sometimes the character will ask a question and the person answering  wanders around until one can't find the answer.

In real life people use those sounds that aren't dialogue. Uh is a popular one. Doing this in a story wastes words, Sometimes when I'm roughing a story all the characters sound alike. This is probably my voice creeping in. When rewriting and revising I need to look at each character and think of a number of things. Station in life, education, career choice. All of these things define a character and should be seen in their dialogue.

There is inner and outer dialogue. Inner dialogue is thought and here the writer can play. Phrases that may lead into byways are allowed. Thinking one thing and saying another aloud is also possible. I've had fun with this in several stories but the most fun in Pursuing Doctor West.

Outer dialogue is what's said aloud. Just make sure the dialogue has some kind of meaning. To make sure my dialogue I often read the dialogue aloud taking on the voices of the characters and leaving out anything that isn't spoken. Rather like reading the lines of a play. Often things jump out and say this is not the character's voice but the writer's voice. The dialogue needs to become the character's.

So this is my D. What's yours. I'm sure there are a dozen or more things you can come up with.

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