Friday, August 31, 2012

TALK IT UP

“Hi, Liz. How are you today?”
“Well hi, David. I’m fine. How are you?”
“I’m just fine. It’s really good to see you.”
“Likewise. What’s new?”

HELLO! Time to wake up. I know you’re bored beyond relief with that less than scintillating dialogue, but the example was necessary. Why? To show you what kind of dialogue will irk your readers into book burning. As an aside, the only good thing about that above example is the punctuation is correct.

Yes, people really do talk in the mundane. It’s called idle chitchat and we use it all the time. As a writer you’d better not shovel that kind of crappy dialogue down your reader’s throat or the only sound you’ll hear is the toilet flushing away any future sales.

Your dialogue must;
• Push your story along
• Give insight to your characters
• Be active

You owe your reader a good story. They expect it. They deserve it. You had better deliver.

How do you write exciting dialogue? Good question and there’s no definitive answer.

Look at your manuscript. Read the dialogue out loud. Check for the following;
• Does each character speak in a specific voice? Or do they all sound alike?
• Are your conversations pertinent to what’s happening at that specific time? To the progress of the story?
• Does your dialogue carry emotion, good or bad?
• Does your dialogue make the reader want to skim and go onto the next section or read every word?

Again, read your written dialogue out loud. Listen to the sound and rhythm of the sentences. Correct or delete as the case may require. Next, and this is the important part, have someone else read the same passages aloud without knowing what’s happening before and after. That way the reader won't use inflections. Hearing your words from another person will help you pull it together and notice the weak spots.

If you’re writing erotica, please remember couples think and talk during sex. Even if one of your characters is shy, can’t say what they’re feeling, they are thinking. Turn their thoughts into short sentences. It will add more depth to your character and meaning to your story.

Another method to increasing your dialogue skill is to read one of the latest books by your favorite author. Take notes about what you like, and don’t, on the dialogue sections. See how and if those points will improve your own characters conversations. No cloning allowed, be sure you maintain your voice.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend. I'll be back Wednesday with a new menu. Until then...

Happy Writing!

Sloane Taylor

11 comments:

  1. Love the idea of reading a fav author's work aloud! Will try that, Ms. Blogess! Will also share and tweet your sage advice. Cheers!

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    1. Thank you, Sharon! I truly appreciate all your support.:)

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  2. I think you've pegged what it is about bad dialogue that bugs me: all the characters sounding alike and having the same exact personality.

    Those are the books which I can't get beyond the first couple of chapters.

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    1. Absolutely, Holley. It also proves not all editors are good editors.

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  3. Thanks for the advice Sloane. I love lots of dialogue in a story and always read my conversations aloud. You can tell then if the words suit the mood of the character.

    Susan

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    1. Agree, Susan! Lots of dialogue makes the story more interesting for me, too. Never thought to read aloud the dialogue in a pleasure book. Definitely have to try it!

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  4. Good advice.
    Emma Lane

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    1. Thanks, Emma. and thanks for dropping in.:)

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  5. As Alfred Hitchcock said, "Drama is life with the dull bits cut out..."

    Cheers

    Martin
    www.martinbodenham.com

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    1. LOL That's a great quote, Martin! Thank you for sharing.:)

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  6. Enjoyed the topic and got so much inspiration.
    Thanks.
    Happy writing

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