What is the definition of fictional dialogue? Per John Howard Lawson (blacklisted during the McCarthy era- I’m not THAT old.), from the book, Theory and Technique of Playwriting, Lawson states dynamic dialogue should always be “a compression and extension of action.” Wha…? Okay so he goes on to say that it comes from energy not inertia…still wha…? Let’s break this into English. Dialogue should be used to broaden the scope of the action. It should be used to organize and extend what people do.
“Judy, why are you crying?”
“Oh, Sue, you won’t believe what happened…”
Dialogue should be used to intensify the actions you are writing. Even if your MC is jabbering and into small talk. If they are doing it to kill time or distract whomever they are speaking with, make it clear to the reader.
Speaking of jabbering…HI! How are you today? Me? Oh, I am fab. My cuppa is a lovely Detox tea to clear my system of the terrible, horrible, delish donuts I ate yesterday. Feel better? Geesh. Okay, my lovelies, scurry off and find your copy of, How to Write Dazzling Dialogue by James Scott Bell. Remember, ebooks are books too and that is a good thing cuz that’s what I have. Ta-Da. Since I am sipping a Detox tea there is no nibble on my desk but feel free to find one on your friends’ desk. You know they would share if they knew you needed it.
Ready. Set. Action talk! Yuppers, that is a thing. When writing fiction, the goal for dialogue is to move the story forward. Even if your MC is a speed talker when they are nervous or scared, or hiding a drastic secret. Their speech can still help your story if it is done in a crisp way. Dialogue should not just be a space filler. There should be a reason.
Ever been in a mind-numbingly looong meeting at work that could have been more productive as an email? You know, the ones that wander off the agenda and end up in random chatter about the new pictures you have of your dog sitting on Santa’s lap. WHAT? Frankie looked great with Santa. What you need here, is someone who comes into the meeting with ONLY the agenda at mind and covers what is needed and not jabber.
The first and most important lesson in Dazzling Dialogue is to be clear on your character’s agenda and conflicts. What is their external goal (covered in Take Off Your Pants! by Libbie Hawker) and how will your dialogue move them closer to their goal?
What Dialogue Isn’t.
Dialogue is not real-life speech. It is a stylized speech. Crucial distinction right there. Let me clarify, okay, the goal is to make the dialogue feel real but with the agenda of your character in mind. There will be less idle chatter and more, “What I want is,” speaking. Don’t use dialogue to become lazy in your writing. Don’t use it as a way to tell your reader what is going on. Show don’t tell. You need to take your readers for a ride not to a Wikipedia page of why your character is doing what they are doing and how.
Situate your characters so they can each be in a challenge for the external goal. This can make for some spicy dialogue.
Please remember that I am not trying to write this book for you word for word. I am skipping a lot of detail. I highly suggest you purchase the book and read between the lines.
Don’t forget to vote on the logo from yesterday’s post.
Let me know 1, 2, 3, or 4.
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
Like Follow Share
Universal Code: https://books2read.com/u/bOZe8o
#AmReading #BookLovers #Bibliophile #EBooks #GoodReads #Fiction #bookstagram #Books #BookNerd #Comedy #Family #Tragedy #Creativity #HeartbreakinglyHysterical #BookMarketing #SelfPub #AmWriting #WritersLife #urbanfantasy #instaauthor