If good, strong dialogue is the best way to improve your story, then amping up the tension can only enhance it further. Mr. Bell warns of “sitting-down-with-coffee-scenes.” These are the moments when two or more characters get together who agree on everything. These tend to be the most boring sections. Think about it, typically Harry and Ron in the Harry Potter series, tend to get along and agree on nearly everything. In comes Hermione to upset the balance. Harry and Ron are funny together but that can only go so far in your work. A bit of conflict and tension adds the spice you need to strengthen your tale. So, Harry and Ron are the “sitting-down-for-TEA” version of the story here. Hermione marches in with a large spoon to stir the pot (cauldron).
I am a fan of having a cuppa with friends. A group of us get together on Friday’s for just this reason. We sit, chat, have breakfast, and share ideas about our stories. A few of my fantastical friends are also my beta readers for Sin Full and have shared with me many ideas and critiques for how the book should move. Nothing wrong with a cuppa with friends. That’s why I ask you to fill your cuppa each post. I want to have a cuppa and nibble with you while we journey in learning. So, run on and fill yours, find a yummy nibble and que up your copy of How to Write Dazzling Dialogue by James Scott Bell. Meet me at chapter 5. I’ll wait.
Welcome back. Did you need to run to the restroom too? Took you a bit longer than expected. It’s all good. Come on! Much to learn.
Remember Those Agendas
Have you ever watched a police procedural show? You know, when one cop shows and asks, “What do ya got?” Then the officer on scene rattles off details of the crime being investigated. Boring…Now, let’s pretend the two cops don’t get along. The dialogue will be much more interesting and contain the spice you need to move the scene with more interest.
“What do ya got?”
“What does it look like?”
“Looks like a shooting.”
“Well, aren’t you the genius.”
See, spicy, movement, and the tempo upped. The same information is given, but one scene is improved by tension and conflict. The coffee date is fine but not every interaction should be so friendly.
Get Into More Arguments
How heated is your argument? Much like the spice level of hot sauces vary at Taco Bell, so should your conflicts. You have the mild. Two friends having a snit over where to go to lunch. The “my-restaurant-is-better-than-yours” snits. Medium would be the fight Harry and Ron shared in The Goblet of Fire. They had a small fight and didn’t speak through most of the storyline. But it ended when Ron found that Harry needed him. Then you have the Hot and Spicy fights. This is straight up Voldemort and Harry conflict level. Absolute hate and torment. SPICY!
We will jump into Setting Up Barriers next time. Chapter 5 is on the longer side so it will take one more post to venture through it. Stay tuned, friends!
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.
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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