So, a couple of days ago I sat down at my computer, thought of a scenario which involved to completely new characters and began typing up a conversation between them without dialogue tags. To be honest I did use a few, only to set the scene, but for most of the 1,349 conversation it’s tagless. My goal was to see how much I could convey through the dialogue rather than relying on the tags to say how my characters were feeling or what they were doing. I think it went well, reading through it I can clearly understand who is talking without the need for he/she said. And my writing was quick, much quicker and fluid as it’s ever been. The conversation was so easy to write and not having to worry about he/she with…. I think made the dialogue sound much more realistic.
In fact I enjoyed it so much that I’ve continued writing about the characters and the dialogue between them.
Here’s an excerpt. If anyone happens to read through it all please let me know what you think.
“D’you think we’ve done the right thing?”
Kale looked up at Leora. “You say this now why?”
Leora shrugged. “It’s just got me thinking, ya know.”
“You’ve had plenty of time to think Lee, why now?”
Giving up on the conversation, Kale turned his attention back to the parchment sitting on the table. Leora glanced at the bustling local bar around them then back at Kale.
“What if the legend is true?” She asked, her voice not hiding the concern she felt.
“Then it’s a good thing we found this,” Kale said and tapped the old document he was studying.
Loera lent into the table. “All these people are in danger, we’re in danger.”
“Shh…” Kale said distantly.
“Stop!” Kale’s head snapped up and his eyes bore into Leora’s. “We are sitting in a shithole bar in a remote town on the Borneo coast and you’re having doubts. I told you this would be dangerous.”
“I know all that.”
“So why are we having this conversation then? I need to focus on translating this moth-eaten piece of paper, so just…go grab a beer or something.”
“Kale you know I don’t drink.”
“Kale you’re not being fair.”
“No I’m being plenty fair. I could’ve left in you rot back home instead of telling you about all this.”
“Don’t be a jerk for the sake of it, you would’ve told me regardless.”
“Not if I knew we’d be having this pointless conversation. Now shush!”
Loera went silent mostly out of anger towards Kale, but she couldn’t hold her tongue for long. “I don’t get how you can be so calm about all this. You’ve been risking your life for too long you know that, Kale? What we went through to get that parchment would scar most people for life. You’re not normal.”
Kale sighed and gave up trying to read through the ancient Latin scribbled in faded ink. He looked at Leora. “Would you prefer if I ran around like a headless chook? This is my job Lee, you know that so don’t act horrified. I moved passed the fear and pain years ago.”
“And that’s what scares me, Kale. You’ve adapted too well to this sort of stuff and it’s not right, it’s not healthy.”
“Not healthy is thinking the world isn’t like this. Knowing you could die any second makes you cherish life that much more.”
“That’s a real twisted way of honouring the gift of life Kale.”
“It works for me and it used to work for you.”
“Yeah, when I was younger and stupid. Things change, though I guess not in your world.”
“Hey, I love what I do.”
“A little too much I think.”
“You know what your problem is Lee? You’ve lost your passion for this stuff.”
“Indiana Jones had passion, you‘re just suicidal and crazy.”
“Indiana Jones is bullshit, I’m the real deal.”
“Don’t flatter yourself.”
“Hey remember that job we did in Peru a few years back? There’s no way a Hollywood actor would last five seconds in the shit we ended up in.”
Leora laughed. “Yeah you’re right. I never thought we’d get out.”
“But we did and we will this time.”
“Kale that was a scared statue, this…well this is a completely different ball park.”
“So the stakes are a little higher, we’re still pull it off.”
“How can you be so sure? How can you know any of this will work out? There’s too much riding on this for you to act so gung-ho.”
“D’you want us to fail?”
“No, of course not.”
“Then stop being so pessimistic. Negative energy, Leora.”
“Oh please, since when do you buy into that new age crap?”
“It’s the principle of the concept. Think negative thoughts and you’ll have a negative outcome. Simple.”
“If only all this was that simple.”
“Where’s the fun in that?”
“This stopped being fun three months ago.”
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