1. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    Creating dialogs and funny moments

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Phoenix Hikari, Mar 5, 2012.

    So, I thought I'd ask you guys for an advice, if you could help me.

    One:
    While writing descriptions and prose is a manageable task for me in stories/novels, I find it very hard to come up with dialogs. I think it's mostly because I'm a very quiet person in real life, it becomes almost impossible for me to come up with things the characters can say aside from the straight forward, into-the-plot dialogs. I want my characters to be more active, to have more conversations and to have side-chit-chat. When I read my writing, I feel that the reader will get bored by the lack of interaction.

    Two:
    While coming up with dialogs is not so impossible, coming up with funny moments is just... mission-impossible. There's this character in my story, who's suppose to be the one who breaks the ice, his characteristic is the funny, happy-go-lucky kind of person. But I just can't make him look like that without making it sound forced. I'm so stuck and it just makes me frustrated.

    Would appreciate any ideas and helpful hints/advices.
     
  2. Imprive
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    Imprive Member

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    Well, I can't help you with the second question, but the first resonates with me because it's how I am/was. I could not make convincing dialog without it sounding way too stupid or forced, until I started writing my latest short story. It started back when I was told to show action, not tell it. That gave me more options to have my characters talk and interact with one another. This helped somewhat, but not completely. Then after a while I realized that if I put myself in a characters shoes, I could make better dialog. I thought about what I would say in this type of situation, and what other people would say, then I pieced the dialog together and tailored it to my character. This was not everything though, for the next week I paid very good attention to every peice of dialog on any medium I could find.

    Your Hemingway sig quote is pretty acurate, even when writing dialog. You need to put yourself in your characters shoes, and study dialog in multiple mediums, get a feel for how it works.
    Hope this helps,
    Imprive
     
  3. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    I'm the quiet type too, and when I do talk it tends to be with my foot in my mouth :p


    I love films and telly, so when I'm writing dialogue I usually think about how the scene I've planned would pan out in a film or tv series. That isn't to say I write a screenplay or anything like it, but picturing the scene in this way helps me figure out dialogue that seems natural but still moves the story forward, so every word is relevant.


    For your funny man, if you can think of a character in an existing programme, film or book who is similar you might want to watch/read that for some inspiration.


    It might also help to do some people watching- neb in a bit on people's conversations at work or school or on the train, pay attention to how they talk and keep their conversation flowing.


    So basically my advice is to watch tv and be nosy (err, and the obligatory- read moar books!)
     
  4. Jowettc
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    Jowettc Contributing Member

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    Im with PPG - watch movies and think about the dialogue that captures moments for you.

    Then read, read, read, funny books - Terry Pratchetts books are hilarious imo - and see how they do it.

    Then bang your head repeatedly against the hard brick wall of effort until you can a) either do it or b) realise that not everyone can write every style of novel and decide perhaps you're a better thriller writer than a humorous writer.
     
  5. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    I like to say funny is an awful word because it is. You cannot measure funny, only humor. Try to be humorous, not funny . Trust me it will go over much better, anyone can recognize humor not many people have the same idea of "funny."

    To be humorous:

    1) Have your character use the wonderful, if a bit stereotypical, thing that is sarcastic insults.
    2) Don't be afraid to say things that are just a bit, in the slightest only a tad when you can, outrageous.'
    3) If humor isn't there don't force it too much or it can ruin your style.

    Now scamper off and be humorous.
     
  6. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    If you can find someone who is like your character or at least has the trait you are looking for at the moment, you can often glean grat stuff from watching them or interacting with them. I think watching a real person offers better bit than TV and Movies but they are a very good choice especialy if you don't know someone who is funny.
     
  7. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    I think trying to step into the shoes of my characters does help, maybe I can try taping the scenes and then write them down as well. I've watched a couple of girls exchanging a conv. today and it does sort of sparkle some ideas in my head. Not really sure about watching TV, it feels like TV shows or movies are sort of too acted to sound real at times.

    I'm still having a hard time with the funny/humorous guy. Not really sure I should stick to something that doesn't add a bit of a laugh or a chuckle. My MC is totally annoying as it is so he needs someone around to break the ice. I just got to figure out how to come with nice, clean and unforced fun.

    Thanks for the input, guys.
     
  8. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    For the humor, don't force it. The funniest jokes in real-life aren't expected, they come out of nowhere. If you make a big deal out of showcasing a certain character as "the funny one," then readers will expect everything out of their mouth to be funny, which will invariably lead to disappointment and eventual annoyance. Just have him say really out-of-place or awkward things every now and then in a way that will genuinely surprise the readers. And don't label him as funny in any way...don't have characters going on about his humor, don't make any comments about how he is funny, etc. Just put the humor in and let readers decide for themselves if the character is humorous or not.
     

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