1. solarstarrkatt
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    solarstarrkatt Member

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    Husband/Wife dialogue?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by solarstarrkatt, Jun 2, 2010.

    I'm not married, and I don't even have a boyfriend, so I have no idea how to talk to someone that has your devotion. The only stuff I can some up with is, Oh Gerome, I love you so much, and, Nancy, I love you so much. Not really.

    See, I want to write a story with a married couple, but I got the generic "Gerome, will we ever have a baby?" and "Of course Nancy, we will have a baby soon. Don't lose hope." I'm normally good at couple dialogue because I've seen and read enough, but this is new for me. Any ideas to help me out?:cool:
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    There are other things married couples talk about besides love and children. Just treat the couple as two individuals engaged in a conversation. If possible, listen to a conversation between a married couple you know for ideas.
     
  3. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    thirdwind is right. Me and my bf banter a lot. Harmless teasing, you know, that sort of thing. We talk about life and things we've been through. Share really deep secrets that no one else knows. We also talk about completely random things and have our own weird inside jokes. It's like the conversations you have with a best friend with a different dynamic to it (love, attraction, and also something beyond that that's difficult to describe).
     
  4. hyperspace!
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    hyperspace! Member

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    I don't think there's really a "set" way that couples talk to each other - it all depends on their personalities. They may be a couple, but they're still two separate people. They might bicker, or one might disagree with the other but not say anything about it, or they might not talk to each other at all. That was the case with my parents, and when they divorced, they were both pretty chill about it. But there are people whose parents are all lovey-dovey, or tease each other a lot, or get on each others' nerves or whatever. People are people, y'know?
     
  5. Mila
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    Mila Member

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    try: 'are you really just going to leave your underpants there ??' >:D
     
  6. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    One thing you will notice with a devoted/madly in love couple, whether they are married or not, is that they always bring the other half into the conversation--even if the other person is not there. Clingy types, also, can throw you a trite truism, but he/she passes it on as pearls of wisdom if it comes from the mouth of The Beloved.

    e.g.
    'That's a good job you did, getting the project up and running so quickly. '
    'Oh, thanks, Sam always says that putting off work just makes it harder...'
     
  7. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Try creating an argument about whose turn it is to wash the dishes and let the woman bitch a little about how much time the guy spends on the internet.

    Then you'll be closing in on domestic bliss. ;)
     
  8. Humour Whiffet
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    Humour Whiffet Banned

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    That sounds familiar. Internet, writing, reading...
     
  9. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    There just aren't enough hours in the day. If only my partner was more understanding... ;)
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There's a lot of potential for showing character through couples dialogue. But it will take a lot of observation where there are usually no observers. You can extrapolate somewhat from your own relationships, and maybe you have friends who are comfortable enough around you that they have typical couiples conversations in your presence.

    I don't recommend listening devices. They're illegal, and a bit creepy in a drooling stalker kind of way.

    Couples tend to develop their own shorthand. They'll finish each oter sentences at first, and later on, they'll only say part of a sentence, knowing the other person will quietly complete the thought. They'll say something that makes no sense to an outsider, because it only has meaning to their shared experience - often an inside joke that alludes to another conversation or event. Thay may overlap several discussions, dropping in a new though about another discussion, then returning to the main topic.

    Dialogue is an art form, and the intimate conversation is the Mount Everest of the art.
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    People, even married people are just that, people. They have conversations the same as anyone else. They do talk about things in a joint manner, of course.

    I don't tell my husband, "I want a 62 inch LED TV for the living room."

    I say, "What do you think about a nice wide screen for the living room? It would made the living more attractive to use since we hardly ever use it. It's a bit of a wasted space at the moment."

    And I don't say, "I'm hungry. I'm going to Wendy's."

    I say, "Are you hungry? I am. Want something if I go out?"

    It's less dramatically different that one would expect from the conversations you would have with your friends. That's my experience. Everyone's experience is going to be unique in this matter.
     
  12. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    Quoted for truth.

    The best relationships i've ever been in or been witness to have always reminded me of that of close friends. I think it's kinda requisite in someways..
     
  13. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    My wife and I talk to each other exactly the same as best friends. We call each other "dude", joke a lot, curse at each other (playfully, usually), and say what we mean. I dunno if that's very unusual, but it works for us.
     
  14. solarstarrkatt
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    solarstarrkatt Member

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    Thanks all. My dilemma is solved.
     
  15. Oberon2
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    Oberon2 New Member

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    I would second suggestions about "being a couple". In essence, one might need to be part of a couple where the topic of conversation is that which you write about (as all creation would require experience and this, as we know, is flawed.) However, I think trying to seek out or perhaps acting out a conversation in a free environment might help you to discover the conversational element required.
     
  16. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Glad to hear it Kat. :)

    Anonym is right. Healthy relationships operate like that. A favorite quote of mine is, "Love is friendship set on fire."
     
  17. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    I've never been in a relationship either (though I have had my crushes). My parents are a terrible example of a married couple, so my understanding of relationships come from TV, anime and manga. Most of my favorite couples in whatever series I like start out as friends, or are friends but you can just cut the romantic tension between them with a knife (like Ed and Winry from Fullmetal Alchemist). There's also banter and such. I just pull from what I know and create the relationships from there. Or, sometimes, characters will make their relationships for me.
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't just le=isten to healthy relationships. Not all of your characters will be well-adjusted and in great relationships.

    Pay attention to the conversatiuons in bad relationships too. If noting else, it will be an education in subtext, as venom is hurled back and forth thinly disguised as neutral remarks.

    Also, for dialogue study, pay attention to what is NOT said. The subjects that are avoided, and also the things that are understood between them without being said.
     
  19. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    Definitely. I don't think I'd like reading about a healthy relationship too much. "You forgot to wash dishes again." "Oh, I'm sorry, honey, let me do that right now because I know how important it is to you and I respect you." "Okay, but first let's talk about our feelings." "Oh, boy!"
     
  20. Delphinus
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    Delphinus Senior Member

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    ...that sounds like sarcasm rather than a healthy relationship.
     
  21. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    A lot depends on the basic relationship between the two parties as well as the age of the parties. But, paraphrasing thirdwind's initial comment, the couple are people first of all, part of a couple secondarily. The bulk of conversation is not going to revolve around the relationship but all of the things that are important to them besides that and many, many things that are just trivial banter. And, as everyone has already pointed out, you're going to want to do a lot of observation-type research. But, bottom line, the dialog between a husband/wife, lovers, significant others is just that ... dialog, just the same as any other dialog, like two guys in a bar (well, except for the part about rating the latest piece of azz that just passed by and like that). It's just people talking.
     

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