1. DivineLemon
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    DivineLemon Member

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    Not so clever conversations.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by DivineLemon, Jul 24, 2007.

    This question has been boggling my mind for quite some time now:

    How do authors create such witty and clever conversations?

    My characters seem to bland and they could use some witty and clever remarks. Do you have any tips to make my dull doll a witty woman?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    Your advantage in terms of witty conversations: You have time to write them. There hasn't been a badly-played-out argument in my life where I haven't realized sometime in the next few hours exactly the witty, piercing reply I should have said then. Since you have all the time in the world to make your conversations, instead of an on-the-spot improvisation, just leave it to work on something else for a while, and something extremely witty (Or at least, something you think is witty) will pop into your head. If it works for real-life arguments, why not fictional ones?
     
  3. DivineLemon
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    DivineLemon Member

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    Ivan I never really thought about it that way. I am sure that will help me in my search.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    by being witty and c1ever peop1e!-- sorry for the sorta f1ip answer, but that's the honest truth-- it's just the same as writing/acting comedy-- you either have the 'gift' for it or you don't-- it's not something one can take a course in or 1earn, a1though if you do have the knack, you can get better at it with some training and practice--

    reading the works of those witty and c1ever writers may be of some he1p, but i don't know if it wou1d do much in the way of giving you a gift for witty wordp1ay--
     
  5. DivineLemon
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    DivineLemon Member

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    Well said Maia. I agree it comes natural to some. I guess all I can do is work at it more.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    reading is a good way to acquire a more witty way with words, since if you read enough of the good stuff over a major period of time, it can be 'absorbed' so that you may then find you can write it, too--
     
  7. DivineLemon
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    DivineLemon Member

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    Yes. I will of course continue to read. I love it so.

    Thank you for taking the time to respond.
     
  8. LionofPerth
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    LionofPerth Senior Member

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    I try to, when I am writing, if I place a person in a certain type of scene give them a 'zinger' line.

    The best example of this would be the scene at the end of a epsiode of Zoids, first series, about half way through.

    Moonbay and Irvine have come second in a race using anti grav vehicles. The Professor had 'borrowed' the engine in their racer from the army. He's brought in the MP's because he's not happy with their placing. As the MP's drag off Moonbay and Irvine, Moonbay is struggling with a pair of them holding her back and she says, ands I quote 'The wheels of justice will leave treadmarks all over your face!'

    Took me a second to process what she said.

    One of my examples would be a scene that I wrote a while back.

    The character is facing a big bad devil, and he stinks. The devil in question roars, and he's got bad breath.

    The character says 'And I thought you smelled bad. What do you use, a sulphur mouth wash?'

    As for normal dialogue, I think witty remarks aren't that good a thing, if two people are insulting each other, if you a zinger to often, it seems, unnatural.

    For the second one, I just had it run into my head and start smashing things, just out of nowhere.
     
  9. DivineLemon
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    DivineLemon Member

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    Ah. I love that "zinger" thought. I can how, if abused, it could over power the conversation.

    Very good advice LionofPerth! That helped a great amount.
     
  10. Edward
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    Edward Active Member

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    The French call that l'esprit d'escalier: The Spirit of the Stairs. It pretty much is the difference between the witty thing that was (or was not) said (the bon mot, meaning good word) and the really really clever thing you think up as a retort after the argument is over and you're walking away, usually up stairs.

    You want witty, read Hitchhiker's guide. It's brimming with sarcasm and cynicism (the essence of wit if you ask me)
     
  11. DivineLemon
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    DivineLemon Member

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    Well my neighbor talked me into viewing the movie "The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and I was not to fond of it. Is the book much the same? Or is is based off different things.

    I will check it out though Edward. Thank you for the help.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The movie was pretty true to the book, but I still enjoyed the book more. Douglas Adams' writing makes all the difference, and in putting it on screen, some of that is lost.
     

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