1. Phifty2
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    Phifty2 Member

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    Who here loves to write dialogue?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Phifty2, May 9, 2009.

    I do. I hear a lot of people say they don't like writing dialogue or have trouble with it but that's when I have the most fun writing and I think I'm pretty good at it. I just find it extremely easy. Writing description is where I have my troubles.

    If I could write a whole book of nothing but dialogue, which I suppose I could, I would, which maybe I will.

    I'll give an example off the top of my head. Hmmm...

    "Hi Linda." He said through the plastic window.
    "Sam."
    "Look, i'm not going to be getting out next week I--"
    "Oh Sam! What did you do now?"
    He got angry fast. "I didn't do **** except defend myself! Would you rather have come here today and been told I was in the infirmary or worse?"
    "No." She said, hanging her head.
    "Well I'm glad to hear that."
    "So?" She said.
    "So, they say depending on the condition of the other guy it could be anywhere from 6 months to two years. There were plenty of witnesses, some on my side, who will tell it the way it really happened."
    "It's just that I've been waiting for so long and now...this." She was starting to cry.
    "I know honey, I know."

    Nothing but dialogue but you can tell where they are, what their relationship is, what kind of a man Sam is, and what happened beforehand.
     
  2. democat
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    democat Member

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    Dialogue tends to be easier because you know what the character will say. Perhaps work on your description rather than trying to circumvent it?

    I stand by the statement that dialogue should only be used to further the plot.
     
  3. Dr. Doctor
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    Dr. Doctor Contributing Member

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    Naw, it can also be used to spice up the story. Just look at Pulp Fiction. Dialogue can be used however the author sees fit. Limiting it to only stuff about the plot might not always be realistic, given the context of whatever the story is about.

    But then, I write crime/thriller stuff, so maybe that's why. Example of mine:

     
  4. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dialogue is heavily used in my serials, not as much in the novels. I guess I do like it, although it's a bit challenging to make work properly.
     
  5. Phifty2
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    Phifty2 Member

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    Circumvent it? I'm not trying to. I was simply making the point that I like to write dialogue.

    There's nothing wrong with dialogue as well as prose being used to describe your setting or charcters.

    Aside from proper grammar and punctuation I don't really hold to any rules that limit your writing. Good writing is were you find it, no matter how it's achieved.
     
  6. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    I am guessing he is in prison, husband and wife, or lovers of some sort. I don't see being brother or sister, Sam seems to be a bad guy at one point in his life, but is trying to change, and got messed up in something in prison. Am I close? I like to write the way you do, but I had to train myself to write more of a story then dialogue.
     
  7. Phifty2
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    Phifty2 Member

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    You got it. As far as husband and wife or lovers go I was leaning more towards lovers but you could tell they have an intimate relationship.
     
  8. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    Yes, as pissed off as she seemed, hoping that he was getting out, by what I understood, and then bam, he ends up in more trouble. I would go with lovers, husband and wife, depending on the dedication, can bolt, lovers, true lovers never give up, get pissed yes, give up no. What do you think?
     
  9. Phifty2
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    Phifty2 Member

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    Yeah, his wife probably would have left hm by now and if not certainly after this event.

    BTW, I assume you take your name from Raymond Chandler? One of my favorite writes.
     
  10. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    Yes, and also it is part of my real name. I am also writing a novel with my MC first name is Chandler, so it only seems fitting, like it? How did you come up with your screen name?
     
  11. Phifty2
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    Phifty2 Member

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    I was reading and really into a weekly DC comic series called 52 when I made it for another site few years ago. I'm aslo a big Philadelphia Phillies fan so that's where the ph spelling comes in.
     
  12. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    Oh that is really cool. I am no where in philadelphia, I like the creativity.
     
  13. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dialogue and description in what I write are often interwoven. I don't have either actions, description, or dialogue separate from each other in specific parts of a page:

    That's a bit long, but as you can see I throw a lot of stuff in there ;)
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't take a particular joy in writing dialogue, but I do enjoy the challenge in doing it well.

    Dialogue done well is not just another means of exposition. Good dialogue expressess far more in what is not said than in what is said. The real trick is to make the it sound natural without merely echoing casuial speech. The majority of real conversation isn;t worth listening to, so why subject your readers to it?

    To me, dialogue is far more demanding and challenging than narrative. I'm not content with writing small talk, unless it has strong undercurrents in the subtext.
     
  15. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I hate writing dialogue. I suck at it. Suck. And I've heard all the advice like "listen to other people's conversations" and all that, and I've read a lot of authors who are great at dialogue, but I just can't make mine work. Its always jilted, flat, unconvincing. So my writing tends to be very description-intensive, to the dismay of some readers...
     
  16. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    Arron, but lo and behold, you've wrote greate dialogue in your post. All you need to do is put quotation marks on them.

    "I hate writing dialogue. I suck at it. Suck."

    "And I've heard all the advice like 'listen to other people's conversations' and all that, and I've read a lot of authors who are great at dialogue, but I just can't make mine work."

    "Its always jilted, flat, unconvincing. So my writing tends to be very description-intensive, to the dismay of some readers..."

    These are great dialogues. ;) Think of dialouges as message board writings.
     
  17. Aeroflot
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    Aeroflot Senior Member

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    I don't write dialogue much. Most of my stories have two or three lines of it, and that is only because I naturally feel that it should be there instead of description. Perhaps it's because I don't talk that much.
     
  18. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    That wasn't nothing but dialog though. You used beats as well, small actions like tilting his head, etc.

    Dialog is fun to write, and it doesn't always have to further the plot. It can also be used to show character, to build character, to reveal secrets, to describe the setting, etc.

    From an old novel I never finished. They are waiting at a red light. Although, this dialog doesn't progress the story line, it does build character.

    “Waiting at red lights is stupid. Reminds me of Superman.”
    With nail file in hand, Kim paused and stared at Neil. “Superman is stupid?”
    “No,” Neil said, tapping his left foot next to the break-peddle. “But, I was thinking of the movie when Superman flew around the earth and reversed time. That had to be the stupidest thing to ever happen in any movie.” He slammed on the gas. “Finally, green light.”
    Kim smiled. “Slow down, you might reverse time.”
     
  19. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    I'd have to agree with Cog. Writing dialogue can be incredibly difficult if you have trouble recognizing inflections in speech. There are undertones in everything we say to one another and if you can't recognize when someone's pissed/sad/happy by the inflection of their voice in real life, then you probably aren't going to be able to recreate it in fiction either. Aggravation really can creep into someone's tone, after all, and if you can't hear it happen, then you can't write about it happening in a way that makes sense. Good dialogue is only possible when you really undertake a study of how people interact with one another. It's not enough to simply listen to the words...it's important to listen for the subtle tones that cue us into the way others are feeling.

    And, on a personal note, I love writing dialogue but I prefer to use it very rarely so that it has more of an impact.

    ~Lynn
     
  20. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    I refuse to take any advice that states that you should only do such-and-such to 'further the plot'.

    It's like when I see movies that have one ostensibly insignificant event occur, and then, the rest of the movie, I KNOW that this event is going to have an enormous effect on the ending.
    That's boring and JUST as unnecessary as if the event had no meaning at all.

    Every word, every line, every description should have a direct bearing on the plot? Lame. I'll not be following THAT advice.

    It's just like in I, Robot where he tells Spooner that he has nice shoes, to which Spooner replies, "Vintage, 2004."
    Sure, it was a sales pitch, but BESIDES that, despite that it had no relation to the plot, I still enjoyed it. Seeing the characters do things that are not related to the plot can often be more fun than watching it progress, or, in fact, cause it to seem even more interesting when it DOES progress.

    But that's just me, and, after all, I used the word 'but' at the beginning of a sentence, so what do I know?


    Edit: Incidentally, Eyez made a great post, above. Hilarious.
     
  21. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Right now I'm really enjoying writing dialogue. I'm having so much fun with it that I'm trying to write a story that is only dialogue between two unnamed people. It's actually turning out to be a LOT of fun, and one of the best things I've written. We'll have to see if I can keep it up throughout the whole story. It's also great because I used to really struggle with writing dialogue and this is helping that out a lot.
     
  22. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    Trade you, I can dialogue, story writing another thing.
     
  23. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    I have a little too much fun with dialogue. Half the time, I don't pay close enough attention to what I'm writing and end up dragging the conversation on for ten thousand and a half pages, or I'll slip up and reveal more than I should at one time.

    Redoing dialogue is what I hate. To me, it feels kind of like chopping down a beautiful tree to make a bridge--you hate to see it mangled out of its natural form, but it's turned into something useful, so you have to do it anyway.
     
  24. starseed
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    starseed Contributing Member

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    I adore dialogue, it's my favorite thing to write.

    Agreed. Do whatever you want, I say. Although it would depend on how this is meant, I guess. I write mostly character based stuff. Not a lot actually "happens" in my stories. People meet, people interact, people fall in love, people learn things from each other. But I don't have big crazy plots in my stories, so for me, dialogue, or other form of character interaction IS the story.

    I disagree with the idea that most everyday conversation isn't worth listening to (paraphrased what you said, I dont want to go back the page to quote it lol). I absolutely LOVE listening to people. Human beings just fascinate the hell out of me. I'm an eavesdropper. I love just sitting in a cafe and pretending to read or something and listening to other people talk. Even if it's just boring, everyday stuff, it always fascinates me! :)
     
  25. vanhunks
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    vanhunks Member

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    Although I've been told I write dialogue well, I don't like writing it> For sure, it's necessary where I feel it to drive the plot. Old friend of mine called meaningless dialogue "orange juice" - sweet with nowhere to go.
     

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