Friday, 13 April 2012

Being an Author: Dialogue

So at the moment I've got three projects on the go. Ignoring one, that leaves the novel and a short. Just recently (the last chapter or so) I've found that my novel characters are becoming a bit... well, bland. I was confused at first - my characters are normally okay.

So, Blandy McBland, Third Heir in the line to Blandom (or, the hero of said novel (and no, I don't like the word hero)) is bland. Interesting McCool is swathy. Cool. Interesting. I like him (No. Not like that!).


So I looked, studied, and devoured my word. Why was Interesting McCool better than Blandy. Looking at actions, motive and delivery, they were all fine. It was the dialogue.

But why?

Blandy is real. Too real. Anyone will tell you that your characters should have a grounding, a personality, something to make you believe in them, and ultimately, care. But you can go too far. This is almost a Writing Your First Novel piece.

I've gotten used to him, and now he has become an extension of a real person, saying things that real people say. In other words, the last chapter I wrote (of my horror novel) is a soap opera.

So, do you think I need to have my nails done? Did you see the Lakers game? I just don't know what I fancy for dinner tonight... How did you sleep? See Dallas last night?
You see? It doesn't work, does it?

Dialogue needs to feel real. It doesn't just have to be real. Make it familiar, snappy, fun, and most of all, interesting.

Remember. You might care what the person you're talking to had for dinner last night... but does your reader?

Just sayin'

'Til next time...

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