Next Noble Pen Meeting
September 26th, 2013 at 7 pm
Scott’s Family Restaurant
1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids
Welcome to Riley, who found the group.
A new public library has opened with many ebooks for checkout, and not a single paper book. It isn’t the first to try going all electronic, but the first one was too early and the idea did not fly then.
Rachel’s play review has been accepted for magazine publication.
Dylan got a fan letter. He has finished the first draft of Sand and Love.
Jed has reached fifty pages on his Castalia story.
Dialog makes up a large part of most fiction writing. Writing effective dialog doesn’t always come naturally, in part because good dialog is not a transcript of a conversation. Have you ever read a verbatim transcript? It probably sounded very awkward.
Conversations usually ramble, are full of social niceties, have many sentence fragments, and uhh, you know, pause fillers. We tend to forget most of that and only remember the important points. Dialog should be condensed to make the points that advance the plot, and only sprinkled with enough conversational traits to read like we remember the conversation, but not sound like a transcript.
Maxwell Alexander Drake makes this and other good points about dialog. Another article illustrates the difference as does this one. Here are 25 tips on dialog. Jenna Kernan gives us 8 reasons dialog is useful in a narrative. Here are some more tips.
I do love to eavesdrop. It’s inspirational, not only for subject matter but for actual dialogue, the way people talk. ~Lynda Barry
Always get to the dialogue as soon as possible. I always feel the thing to go for is speed. Nothing puts the reader off more than a big slab of prose at the start. ~P.G. Wodehouse
I’ve found that good dialogue tells you not only what people are saying or how they’re communicating but it tells you a great deal – by dialect and tone, content and circumstance – about the quality of the character. ~E. O. Wilson