Writing is a journey, not a destination.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

I Hope Your Virtual Sheep Makes You Happy While You're Burning In Hell

I couldn't resist! Ocilla's Mommy found a youtube gem called "Facebook Poke" yesterday. HI-larious! The acting wasn't Oscar quality, but the dialogue was brilliant (a bit coarse in places, but lines like the title had me rolling). One of my other favorites was "You poke-whore!"

But it got me thinking how good dialogue is essential in a story. A couple of the Blogs I Follow have written about this recently, and Anne Lamott spent a chapter on it.

I don't like to read plays but occasionally I feel like I'm writing them. Many of Glorya's scenes in Elementals are dialogue-focused. Part of this is because there isn't a lot of action in a cave with no dragon in it. I was going to write monster, but the Achnoi have plenty of monsters. Glorya just has a different experience with life than her sister, more cerebral and less...knifey.

Don't worry. She gets to kick a little tail when the moment calls for it. She just enjoys it less than her sister.

I've heard (and read, on occasion) some authors have trouble with writing dialogue. Never been a problem with me. Maybe it's because I talk so much in real life. Or maybe I'm just good at getting those voices in my head out on paper. I regularly walk down the street without an IPhone and an earbud muttering to myself.

In fact, my scenes usually start out entirely as dialogue. I go back and add "beats" or physical moments to break up the talking.

Readers like good dialogue. It provides white space on the page and a sense of momentum, like they're really going somewhere and they have enough time to read one more page before the boss catches them and they get fired.

So practice your dialogue, dear writers. And enjoy reading it, dear readers. Our voices have to go somewhere.

Hmm. This post is way more boring than the title would lead you to believe. Maybe I should have added dialogue.

By popular demand, I tried to link to the video. I can't figure out how. Maybe this will work:


I guess fourth time's the charm. Watch at your own risk.


  1. It was a very funny video. Curious why you didn't link it here.
    BTW, your dialogue is excellent, but that makes no difference if your story stinks. Your story so does NOT stink. I LOVE it and am patiently waiting for more, my lovely turtle. :)


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