June 6th, 2011

Burp

Writing Excuses 5.38: Dialog with John Scalzi

Writing Excuses 5.38: Dialog with John Scalzi

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2011/05/22/writing-excuses-5-38-dialog-with-john-scalzi/

Key points: Read outside your genre, looking specifically at dialogue. Understand that dialogue is not speech, it is a speech-like process to convey information in a story. Dialogue is a caricature of speech. Watch movies. Make dialogue feel real, but not be real. Read your dialogue out loud. Speak it! Be merciless with your dialogue. Practice reducing real conversations to tweetable versions.
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[Brandon] John, we're going to force you to give us a Writing Prompt. It must be brilliant, and articulate, and interesting, and make all of our listeners want to become even better writers. This is my gift to you as my nemesis.
[John] Such a gift it is. Okay. Since we have been talking about dialogue, I think that we should have a Writing Prompt that is about dialogue. I believe what I want people to do is have a dialogue between somebody ordering at a drive-through, and someone taking the order. But the person taking the order at the drive-through is also currently being held up at gunpoint.
[Brandon] Oh. That's a really good Writing Prompt. I was hoping you'd flub that. Scalzi!
[John] And this is why I am your nemesis.
[Brandon] Yet again.
[Howard] Well, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you very much. This was recorded live at Penguicon. A little noise from the audience.
[Noise]
[Howard] Everybody, you're out of excuses.
[Brandon] Now go write.