Friday, October 1, 2010
I've had a lot of great responses, both on the blog and via email, to this week's musings on dialogue, so I'll probably keep pushing the discussion to next week, especially I have some questions to answer (see Pam Harris's excellent question about equilibrium in response to my last post, He Said/She Said Helpful Hints.
This challenge was partly inspired by Ellie H., a 14-year-old writer (notice I do not say "aspiring writer"--you either ARE writing or you AREN'T, peeps!) who emailed me recently after reading Before I Fall, and who asked me very nicely to keep up with the challenges.
So, this week's challenge runs thusly. I am going to write out some lines of dialogue, below. I will NOT specify anything about the characters who are conversing--I won't even specify sexes. That's up to you. Your job, in fact, is to flesh out the dialogue by making choices about the interlocutors, and by adding physicality and dimension to the scene.
Make sense? You can make the characters a stepmother and a daughter, or two best friends, or two ex best friends, or two exes, or a brother and a sister who haven't seen each other in a while, or whatever the heck you want. But we must see them, and we must see them in the CONTEXT of the dialogue. In other words, don't just describe them, and then have them speak. Their physical descriptions and interactions should be interwoven WITH the dialogue.
Sound difficult? That's why it's a CHALLENGE, people! :)
Okay, here's the dialogue for you to play with:
"Oh! Hi. God, you scared me."
"No, that's fine. I just wasn't..."
"I just wasn't expecting anyone, that's all."
"I ran into Caitlin recently. She said you were working here."
"Yeah. Three times a week."
"You like it?"
"It's a job. Money's not bad."
"You look good."
"Is that weird to say?"
"No. No--you look good, too. Did you cut your hair?"
Okay...go forth and write!!