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 Character Speaking

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Sue
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PostSubject: Character Speaking   Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:02 am

This refers to the article that Dick gave us the link to, Criminal Brief.

Now that I am into writing dialog again (which I have hated for years and that is why I haven't finished any fiction), I have a question about what you do with your dialog.

Do you write the way your character would speak? Or, do you write according to the 'rules'?
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Phil Whitley
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Age: 71
Location: Riverdale, GA

PostSubject: Re: Character Speaking   Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:28 am

Write it exactly as the character would speak! (Well, it works for me).

The narrative should usually be written "by the rules", but it's the
dialogue that brings the story to life. That is the whole message in
the "Show, don't tell" thing.

Get that Stephen King book. That is one of his main points!
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lin
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Registration date: 2008-03-20
Location: Mexico

PostSubject: Re: Character Speaking   Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:05 am

I would say, try to stay in the ballpark as far as puntuation, etc. But let the speech flow naturally as it would from the speaker.

"Hell you say!"

"Like I care."

"Best you be handy to your razor."


These are strictly illegal grammatically, but desirable as dialogue.
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Jenny
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Location: Sheffield, England

PostSubject: Re: Character Speaking   Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:31 am

Sue,

These links might help you.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

and one on writing a character's thoughts.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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http://www.victoriahoward.co.uk
JoElle
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PostSubject: Re: Character Speaking   Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:18 pm

Sue Sunshine wrote:
This refers to the article that Dick gave us the link to, Criminal Brief.

Now that I am into writing dialog again (which I have hated for years and that is why I haven't finished any fiction), I have a question about what you do with your dialog.

Do you write the way your character would speak? Or, do you write according to the 'rules'?

There are rules?????? Shocked

Where are these rules?
scratch

Never mind. I don't want to see them.
tongue


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Dick Stodghill
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Age: 89
Location: Akron, Ohio

PostSubject: Re: Character Speaking   Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:53 pm

As suggested by Brew and Lin, have the characters talk just as they would in real life. In many cases the reader would know who is speaking just by the way he talks. A professor at Columbia would speak differently than an Ohio farmer. Don't worry too much about rules; it would be foolish to have the farmer talk like the professor.
If two cops are talking they will sound much alike. If you want examples of stilted speech, listen to cops on news programs.
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lin
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PostSubject: Re: Character Speaking   Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:07 pm

Now you take Uncle Remus.....
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Sue
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PostSubject: Re: Character Speaking   Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:51 pm

Who is Uncle Remus?
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Sue
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PostSubject: Re: Character Speaking   Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:54 pm

Thanks, Jenny, I am going to bookmark and return to those links later today. I appreciate the them.

I also appreciate all the effort you all have exerted in answering my questions. I have been 'dying' to post the following for a while now. It seems the appropriate time. *grin*

Here is Sweet Sue.
She doesn't have a clue.
So she asks and asks
Until she knows what to do.
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Phil Whitley
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PostSubject: Re: Character Speaking   Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:02 pm

Quote :
Who is Uncle Remus?

Uncle Remus (my hero) is the old black man storyteller in Joel Chandler
Harris's collection of stories by the same name.(see wikipedia article
at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] )

It was written using the deep south black dialect of the time.

Remember Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox, etc.?

The stories were immortalized in the movie, Song of the South - one of my very favorites!
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Sue
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PostSubject: Re: Character Speaking   Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:05 pm

Okay, now I know who you are talking about! Thanks for the memory refreshing!
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Phil Whitley
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PostSubject: Re: Character Speaking   Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:06 pm

Now here's a twist on dialogue. Ever tried to write dialogue for a mute person? LOL

See how I handled it in the WIP section Ol' Blind Joe that I just added and give me your honest opinion. I can take criticism!

It also has a lot of dialogue in suthun dialect.
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JoElle
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PostSubject: Re: Character Speaking   Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:18 pm

I found the dialogue in "The Madhatter's Guide to Chocolate" by Rhett DeVane charming, funny, and delightful.

When dialogue is natural and fits the characters ... it can really add to the story.

HOWEVER, going overboard with certain types of speaking styles can be a distraction and downright annoying.

Recently, I've given up on a couple of books because the writer had characters with accents or special types of speech ... and these writers put in so much effort to making their speech style authentic ... that it was a major distraction and super annoying. It was like they tried TOO hard.


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lin
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PostSubject: Re: Character Speaking   Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:36 pm

I follow patterns but generally avoid off-spellings.
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Phil Whitley
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Number of posts: 907
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Age: 71
Location: Riverdale, GA

PostSubject: Re: Character Speaking   Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:41 pm

Quote :
Recently,
I've given up on a couple of books because the writer had characters
with accents or special types of speech ... and these writers put in so
much effort to making their speech style authentic ... that it was a
major distraction and super annoying. It was like they tried TOO hard.

I know exactly what you mean, JoElle. After
writing Keechie and getting feedback from some friends, I had to go
back and "tone `er down" a bit.

Another thing is that suthun-speak drops the final "G" and an
apostrophe is used... (Singing" becomes "singin') and "the" becomes
"th'". Too many of those punctuation marks in a sentence makes it
virtually unreadable, Stephen King said that it is sometimes
better to just leave them off (the asopstophes). The readers (Constant
Readers) aren't stupid and will appreciate it. I'm still undecided on
it.

Dialect is a great character developer if used properly.
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