Monday, April 23, 2012

T Stands For...

talk! You know, chatter chatter, mumble mumble, blah blah, yak yak. I want to talk about talking our way through our stories. While I'm writing, people around me think I'm ZONKERS, ZANY, ODD, PECULIAR, BIZARRE, because if I'm writing dialogue, I'm talking as I type. I learned this from my most favorite author in the world, John Steinbeck. Well, actually he's tied for first place in my heart with Anna Sewell. 
"If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech." -John Steinbeck 
Is that quote bodacious or what? Isn't he the coolest?? The next time you write dialogue, try it. It really works. Either it will sound easy or strained. Then you can change it as you go. It's much, much better to have your dialogue just so when revising, because your dialogue is right. You know it's right, because you talked your way through the story. For more A to Z, click on my flashy alphabet box at the top of the sidebar. This saved as published and then blogger who hateth me, saved it as a draft. *sob*

16 comments:

  1. What excellent advice. I'm going to try that tip. Thanks, John Steinbeck and Robyn!

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  2. Oh, I love writing dialogue and I do say it out loud. Over and over again. It's the best way to write it.

    The people who know me don't think I'm bizarre anymore (at least not to my face...) because they're used to it.

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  3. I've just come across a post re Steinbeck's Primer for Writers. You may find it here.
    http://venturegalleries.com/featured-vg-blog/the-john-steinbeck-primer-for-writers

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  4. This is wonderful advice, amigo! Wow. I need to give that a try. I've heard of writers acting out scenes to get things just right, but not this. Thanks so much for this bodacious tidbit!

    Sending hugs your way,
    Karen

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  5. Fantastic idea! I may purchase a small recorder and try this.

    Thanks.

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  6. I'm actually a big talker but a minimalist writer. Less is usually more. :O)

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  7. Dialogue is my weak point. I usually just type it out and then a test reader and I read the lines out loud. That's when I realize it sucks and we fix it.

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  8. I talk to myself the whole time I write. I KNEW there was a good reason! :)

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  9. Great advice, thanks for sharing it. I always talk to myself while writing. But, I didn't realize it was a technique recommended by one of my favorite authors. Good to know!

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  10. When I tried writing novels, I'd get compliements on my realistic dialogue. My prose was less than stellar. Turns out, I'm a playwright. I hear voices, and I record their words.

    Play off the Page

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  11. That makes perfect sense!
    I'm going to give it a try...

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  12. Robyn!! You and Steinbeck are BRILLIANT!

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  13. You always make perfect sense, Ms. Steinbeck! So sorry Blogger is acting up on you. Crazy! I better keep an eye out and stay out of La-La Land!

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  14. Hi Robin .. excellent advice from Steinbeck .. Talk as I go .. I'm worried about the hairs in the palm of my hands?

    Bob's link sounds interesting ..

    Hope by now - your challenges have sorted themselves out .. cheers Hilary

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