Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
User Journal

Journal buffer-overflowed's Journal: Why I shouldn't write dialog 8

I always loved writing, but I hate the way I write dialog, here's an example as to why, without formatting.

Are you content?
No, I am not.
Are you happy?
How can I be happy if I am not content.
Are you at peace?
How can I be at peace if I am not content.
Why is that?
There are pressing concerns, things I want changed, things that should be. Things that cause a rebellion in my consciousness.
And why would that be?
I still feel. Embarassment, shame, the need to argue, the whole tumultous rigamorole that is the human condition.
So it all comes back to angst, then?
Yes. And no.
And what does that come down to? ... I had it... and lost it...
I seek more. I seek meaning.
And this goes back to a lack of Why are you not content?
The world does not conform to how I would like it to be.
But that is how things are.
That doesn't mean I should be happy and content with reality.
But that's how things are.
Things should change.
Many fear change.
Because they are foolish, change is how we measure time.
How profound.
Are you mocking me?
It's futile to hold your own against how things are.
But many do.
And they are fools.
So the key is to accept things as they are, to never change, to be content, to never strive for better?
When all is as you want it to be, what is left to do?
So, what's the point of trying to change things, if the end result is the same? You are content with reality.
The journey is what matters.
The end is what matters, and the end is the same.
So I should stop caring then?
That is enlightenment, but not as you think it is.
How profound, For your next trick, will you explain that the meaning of life is 42?
... No ... And sarcasm does not suit you.

Critique at will. Be brutal.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Why I shouldn't write dialog

Comments Filter:

  • always sucks..
  • You're writing like two hemispheres of the brain. Conversations NEVER work like this.

    It's fine when you're dicking around, but folks can't follow it. Remember, people talk and mean what they DON'T say. For example, read 'Heart of Darkness' by's written entirely in the third person. Basically, it's a story about a guy on a barge with two others telling a story. Thus sentences will begin:

    " ' "What are you doing over there?", he heard Kurtz say.' " (rough example, but you get the general gist
    • You're writing like two hemispheres of the brain. Conversations NEVER work like this.

      Cool, I removed the context, but it was internal(sort of, mostly). I'm kinda glad you thought it sounded like that. Still not happy with it. And it's not recent, I stopped writing fiction(ok well no I didn't, judging by my slashdot posts, but you get the meaning there anyway) a long time ago and haven't been able to get back into it. I was always hyper-critical of my dialog(internal and conversations), and beginnings.
    Tally ho, my fine, saucy young trollop. Your luck's in. Trip along here with all your cash and some naughty night attire, and you'll be staring at my bedroom ceiling from now till Christmas, you lucky tart. Yours with the deepest respect etc. Signed George. PS Woof, woof!

    Ah, yes your highness...if I may change one small aspect?


    The words?


    • by nizo ( 81281 ) *

      For all that is holy...they have the entire Blackadder series out on DVD. I wonder if I can get the SO to buy me that for my birthday? :-) And dost my eyes deceive me??? Red Dwarf is out on DVD too! Yeah I am behind the times....

  • Dialogue is foreplay. It is rarely succinct and direct. And it is often awkward. A good way of understanding this is actually reading transcripts of actual conversations. Not anything where anyone is reading off of a teleprompter or shit. Heck, even listen to the exact syntax people use in a conversation.

    Usually what happens is: they say something not quite right but we intuit what they mean and we ignore a lot of the fumbling.

    There's often a lot of stopping and starting. Someone will being making a
    • Dialog is flirting. You need to make a bunch of mistakes. Sometimes its not going to work. Sometimes you aren't going to connect. But you need to keep on swingin'. Also like flirting, there is a rhythm, a cadence, and a pattern to it.

      Tape-record some conversations (A lot of cell phones allow you to record phone calls... or you could actually get a little tape-recorder, so do it) and transcribe them.

      And practice.

      Transcribe movies/tv that have good dialog flow. Do the same with movies that have BAD dialo
      • Also IM logs give you a good feel for back and forth. It's a lot more from-the-hip ala real talking instead of posting online. An example:

        Session Start (sielwolf:your boys boy): Thu Oct ** **:**:** ****
        sielwolf: *shows some XML output*
        sielwolf: pulled from our DB and URLdecoded
        your boys boy: sweet
        your boys boy: whos the man
        sielwolf: *points at this boy*
        sielwolf: I'm thinking I might want to tweak the method
        sielwolf: but that's a minor thing

Loose bits sink chips.