Dialogue Machine

Dialogue is usually one of my favorite parts of writing. Like many writers, I have to make a special effort to include enough exposition that my readers get my world, but resisting infodumps from world-building.  Dialogue is about showing character and moving things along.

I love changing hats for the characters in a story. I know when I have a good handle on a character when their words flow out of their point of view and goals. Sometimes that character’s hat gets so strong and solid, that they start commenting on things in real life. I’m never quite sure if that’s an encouraging sign to have that rich a characterization, or if that is a different kind of problem.

A fun thing is ‘writing’ dialogue for your dogs. You can see what they’re feeling, especially with the puppy who still hasn’t learned their limits:

  1. ‘But daddy, you’re done with that napkin. Why can’t I have it? I will just suck on it. I’ll shred it later.’
  2. ‘First you tell me to speak and you talk Scooby at me, and then want me to shut up?’
  3. (after licking older dog’s face) Hmm, those crumbs taste good. I will make sure you’re clean so you can get unimpeded smells… of my butt.’ (This is not unrelated to the older and smaller dog making the younger one yip when they won’t stop X behavior: stealing food, trying to steal napping dog’s chair, blocking access to a person)
  4. ‘Oooh, that bacon smells SO good! I don’t care that I can’t digest pork. I will be really good. please, please, PLEASE!’
  5. ‘Why is this bed so crowded? That’s fine, you can get off.’
  6. ‘Why can’t we wrestle and  charge around the house at 3am? You don’t want to play?’
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