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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Finding home

I like most animals.  They may want to eat you, but they don’t do the casual cruelties that humans do.  But I especially love dogs, and I’ve almost never met one that didn’t like me.  So shelter dogs at risk for being put down hurts.  One artist is making art, surreal and beautiful art at that to publicize that shelter dogs are lost, not caged and pitiable victims.  For a month she is doing art from submitted pictures of shelter dogs. Her photo manipulations are gorgeous.

When we domesticated wolves into pomeranians to pit bulls, we signed up for the long haul, same as any other domesticated animal. We encouraged certain aspects over these thousands of years, so we owe it to care for them as they are no longer wild.   They don’t just disappear because people get bored or squeamish.  Losing their homes is not necessarily their fault when health or financial losses force these separations. I hope all these dogs get new homes.

shelter dog and butterfly by Sarolta Bán