Friday, October 05, 2007

Dialogue, part II

Yes, I know, far less exciting than Suits, part II, but I can't spend the rest of my life trawling the internet looking for men in suits, as exhilarating as that might be.

Men in suits don't pay the bills.

Well, one does, but I'm married to him. And I pay some of them, too. So I need to write -- and the dialogue chapter one worked out fantastically well.

I felt like Twyla Tharp would have been pleased, though Michelle Styles may tell me that Donald Maass wouldn't have been. I suspect he would, but not on the grounds she has mentioned in the comments of yesterday's blog. So she could be right about that.

Anyway, the dialogue chapter was very "out of the box" but by the time I was finished, I felt like I had all the elements -- and the freedom to have done it without worrying about point of view or tags or all the fiddling bits of description that can flat-out stop me dead.

I just wrote dialogue and brief stage directions. A screenplay basically. And then I went back and layered it when I was done.

Let's have another moment of silent thanks to William Reardon for all he taught me about what dialogue can do. I don't think I forgot. I actually use dialogue a lot. I like it. But I wasn't making it work as hard as I could have.

It's a little like swimming. You know how, sometimes, when you swim you let your arms do all the work and your legs just sort of come along for the ride. Or vice-versa.

That was the dialogue here. It was acting like it was along for the ride. Or, to go on to another figure of speech, it was definitely behaving like it was on minimum wage -- and didn't like the job it had been hired for.

It does now. It's been made to feel like a real partner in the venture. I'm so pleased.

Tomorrow, if I have a minute, I want to talk about a film I just saw. And saw again. And would see again. And probably again if I had the time. I might have to make the time.

Stay tuned.

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