Saturday, June 5, 2010

Writing Dialog

I was going through the first chapter of 'The Prodigal's Foole' this morning and I took some time to read the dialog out loud.

It was a suggestion from one of my readers (I'm looking At you Emmett! :-) ) to try this as he felt a few of the lines were a little awkward.

Picture the scene. A massive electrical storm came through at 3 AM here in Boston. Sleep was no longer an option, so I decided to work for a while. Darkness only broken by the soft glow of my MAC. Occasional flashes of lightning, cats prowling around my feet.

Me, basically talking to myself.

It was like the start of one of those wonderfully bad SyFy made for TV horror flicks (A round of applause for 'Lake Placid 2,' 'Ogre' and 'Mega Piranha').

Now I'd read about checking dialog by reading it aloud before, but--in my head--the dialog sounded fine. Through multiple edits.

But, Emmett is published and I'm not. So I took his advice and read it out loud in the dead of night and most of the dialog was fine.


A few lines were a little awkward.

Damn. I hate it when I know what to do and ignore it.

Manuscript in hand, I'll be going back through all 500 pages. Out loud. Hopefully the neighbors don't notice.

Otherwise I might end up like John Schneider in 'Ogre.'


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