Behind The Scenes

05 Nov

Stuggling with Dialog again

I’m back in the mood to write – plots are thickening, characters are brewing, and once again dialog is casting fear.

I’m thinking of doodling, scratching as I’ve called it in the past. An artist might have a doodle pad to get the kinks out, to start their creative process. And what I might have to do is start off with dialog and let the character/plot develop from there. I.e., the ice I have to break is dialog, not the rest.

Both the stories about Jenny and Nanos are fleshed out enough to turn into product. The Nanovampire is the closest thing I have to blossoming into a real story and I don’t know how to flesh it out.

I was just looking at a webcomic – Wapsi Square and again I’m struck by how much of a comic is dialog. Shelly’s consciousness could just “Thip!” in the key and the head, but the explicit expression of Shelly’s fears about hurting Monica carries the story.

In my creative writing course way back when in 11th grade, I wrote a story that was just dialog. And I discovered that those words, “he said” bored me to death and trivialized the process for me. I remember I made it a volleyball match with the two characters using terms from that sport instead of “said”.

I also feel that dialog is the part that has to come across as natural. Plot, descriptive narrative, characterizations, can all be a stylistic choice, i.e., part of the art of writing. But dialog, we experience that every day. We know what sounds true and what sounds stilted. And when I see that being forced in my writing, I eventually stop writing.

My son is writing for school and he is struggling with sharing his work with others. I’ve tried to tell him it is a very common feeling and the best thing to do it to just do it. I know that has worked for me in the past with technical papers, public presentations, etc. And I need to listen to myself and continue this blog, continue posting stories on the sister site.

I’ve mentioned that webcomics are an inspiration to me. There is a lot of great art and story out there in this medium. And it is by people who might not have as wide of an audience or the balls to do it if it weren’t for the communication medium and not having some media mogul deciding if they should pay you.

One of the further inspirations is when those artists share their fear of sharing their works. They talk about how they are gripped with depression and doubt. But they still manage to put out some quality product.

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