Saturday, April 07, 2007

I'm mad at words..


I've been working on a little short story that I wanted to post for Easter,but It just ain't gonna happen.
I like the premise,and have the ending pretty well nailed,but there is one minor stumbling block that is giving me more than a little angst..

I suck at dialogue!!

If I could tell the story in the narrative,that would be wondermous.Unfortunately,the characters need to interact in order to move the story along,and that's where the whole thing goes to shit.

***Example***

"What's that?" she inquired,.inquiringly.
"Toe fungus!" he exclaimed.
"Oh"...

See what I mean!!

I think it has a lot to do with that fact that I'm just no good at small talk.
Usually,whenever someone attempts to engage me in a conversation that lasts more than a few sentences,my mind starts to move on to other things,and I tend to respond with one of those catch-all conversational bridges.
"Really?...you don't say"..Turns out,..They usually DO say.
In any case,I'll save what I've done so far in "Word",and hopefully present it in some kind of coherent form at a future date.

Still,it doesn't help my fragile ego that even Little Newt is a masterful conversationalist.
This morning,he was playing with a new toy that shoots little foam rubber "disks"..("disks".."masks".."desks"...words that defy proper pronunciation,I don't care who you are!)..Anyway,..he was trying to ask me,"Have you seen my diskesses,..discus,..dis,..that's a hard word!..I think I'll just call 'em CD's"...

Now THAT'S dialogue!

Labels:

23 Comments:

At 2:38 PM , Blogger the rube said...

toe fungus usually speaks for itself. it's pretty hard to construct witty dialogue around it.

maybe newt can give you a few pointers.

 
At 2:42 PM , Blogger Sling said...

Hey Rube!...Don't think I'm not followin' the little guy around with pen in hand.He's a fountain of inspiration!

 
At 3:01 PM , Blogger CS said...

I think if you just change it to "she inquired questioningly," you've got it nailed.

 
At 4:28 PM , Blogger Sling said...

CS-See?...That just comes naturally for you!.. ;)

 
At 4:57 PM , Blogger rosemary said...

"Oh Sling, you are so wondermus at small talk." she said with her head slightly tilted to the side.

"Ah, go on, no I'm not." Sling said all the while thinking of other small things.

May I touch your pencil and paper? Maybe I'll be inspired!" she softly whispered.

"Really, you don't say? Uhhuh." Sling muttered.

 
At 5:20 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

LOL at Rosemary. My problem with stories is exactly the opposite, all talk no anything else. Maybe we should collaborate. Beer would be involved.

And happy Easter! That cocktail you were making at the bar was superfantastic!

 
At 5:30 PM , Blogger yellowdog granny said...

hell, you worked toe fungus into the conversation..how much better can it get than that?

 
At 5:37 PM , Blogger Sling said...

rosie- "Umm..yeah,..I really like vanilla too!". ;)

lorraine-Drunken writing!..could work.
JP was misbehaving at the bar today,but I wasn't!!...crap...I promised not to tell..

Yellowdog G.-Sadly,it's supposed to be a love story..See my problem?

 
At 6:33 PM , Blogger apositivepessimist said...

I love werds.

Werds are mah friends.

I like that smalltalk werds can be just grunting noises.

 
At 6:55 PM , Blogger Sling said...

I love werds too Apos!
I'm gonna hammer away at it for awhile.
I do think that the occasional "UGH!" might be acceptable.

 
At 7:29 PM , Blogger Danielle said...

I am in the same boat with you on that one Sling. It is the biggest stumbling block I encounter. Usually it doesn't sound "real" or it is chit chat and doesn't add to the story. You could just corner your characters into a corner and make them talk.

Be well and enjoy the day

 
At 8:07 PM , Blogger Sling said...

danielle- Exactly!..It always comes across sounding contrived.I mean...more contrived than my regular stuff.
..and I am doing well,thanx!
Happy Easter! :)

 
At 8:25 PM , Blogger Danielle said...

I really liked the picture you included in the post. I wanted to share Mirror Mirror with you and you can see I try to avoid dialogue too. I can't find the most recent edited version of this and I know it needs work in the conflict development but I get stuck on what to cut out what to elaborate on. I'm glad you're enjoying life. I'm serious about cornering your characters whom I am sure you are "buddies" with and see what they say, how do they say it. It has worked for me.

Take care

 
At 8:51 PM , Blogger Sling said...

danielle-Thanx for the link kid!..I left ya a comment.:)

 
At 6:29 AM , Blogger Dan said...

Diskesses ... discus ... dis ... you're right! It is a damned tough word. But so is wondermous!

Happy Passover or Easter or whatever my friend!

 
At 9:06 AM , Blogger Sling said...

dan-..and Seasonal Salutations to you as well! :)

 
At 10:04 AM , Blogger Allan said...

"I've been working on a little short story that I wanted to post for Easter,but It just ain't gonna happen.
I like the premise,and have the ending pretty WELL NAILED..."

Yikes! In context, that sounds like something Pontious Pilate would say...

Happy Springtime!

 
At 11:37 AM , Blogger gina said...

Yeah, I've got pretty much the same problem as Lorraine - all dialogue, not much else. I'm a whiz at dialogue, both in writing and in person (just ask Rosemary). It's all the other stuff that messes me up.

My husband is like you - hates small talk. That's why we're a great pair. :) Hope your holiday weekend was splendelicous!

 
At 11:37 AM , Blogger gina said...

errr...that would be "splendelicious"

 
At 8:54 PM , Blogger Sling said...

allan-Thanx...now I've got THAT image in my head!..;)

gina-I really do find dialogue interesting to read,I just don't like writing it.I'm always thinking to myself."Get to the point!"...(he said,with the typical impatience that had come to define their ralationship..How she longed for the days when Brad had made her feel like SHE was the only thing that mattered...)
:O..

 
At 8:57 PM , Blogger Monica said...

small talk is my kryptonite. i'm all about exposition. haha

 
At 9:31 PM , Blogger Sling said...

monica-Every superhero has their vulnerable side.It's a little known fact that cotton balls give Batman "The Heebie-Jeebies!"..

 
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