I just recently watched Pulp Fiction for the first time. Honestly I wouldn’t have liked it near as much a couple years ago, before I had started reading craft books on writing. The most interesting part of the movie, was how unpredictable it was, and how the dialogue between characters felt real. I LOVED watching John Travolta’s, and Samuel L Jackson’s characters go back and forth about utter nonsense, yet somehow remain very entertaining. What is so entertaining about these characters is how utterly different they are disagreeing about even the most seemingly trivial things, yet they genuinely seem to like each other. Instead of yelling and fighting they banter back and forth.
Dialogue might be my toughest challenge in terms of the writing part of being a professional Author. This is because, I have a hard time maintaining comfortable conversations in real life, let alone writing about it! I realized this was an issue when I flipped through some of my favorite books, and saw that at least 70% of each of these books were dialogue. Well crap, I thought to myself. Most everything I’ve ever written is maybe 10% dialogue. Maybe.
After that experience I started reading Dialogue by Gloria Kempton from the Write Great Fiction series, and so far I have learned a lot. I am also paying more attention to dialogue in books, and movies, as well as conversations that happen everyday all around me. So if you see someone lurking in the shadows with only an ear visible, don’t worry it’s probably just me doing some dialogue research. 😉
Are there any other writers out there that have problems with dialogue? Let me know what you struggle with. If not…I guess that means there are a lot of mentors out there for me to choose from. 🙂
Be generous, and share techniques!