Sunday, October 19, 2008

Capturing Dialogue

The previous posts illuminate one of the challenges of capturing dialogue. (They also point out how irritated I am with John McCain because he's not really a conservative, but that's not relevant right now.) Dialogue is ripe with inflection and tone and intensity and emphasis. As you change those details while speaking, you can completely change the meaning of the same group of words. The trick as writers is to figure out how to convey the sound and pace of the spoken word with nothing but the written word to work with. I wanted to go on a conservative rant for a while but realized that the way these things were said was what had the real impact. There's always neat things like italics and exclamation points and they have their place but I would rather describe the way the character is speaking to make the dialogue come alive. But for this exercise, what I decided to do was a faux transcript. I think it effectively portrayed how the words were being spoken and gives us another way to look at dialogue.

And it was also a couple of quick lessons on freedom and market forces, which is never a bad thing.

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