Dialogue Should Move the Story Forward, Provide Information, or Enhance Characterization, Unless You’re Really Witty
The best dialogue can do all three. This is a rule that’s often broken by great writers, but before you can get away with breaking it, you have to understand why it exists. Recently, I reread one of my first stories. I thought it would be fun to reread, but I was disappointed in much of the dialogue. In the middle of a scene, my heroine Mildred and the housekeeper broke into an exchange about what my heroine wanted for dinner. I think they were the only two people in the world who cared about it. Readers never even got to see them eat this dinner, and the exchange had no point. It didn’t advance the plot, and it told us nothing about Mildred except that she hated sour beef and dumplings.
But let’s say you’re writing a romantic mystery where several people are poisoned by arsenic in the sour beef and dumplings. Suddenly that exchange becomes crucial because the reader knows Mildred was spared because she didn’t like the dish — does this mean the killer poisoned that dish because he didn’t want her to die? Or let’s say the point of the scene is that Mildred’s late father is a famous chef whose specialty was sour beef and dumplings, and Mildred confesses that no longer eats this dish because it brings back too many memories. Now the scene tells us something about Mildred’s personality, not just about her food intake. It wouldn’t take much work to use this exchange to move the plot forward while telling us something about Mildred and sharing the information about the food she likes.
Are you a witty author? Are you sure? If so, then you can get away with writing dialogue that doesn’t advance the plot, doesn’t tell us anything about the character, and doesn’t provide information to the reader. But even if you can get away with it, why should you do this? Even the most sparkling dialogue won’t help your story if it’s completely empty of anything but wit.
I wish I knew how to gamble
I am proud to announce my creative partner and friend Taz and I are launching our first foray into the webcomics scene very soon. You may recognize our collaborative work from a few fanfictions we worked on together over the years (The Serendipity Gospels, Promstuck) and we are really excited to begin to share our original vision with you. This comic, written by Tamsyn and illustrated by me, is a short young adult horror story that I know you guys will love.
Look out for APOTHECIA, launching on 3.31.14.
Vera Wang Fall Winter Bridal Collection 2012
today i thought “hey you know who i havent drawn in a while. naoto shirogane.”
so i drew naoto nine times in a row
reblog my selfies
GABE SO HOT HOT HOT GABE GABE SO HOT U FRY AN EGG
Pretty heartbreaking. These beautiful and bright students deserve so much better. Above I included some of the photographs (there’s many more) of Black women who are students there because I think it’s important to point out how racism is not only impacting Whites’ perception of their intelligence but also how White people approach their appearance as well, in gender-specific ways. This is heartbreaking to me albeit not surprising. The myth that working hard = happy payoff is a fairy tale. Racism is ubiquitous.
I really wish them the best with their education and the ability to navigate these microaggressions and overt acts of racism. This stuff increases stereotype threat and impacts mental health and health which impacts performance. I want the best for them. Much love. ❤