Author Topic: Common sense...  (Read 480 times)

R. C.

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Common sense...
« on: March 30, 2021, 07:32:52 AM »
... is not common. At least, not for us who are struggling with being new the the authoring business.

I came across this today and thought I'd share: Jerry Jenkins.

SIX DIALOG RULES
1) Cut dialog to the bone.
2) Subtle reveal of backstory.
3) Dialog reveals character. Be subtle. - Less it more. (Subtext, Sidestepping, Silence)
4) Read Aloud
5) A "Make My Day Moment"
6) Avoid "On The Nose" Dialog

Cheers,
R.C.
 

Maggie Ann

Re: Common sense...
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2021, 09:06:27 AM »
But ... but dialog is my strong point. :doh:
           
 
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TimothyEllis

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Re: Common sense...
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2021, 11:54:41 AM »
1) Cut dialog to the bone.

NOPE!  :icon_eek:

People don't edit their own dialogue. Conversations are not nicely trimmed exchanges between people who think out what they say before they say it.

If you want to have real dialogue, it has to be verbose and natural sounding.

You cut it down, and it stops working for the reader.

"Jon?"
"Jane?"
"Some idiot wants the author to cut our dialogue back to the bone."
"What bone?"
"I've no idea."
"Then why mention it?"
"Sometimes I wonder why I do."
"I do to. And you keep talking about the author in the present tense when he's been dead for six hundred years."
"Dead to you maybe."
"Jane?"
"Jon?"
"Are you on something I don't know about?"
"It's called life, Jon. Get one."
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JRTomlin

Re: Common sense...
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2021, 01:22:49 PM »
I watched a few minutes of the video. He gave an example of his 'cut to the bone' dialogue which had the disadvantage of being stripped of all personality or characterisation. Of course, dialogue does not need every 'uh' or 'hmmm' we actually use, but if you cut out every word not needed to convey meaning then you have probably lost any character building which is one of the most important things that dialogue does.
 
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TimothyEllis

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Re: Common sense...
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2021, 01:36:38 PM »
I watched a few minutes of the video. He gave an example of his 'cut to the bone' dialogue which had the disadvantage of being stripped of all personality or characterisation. Of course, dialogue does not need every 'uh' or 'hmmm' we actually use, but if you cut out every word not needed to convey meaning then you have probably lost any character building which is one of the most important things that dialogue does.

 :tup3b

A great deal of character development comes out of what they say, and how they say it.

Also likeability by readers as well comes from dialogue. imo.
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R. C.

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Re: Common sense...
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2021, 10:27:19 PM »
Based on the comments, I read: All things in moderation is the key.

So... Balance?   :doh:

Cheers,
R.C.
 

Anarchist

Re: Common sense...
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2021, 12:22:49 AM »
I don't watch videos of writers advising on craft.

I read their books and emulate what I like.
"The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.” – Thomas Sowell

"The State is an institution run by gangs of murderers, plunderers and thieves, surrounded by willing executioners, propagandists, sycophants, crooks, liars, clowns, charlatans, dupes and useful idiots—an institution that dirties and taints everything it touches.” - Hans Hoppe

Nothing that requires the labor of others is a basic human right.

I keep a stiff upper lip and shoot from the hip. - AC/DC
 
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PJ Post

Re: Common sense...
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2021, 12:47:26 AM »
 
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idontknowyet

Re: Common sense...
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2021, 05:17:08 AM »
But ... but dialog is my strong point. :doh:
this!
 
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LBL

Re: Common sense...
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2021, 04:59:44 AM »
1) Cut dialog to the bone.

If George V. Higgins followed this advice, 'The Friends of Eddie Coyle' would not exist, and the world would be poorer for it.
 
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RPatton

Re: Common sense...
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2021, 09:40:23 AM »
Aaron Sorkin teaches a Masterclass in dialogue and story arcs. Not once does he ever say to cut dialogue to the bone. In fact, he pretty much says that good dialogue doesn't have to be natural, meaning you probably wouldn't hear it in the wild. As long as the dialogue moves the story forward and there's an intention (want) and obstacle, it doesn't need to be cut.

(If you haven't seen his Masterclass yet, it's definitely worth it, much better than Patterson's class and up there with Shonda Rhimes class.)
 
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Lorri Moulton

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Re: Common sense...
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2021, 12:54:02 PM »
Dialogue can definitely drive the story.  This scene and the one about the racetrack were added to the movie to showcase Bogart and Bacall's banter after To Have and Have Not.  Having to cut original footage for time can make the plot a little difficult to follow, but those added scenes of dialogue are what make this version of the story so memorable.

« Last Edit: April 02, 2021, 01:00:46 PM by Lorri Moulton »

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PJ Post

Re: Common sense...
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2021, 02:22:26 AM »
Serve the story and you'll be fine.

Not the packaging or publisher, not the writing coaches or editors or style guides or critics, not the trends or algorithms or platform - just the story.

Of course, that's much easier said than done.  :writethink:
 
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The Bass Bagwhan

Re: Common sense...
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2021, 11:40:37 AM »
Serve the story and you'll be fine.

Not the packaging or publisher, not the writing coaches or editors or style guides or critics, not the trends or algorithms or platform - just the story.

Of course, that's much easier said than done.  :writethink:

I agree with this completely, and I'll add "serve your own writing voice and style", which can be the point of difference that makes your writing preferable (to others) than someone else's.
 
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