FANFICTION: ALL ABOUT DIALOGUE

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(Being not very familiar with Fan Fiction I decided to take a look at what makes fan fiction popular and well, writing is writing so I had to read about it. One website in particular caught my attention because it seemed to be a good place to start. I am always willing to read about dialogue and everything else about improving my writing.)     https://www.howtowritefanfiction.com

The following is an excerpt from the above linked site:

Dialogue is one of your primary story telling tools; it is how you move the story forward and how you reveal things about your character. If you write your story dialogue the way you talk every day, your reader will be bored in no time flat.

Have you ever had a heated discussion with someone, and then hours later, upon reflection, thought of the perfect witty retort?  The best way to describe written dialogue is what you wish you’d said in the heat of the moment. It’s clever, witty, and sometimes misleading.

Dialogue Defined

Speaker Attributions tell the reader who is speaking. He said and she said are the most common variety.

A Beat is a description of physical action that can be used to indicate the speaker instead of an attribution.

How to Write Dialogue

Don’t explain your dialogue.  When you follow dialogue with phrases like “he said angrily” or “she said harshly” you are explaining how the character feels. Instead, their feeling should be obvious by the words they say as well as their actions.  Use of an adverb (ly) almost always catches you in the act of explaining dialogue. Instead of an adverb, use a beat of action to convey your characters feelings.

When you are writing speaker attributions, said is always the right choice.  Do not saddle your characters with impossible actions; you cannot beam, smirk or grin a line of dialogue.  Said is akin to punctuation. It disappears on the page. For the sake of variety, you can use beats of action in place of said.

Always place the character’s name or pronoun first in a speaker attribution. Use ‘Sam said’ instead of ‘said Sam’. This is the professional standard for dialogue.

Choose one way to refer to a character in a scene and stick with it.  Don’t use “Detective” the first time and “Jane” a few paragraphs later.  This is one case where shaking it up for the sake of variety can be confusing.  Please note that this is within the confines of single scene, not the entire story.

Avoid ping ponging dialogue by having your characters refer to each other by name in order to eliminate speaker attributions.  This is just plain awkward. Use the speaker attribution or a beat of action.

Use sentence fragments and contractions to make your dialogue sound real.  Dialogue is the one place you can play fast and loose with grammar.

Do not use dialogue to data dump. Having your characters speak like an entry in Wikipedia is not natural. If you have a chunk of background information to reveal, do it piece by piece through both dialogue and exposition.

Let your characters lie to each other, argue and misunderstand each other. Allow your characters to be suspicious of each other, to wonder what the truth is. Real life is never wrapped up in a neat package, so give your characters the chance to disagree and they’ll sound more human.

Do This:

Read your dialogue out loud. Listen to see if it sounds natural, and if you can differentiate the characters in your scene by the words they say. As you listen, you should be able to find places where you stumble over words or places where you need beats of action. If your dialogue sounds stiff, make sure it isn’t announcing information that could be imparted through exposition.

My take on this short informative writing about dialogue:

Well, yes, a couple of good reminder points for the absolute beginning writer (oh wait – that’s me) with two books written and a third being written as I speak, I still consider myself a total beginner. I have actually found a few of the writing lessons interesting. For instance, the Seven Point Story Structure, All About Dialogue, and Revision. I found I was actually committing a few sins in my dialogue that I was not even aware I was doing.  I found this site very to the point with few flourishes of dialogue because, frankly, I need to write.

SHE

 

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She,

A being unfolding in the light of knowledge,

A child of life forever opening windows,

To the world,

And lighting candles in dark passages,

She,

Searches in clouds of gray for the color of truth,

And the touch of truth upon her soul,

She,

A glistening aura, a tremble with wonder,

At all there is to learn,

To be,

To embrace in the universe.

 

Ecstatic Moments!

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Life has two ecstatic moments,

One when the spirit catches,

The sight of truth,

The other is when it recognizes,

A kindred spirit…

Perhaps it is only in the land of truth

That spirits may,

Discern each other; as it is when they

Are helping each other on,

That they may best hope to arrive.

Guesses at Truth

Dying to Live

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She is weak,

She is strong,

Her  heart beats wildly,

It no longer beats at all,

She can stand tall,

She has no feet at all,

Her tears run rivers,

Her rivers run dry,

She thinks she can live forever,

She knows she going to die,

She  lost all hope,

She  believed in all,

She never not believed,

In what she could have been.

 

SUMMER TANS

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In time I’m going back,

Into waves of memories,

And, suddenly I find,

The Summer sands,

Like a pulse,

Beating out a Summer heat,

And into my senses I breathe,

The frothy, salty air,

And the Sun,

Like a yellow glaze,

Browns my Summer skin,

That mixes well,

With Turquoise seas,

Flowing deep,

And the feeling,

Oh so sweet,

A blend of oceans, sands,

And Summer Tans!

 

MISTY ROSES

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I can walk down garden paths,

And wander through the misty roses,

Until I find a resting place,

Where my love can find me.

I can sit on velvet skirts,

Upon a mossy knoll,

And ponder on the changing skies,

Until my love can find me there.

I can listen to a whip-her-will,

Cry her mournful tune,

And wonder if she lost her love,

As mine was lost to me.

I can lay me down on fragrant beds,

And watch as posies toss their sleepy heads,

Until I dream my heart away,

And wait until my love can find the way.

 

FREE AT LAST

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FREE AT LAST

I am free at last,

My spirit rushes through me,

Like whistling wisps of air,

Swirling through the trees.

And as I leave the earth,

Spiraling so high,

I reach out to touch the sky.

As I blend into a windy world,

Brushed with blue-lit hues,

The timeless winds, rush to me,

To breeze my fears away.

And I find to my surprise,

My spirit’s restless wanderings,

Like a windstorm running through me.

Until, at last it gathers force,

Like a rolling thunder moves,

The heavens to explode,

Into electric rhythms,

Beating in mid-air.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muse: Toil and Trouble

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It seems we muse best when lonely,

Or depressed,

And only then, in pity,

We condemn our troubles,

Which appear to multiply,

Then double!

Yet, out of all this woe,

Our toiled and troubled spirit,

Seems to flow,

To fetter out the best,

Leaving all the rest.