Dialogue of What
Writing dialogue has always seemed to be a tricky part of writing any story. People usually can describe a room, the hue of certain rug and the detailed qualities of a bookshelf.
Often in writing, this is used to fill an insane amount of pages and make the action and/or dialogue occurring feel more real. I have no issue with this practice, nor this mind-set.
But I guess the parts of stories that interest me the most are the characters, and the development of them. This happens with interaction, and more often than not, that interaction happens with other characters as opposed to their environment.
Either someone has done something to someone else, or said something, but words are spoken and exchanged. I have talked about the flow of a conversation, and all types of conversations have this.
From introductions to talks at coffee shops with long time friends to phone conversations with past lovers, every conversation you have ever had with anybody has a flow. These flows can be placed on different characters in different settings.
But the interactions are what is always different. It is like playing music. You can play the same song countless times, and the audience may not see the different intricacies that only you know. That is how dialogue in the written word works.
You know what will trigger your characters. You know what will set one off into a fit of rage, or what will make them calm and calculated. You know what will be the turning point and what will end the dialogue. You know all of this.
What dialogue does as well is allow you to emit these changes without using 25 pages to simply say, “My character is different now.”
A good writer doesn’t waste words on setting up the environment and setting and progress of the story. A great writer make you forget your reading at all and puts you with the people in the story.
So, go out and have a conversation with a stranger, or an old friend. Listen to the words being used, listen to the flow and watch for what makes the conversation stall and what makes it more lively. Watch how they act, and more when talking about certain things.
These details can easily be placed onto the pages of works, but it is how we use it that makes all the difference. We all talk, we all interact. We all do this naturally. Describing an environment is fantastic, but describing it without “describing” it is even more fantastic.