Hold your tongue!

I’ve talked about blabbermouths and chatty people in Shut your cakehole. I’ve discussed keeping dialogue out of scenes for logical reasons in Shhh don’t say a word. There are times when I feel dialog needs to be left out to make a point or establish a characters frame of mind.

When it comes to people, there are those that are quieter than others are. They speak less frequently and often only contribute when there is something important or witty to say. These are the characters that impart wisdom and random insights that can stun others, change the direction of the story or even provide a key observation to move the plot forward. There are also those that for extenuating circumstances clam up and have little or nothing to say.

For these people I will write them in a conversation by an appropriate action. Especially if the conversation is contrary to their personality. If the conversation is annoying to them I might have them roll their eyes, then have a chatty chipper person call them out only to respond with a mere shrug.

“I can’t believe that happened!” Valery raised her hand to cover a giggle.
Anne leaned closer to Sasha and Valery. “I know right?”
“Of all people, he flirts with Sash.” Valery grinned at her frowning friend. “You little minx you.”
“For someone dressed for Sunday school you sure are getting a lot of attention tonight.” Anne glanced at the handsome man named Balor the first of two to flirt with Sasha and downed a tequila shot. She and held one out for Sasha who waived it away.
Valery giggled again then leaned into Sasha. “That Cal guy was totally trying to get your attention, and the other one, a smidge weird, but still into you.”
Sasha rolled her eyes and glanced over at Cal. He smiled, she looked back at the shooter Anne held in front of her face and gently pushed it away.
Valery set her drink down hard on the table. “Oh common Sash, lighten up you need to move on already.”
Sasha pursed her lips, narrowed her eyes and stalked off to the restroom.
“Should we go after her?” Anne downed Sasha’s tequila shot.
“Nah.” Valery waved her hand in Sasha’s direction. “She needs a dose of reality.” “Or a good lay.” Anne burst out laughing.

 Not talking doesn’t mean Sasha is always this way, she is in an uncomfortable situation and her friends are being pushy and loud. It is a good way to show her annoyance and impatience, set the tone for her pending character development, and maybe hint at a backstory.

My advice about silence in dialogue.
It can be a very good way to bring depth to a character, or prepare them for their journey of self-discovery or change. Alternatively, it can be a good personality trait. Either way, don’t forget that not everyone has to participate in the conversation.


Related Posts:

Shut your cake hole

Shhh… Don’t say a word.

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18 thoughts on “Hold your tongue!

  1. I liked your advice. 👍
    To be honest I’m that kind of an introvert who is mostly not involved in large group conversations and it is true about how people react to such response of people… But it is one’s own personality, his/her own trait and we need to accept how they are.. but at times.. they need to adopt the extrovert-features…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As always, very informative. I wouldn’t normally think of writing this sort of thing (even though I experience this sort of thing in real life). I would give Sasha a few more action tags, personally, so she’s harder for the reader to miss. On my first (admittedly very quick) read-through, I didn’t realize she was there until the end.

    Liked by 1 person

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