Logically Speaking

I think a lot about talking. Specifically dialogue. Logically, dialogue should be logical, make sense and be straight forward. Maybe not so much.

Very rarely do I partake in or hear conversation that is precise to the point and logical. People are emotional creatures and must be written that way. The mood of the character (yes they have moods too) can easily influence a response to a question, request or statement.

This goes hand and hand with trivial talking. Stiff boring conversations, just don’t happen. People interrupt, they are sarcastic, mean, sly, witty and charming to name a few. Someone grumpy is more likely to snap a response or a bored person might miss the question altogether.

“Hi Dale do you have the edit on the Watch layout I sent you this morning?”

Dale sighed heavily and looked pointedly at the clock on the wall. “No Scott I don’t have it done yet. I need at least another thirty minutes to get it right. You said you needed it by three and it’s only quarter after two.”

“Okay that’s fine Dale. Can you print it out and put it on my desk when it’s done?”

Dale huffed and frowned at Scott. “That’s Rachel’s job not mine.”

“Could you do me the favor please? I need the final copy right away and Rachael is  swamped.”

“Yes I can print it out and bring it to you.” Dale nodded and went back to work. “I’ll just work my magic.”

Scott laughed and clapped him on the shoulder. “Thank you bud.”

“No problem pal.” Dale didn’t look up as Scott walked away.
(152)

Dale is usually more abrasive and neither are so formal with each other. I’ll take out any trivial talking and the oh so logical responses.

“Hey Dale, is the Watch layout finished?”

Dale sighed heavily and tapped his watch. “It’s only quarter after two, you said three.”

“Just checking, can you print it and drop it on my desk when you’re done?”

Dale looked up and smirked. “You want me to bring you coffee and rub your feet too?”

“That’d be swell.” Scott shook his head smiling. “Rachel’s swamped, do me a solid? I need it before three if you can manage.”

“Sure.” Dale shrugged and turned back to his monitor. “I’ll just pull my magic wand out of my ass.”

“Thanks bud.” Scott laughed and clapped him on the shoulder. “Just wash it before you use it.”

“No promises.” Dale didn’t look up as Scott walked away.
(123)

29 words removed(Word count is an obsession it seems and I would be very pleased with that number), a bunch of revamping on the attitude and responses and I think that’s more interesting than a logical conversation that would never happen between the two friends.  To much logical talk can make the conversation feel uneven, imbalanced or just awkward.
My advice about overly logical conversation.
Dialogue is not the place for disinfectant. Make it dirty, gritty and imperfect.

-Sheryl

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Uneven

Pleased

Bibbity Blogity Boo

There is magic in creation, a special feeling of euphoria that drives me to write. I love reading and the realization that I am creating something that will be read by others is empowering.

I started this blog to strengthen my writers platform, but it has given me so much more. New friends, a place to enjoy others’ writing and stories, feedback and encouragement and most of all learning. As I write my posts I research too. Sometimes when I research I’m inspired to write a post. Whichever it may be I’m learning as I go. My writing/editing/revising skills are improving and I find myself working harder. However it doesn’t feel like work.

It’s a non stop little cycle of learning as I blog and blogging as I learn. I stretch my writing legs and have tried new things. New perspectives, techniques and tricks. There is no magic wand to take my rough draft and poof it to perfection. I don’t have a literary fairy godmother and I don’t have a dashing prince to swoop in and slay the filter words and typos for me.

So instead of writing this:

They stopped kissing very suddenly and each backed up awkwardly and embarrassed. “We should talk about what just happened and what that could possibly mean.” Amber said feeling suddenly shy about kissing Dale so very passionately. She felt very attracted to him and after his very sweet romantic words. Like crazy, she wanted to desperately believe that he was telling the truth about being in love with her. 
“Yes Amber I absolutely agree completely to that, we do indeed need to discuss what transpired between the two of us just now. ” Dale said nodding his head very vigorously with agreement. “Do you to understand that I meant every single word that I said to you a moment before we kissed?”
Dale put his hand on her cheek. Amber closed her eyes for a moment and then opened them again. She looked into his eyes before she gave him a response.
“Dale I really do have feelings for you and I very much enjoyed kissing you. I would ask that you be understanding and very patient with me.”
“I can indeed be patient with you Amber.” He said with a delighted pleasant smile.
(272)

I now know about filter words, show vs. tell, interjections, emotion tags vs dialog tags vs action tags, ing-ing and the ly’s that stunt creativity. I now know about writing realism with words commonly used in real life. I know to ditch the tired pompous ones that only belong in period or historical books and the ones that are literally just filler. I also know to look for redundancies and my kryptonite words such as; really, that and very. Since during my first draft I spent a lot of time revising to reduce word count these skills proved invaluable.

Now I would write it like this:

Amber broke the passionate kiss. “We should talk.” Her cheeks flushed and she looked down at her hands. 
“Yeah we should.” Dale nodded and put his hand on her cheek brushing his thumb across a dried tear streak. “I meant what I said you know.”
She closed her eyes a moment before looking into his. “I know, and I am trying, I…” She licked her lips. “I like you Dale. Can you be patient with me?”
His lips curled up slightly. “Yes Amber.” He kissed her forehead. “I can.”
(89)

Wow, I’ve come a long way from blabbity writing with tired, filter and redundant words. I’m still wordy when I write, but so much less so than I was when I started this blog. And now I know how to fix my wordiness. I’m no longer tempted to lazy writing and dig in to make my writing the best it can be. By following the rules I’ve learned and shared throughout my blog I was able to revise and rewrite properly. As if by ‘magic’ I removed a whopping 183 necessary words. I’ll say ‘wow’ again. Big improvement and I still have lot’s to learn and therefore lot’s to share.

My advice about being open to learning.
You will get nowhere fast with pride and ego as your best friends. Take a moment to learn from others, whether they are better or worse than you are or think you are. Nobody is perfect and there is always room for improvement.

-Sheryl

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 Tempted