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A discussion topic about dialogue for the Between Takes Cafe
Lesson 5: Discussion

Dialogue needs to represent real speech and impart vital information. I was interested to learn that if you are out there listening to other peoples speech you might need to clean it up or smooth it out for a written work.

Did you agree with the authors’ ideas? Why or why not?
What would you do different from their suggestions?


In the article by Lee Masters he suggested you might need to change speech you intend to use to make it fit the character. This idea made me see that speech can affect the way a reader sees the character and interprets the character’s actions. So, if I decide to clean up speech it is because it fits an action by a character or because it implies personality in a character. People don’t always speak in a smooth way so using some original odd speech might give the reader more background about the character.

In the reading by Earnest Hemingway, I noticed that I placed it in the 40’s or 50’s just by the way the female character spoke to the male character. Her speech implied, what ever the event was, it was for his benefit maybe even more than hers. Or, that is the way she was taking the situation.

I was not as happy with the way subplots and subtext was explained by Brian Klems. It was a more in-depth article about dialogue as it relates to the plot. As an extreme, I might read a text on Sociology to understand some characters personality.

To begin with I think planning out character profiles gives me an insight into how the character might speak in a conversation. This is a guess but I am thinking that Point of View will also impact how the character uses speech.

I do agree with Klems that the more you know about the character the more it will impact subtext and subplots. In this respect, I might pay less attention to the planning and more attention to writing action and what the character sounds like within the dialogue.

Dumping dialogue tags and scattering action through out the dialogue gives me a real clue how readers are drawn to this kind of story. As a reader I like action. If I can learn to show not tell with speech and action, it will make the reader want more.
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