At The Write Practice, Joe Bunting offers not only sound writing advice; he offers the opportunity to practice whatever skill he’s exploring on a given day. This article, 16 Observations About Real Dialogue, is one of the best I’ve read. Very practical.
For example, here’s Observation # 5:
5. Real People Refuse to Repeat Themselves
Sometimes, when the other person can’t hear and says, “Huh? What did you say?” real people don’t repeat themselves. They say, “Nothing. It’s not important. Never mind. I’ll tell you later. Forget it.”
Sometimes, this leads to bickering.
This technique is especially effective if a character has just said something vulnerable. People will rarely repeat something embarrassing or hurtful or vulgar. You can draw attention to their vulnerability by having them refuse to repeat themselves.
Image Courtesy of Idea go/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Visit The Write Practice, a great resource for both beginning and more experienced writers.
Prairie Schooner, a publication of the University of Nebraska Press and the Creative Writing Program of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln English Department, has been in print continuously for more than 85 years. Yes–you read that right! A veritable institution among literary journals, Prairie Schooner is evolving with the times. PS continues as a print journal, but the editors have added some features: Air Schooner (an audio series) and a blog by Editor-in-Chief Kwame Dawes called Oxcart.
Today, I want to call attention to an Oxcart essay that resonated with me. In “Lie to Me,” Dawes explores the topic of rejection–the lies we writers tell ourselves and a myriad of reasons why rejection really happens. This is such an insightful piece! I encourage you read it.
“The Word Rejected”
(by suphakit73) Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I’m keeping it in the family and sharing the link to my daughter-in-law Larissa Parson‘s blog entry, “Intersections,” posted Friday, September 7. She doesn’t get to post as often as she would like. Here’s why:
Larissa teaches English at a private high school in San Francisco. And she and husband Geoff (my husband’s son) are the proud parents of 20-month-old twin boys!
You bet. But occasionally, she shares her life and wisdom on her Mixed Metaphor blog. In this most recent post, she writes about how her teaching life intersects with her life as a mom–how each experience informs the other. Here’s a taste:
Communicating with our children in a respectful way about what the boundaries and rules are and are not frees them to explore their world. And I’ve seen for myself how amazingly effective this practice is. I’ve become the unhelpful mommy on the playground; if they can’t get on it themselves, they can’t do it (Except for swings. Because swings are so fun.) . . . .
I want to try to bring the same empathy I practice with my kids to my classroom. I want to meet students where they are and understand what’s frustrating about a tough text, and celebrate what’s great about understanding a tough text . . . .
Here are Larissa’s primary “informers” at home.
Photo courtesy of Larissa Parson