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rowriter
08-17-2005, 09:53 AM
I've noticed that in my own writing, my characters sometimes talk basically the same. So I did a little practice with dialogue tonight. I've posted my result (can you guess how many people there are in the whole thing, and distinguish between them? If not I haven't succeeded at this exercise). It's fairly clunky and obvious, for sure, but I think this practice will help me be more aware of dialogue in my writing and how the characters portray themselves through their words. Maybe it will help you if you feel you have the same problem sometimes.

Here's what to do:
Write a verbal exchange: only dialogue, no 'he said' or 'she said' or description or anything. Just straight dialogue. Try to make the speaker obvious by the way he/she talks - grammar, word usage, attitude, etc. - throughout the whole piece.

Okay, here's mine:

“What’re you doin’ in here?”

“Nothing, sir! I was just leaving.”

“You ain’t goin’ nowhere, little mister.”

“Sir, trust me, there was nothing going on in here.”

“Then why’s my daughter hidin’ under the bedsheets, huh?”

“What? No, your daughter isn’t even here.”

“She ain’t here? Whaddya mean?”

“Hey, what the hell is going on in here?”

“You tell me, little missy.”

“Yes, why weren’t you in your room?”

“Sh*t, does that matter? What are you doing in here, anyway?”

“I was just leaving, as a matter of fact.”

“I would think you was.”

“What the hell do you care anyway?”

“Whaddya mean? Where was you?”

“Christ. I can’t believe this.”

“Goodbye then! I’m getting out of here before this gets any worse.”

“Yeah, you get outta here. We don’t need your kind ‘round here.”

“Your kind? That’s freaking classic.”

“I don’t need no talking back from you!”

“You really shouldn’t talk like that.”

“Didn’t I say you better get out?”

“Leave us alone, we’ll take care of this crap ourselves.”

“Fine. I’m above this anyway.”

“Oh my god! You’ve come home! Thank god.”

“Yeah, well she ain’t stayin’.”

“You must stay, you must! I hate it when you leave.”

“What the hell, stop accosting me!”

“You never tell us when you’re leaving.”

“She never tells us when she’s comin’ back, neither.”

“Will you two get off my freakin’ case?”

“But it always ends up the same.”

Paint
08-20-2005, 01:49 AM
“What’re you doin’ in here?”

“Chill old man, I'm somewhere else!”

“You ain’t goin’ nowhere, little mister.”

“Excuse me, you must have me mixed up with someone who cares.”

“Then why’s my daughter hidin’ under the bedsheets, huh?”

“You wish.”

“She ain’t here? Whaddya mean?”

“Dad, not again!”

“You tell me, little missy.”

“Quit snooping dad, I'm fine.”

“Sh*t, does that matter? What are you doing in here, anyway?”

“I was just leaving, as a matter of fact.”

“I would think you was.”

“Dad, please, get a grip.”

“Whaddya mean? Where was you?”

“*Sigh*, nothing changes around here.”

“I'm so gone.”

“Yeah, you get outta here. We don’t need your kind ‘round here.”

“Right on old man.”

“I don’t need no talking back from you!”

“Chill pill, thats what you need.”

“Didn’t I say you better get out?”

“Leave us alone, dad.”

“Fine. I’m above this anyway.”

“Oh my god! You’ve come home! Thank god.”

“Yeah, well she ain’t stayin’.”

“Please stay honey, I can't stand it around here without you. Your dad drives me insane.”

“Mom, I need a life!”

“You never tell us when you’re leaving.”

“She never tells us when she’s comin’ back, neither.”

“Leave me alone will you? I want to say goodbye to my boyfriend”

“But it always ends up the same.”[/QUOTE]

It's getting there, that was a good exercise.