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Author Topic: Challenges of Writing Good Dialogue  (Read 2274 times)

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Offline Lumaria

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Re: Challenges of Writing Good Dialogue
« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2014, 11:58:32 PM »
Its not hard to get into someones show, and whether you agree or disagree, that's up to you. but again, this is where defining "difficulty". anyone can do it. can they do it instantly? no...and i'm not saying that, but the process of learning a new persona is easier when you enjoy meeting contrasting views.

So i will say it again, its not "difficult", it does take time to fully understand, but if you rush and if you don't enjoy learning someone who could potentially be your exact opposite, its not really deep.

I'm not talking about knowing someone to the point of potentially reading their minds, or knowing everything they do or say word for word.

i'm just talking about generally knowing the type of reaction and type of things that they say and getting knowing their personality and understanding it to a degree. and putting yourself in someone shoes (which if you look up in google, directly means putting yourself in someone's situation, not mind).


Figure out the way they talk and what they are saying, you hang around enough, you start to get them. its not like you're analyzing a crazy person (but even then, you can learn something from one), and its not like you need to know someone so deeply to write about a character based off them. Otherwise, you'll constantly need to find real people just to write about them.

this is me, being on topic.





Dialogue is a completely different thing. it is all about portraying what you know and often times you can get lost in what you know, or you present it too direct it feels bland, rather than providing it subtly.

For me, i usually develop the character to the point that they feel real enough for me. And make them watch me write over my shoulder. Often times, i get it right with whot hey are, but sometimes its hard to convey what their saying to the reader, so i end up having to "compromise" with my characters.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2014, 12:07:45 AM by Lorenx1 »
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Offline NO1SY

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Re: Challenges of Writing Good Dialogue
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2014, 09:10:32 AM »
Sorry...but this kind of advice is really just BAD. the problem is being in your comfoet zone wont help you improve. Often times you have to use different methods or taje a habit of using the ones that actually work.

and its not like a reader cant understand what youre aiming but often times a reader can point out how to provide whatever it is you want to show to them. if they dont see it they should know why it didnt and how it can be done.

I'm sorry this is going back a bit... but I wasn't really giving advice I was just stating the way I devise my dialogue. I haven't really come across a situation where I haven't been able to think of the way one of my characters' will speak or act in the plot I am writing out, so I haven't had a need to push my comfort zone or search for some inspiration.
I was a little vague though as the point I really wanted to get across was a method I use to make it easier to see things through the perspective of your characters, which I think is important in writing convincing and natural dialogue.


So my actual advice is this: understand your characters as best you can.
I write out my bios in full before I even begin writing, sometimes before I even have a plot. I write out name, age, nationality, race, where they live, any mannerisms or habits they have, their accent, their past experiences, their goals, their likes and dislikes and the time period they live in.
This way I when I am writing dialogue between two characters I have a reference for how that character is and it helps me to better put myself in their head.

You also build up a repertoire of characters that you may not use in one plot but may spark another based on who they are.

I do like what Lego said about finding someone in the real world who he imagined shared the opinion of one of his characters and emulating what they say in his plots. I think that would be a useful exercise if you are really stumped with how a character would act, but you obviously have to find someone like that, which may be hard sometimes.

And Loren is right, often dialogue can be a compromise in order to be clear with what your characters are saying. I don't think the pay-off for doing so is that bad though.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2014, 02:53:15 PM by NO1SEY »

Offline Lumaria

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Re: Challenges of Writing Good Dialogue
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2014, 12:54:27 PM »
I often find making a list of qualities not that necessary at times.

And i'm not trying to criticize your way, but this is a way that everyone does and it often doesn't fully help develop a personality.

Things such as name, nationality, race, where they live, any mannerisms or habits they have, and their accent wont help really develop a personality. It also relies too much on the idea of your world makes your character rather than a character meant for this world. These things that are mentioned seem to be second nature, if you need to list them to make a character, it makes it that much harder.

Past experiences, age, help better, but again, at this point you would have already thought up a character's personality and habits before even devising an age. Like if you wanted a hot-headed main character. If you want that, then you create the past experience that allows that or the age. But even then not all past experiences are worth mentioning or even relevant and he can probably not act his age.


Most times these things are just not necessary. Or rather not "helpful".
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Offline NO1SY

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Re: Challenges of Writing Good Dialogue
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2014, 02:07:34 PM »
It does take up a lot of time... but then I do have am excess of characters later on so I dont mind.

For me I find ot helpful just so if I ever need to know how someone says something then I have their personality effectively planned out and as a reference. It doesnt always make it easy to write great dialogue but at least you know stuff like "this character would react to this situation in an exasperated way because of such and such reason" or "this character would use that word to express what he is trying to say rather than this word"

Its only what I find helps me though so take it or leave it really I dont mind.

In real life doesnt your 'world' shape who you are to a large extent? Just interested because shouldnt this make for a more believable character and personality? But then again the best character might not always be the most believable I guess?

Offline Lumaria

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Re: Challenges of Writing Good Dialogue
« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2014, 02:25:27 PM »
 
It does take up a lot of time... but then I do have am excess of characters later on so I dont mind.

For me I find ot helpful just so if I ever need to know how someone says something then I have their personality effectively planned out and as a reference. It doesnt always make it easy to write great dialogue but at least you know stuff like "this character would react to this situation in an exasperated way because of such and such reason" or "this character would use that word to express what he is trying to say rather than this word"
i think you're giving that idea too much credit. Like if you did it another way, would you suddenly not understand?
would you suddenly have a hard time thinking up situations? keep in mind, i have a problem more on the basis of "listing" these ideas, rather than establishing them. and again more on dialogue and personality. if it helps you "distinguish" between characters, then that's fine.

what is ee is that you "depend" on these ideas to create a character.
Quote
In real life doesnt your 'world' shape who you are to a large extent? Just interested because shouldnt this make for a more believable character and personality?

What i value more is conventions within a person more than past experiences.

Here's an example: two characters. both male, both the same age, both even have the same past experiences.

But both of them, can be completely different even by having all that in which you value to make a character. One of the boys may just have more will to keep going, the other may not. 

race and nationality isn't what shapes a character. unless your story depends on those aspects. Such as racism and nationalism.




I try to make a character designed for my world, but not a character created by my world. otherwise, it would just be real life and not really a story with a realistic character.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 02:30:03 PM by Lorenx1 »
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Offline NO1SY

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Re: Challenges of Writing Good Dialogue
« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2014, 05:52:53 PM »
Fair enough I kinda get where you are coming from with the whole same backgrounds different people kinda thing - its why my brother and I are completely different. But then all of our experiences arent the same and we view the experiences that we have shared differently. There is obvioisly more to people than just their upbringing and general info of course!

So in that respect I'd apply that to characters with similar backgrounds. I only have 4 like that though and 2 of them are brothers and 2 are for different stories. But all in all my bios arent really lists its more like an in-depth role playing bio.

And its not that I couldnt create a characters personality and dialogue without doing my full bios. Its just something I do on top like I said if people dont wanna do it they dont have to  :noidea:
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 06:06:24 PM by NO1SEY »

Offline Lumaria

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Re: Challenges of Writing Good Dialogue
« Reply #36 on: June 16, 2014, 12:17:51 AM »
im simply saying it can be overdone. and when you create a character often thinking up each individual experience can be.mpre of a hindrance.

making someone realistic doesnt need to be realistic aspects that you need to define them because if these people were real some off them might not choose to define themselves by it.


you may see it as not going all the way but really its about seeing what really matters. and again...its to make the personality first and all the background info to make it work.


dont over estimate characters.
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Offline abraxus89

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Re: Challenges of Writing Good Dialogue
« Reply #37 on: June 28, 2014, 12:35:09 PM »
Hey Syntax.

Welcome to MR, I'm only after making a return myself.

For me whether it's writing a novel or manga, I become the character. I took acting classes as a kid and I was a natural, or so my tutors told me even though I was this shy little kid.

So when I first started writing my way of coming up with plausible dialogue was to become the chracter, think, act like the character. In fact there have been times when I got so into the character in question it has fustrated me. When I act out two or more characters at once in a conversation, the resuls can be quiet good.

Speaking for myself personally the typing of the characters inner most thoughts which is what usually comes after the dialogue is something I get better with the more I write.


Either way, keep up the good work and thanks for sharing!
"He who knows that enough is enough, will always have enough." - Lao-Tze