Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[process] Working on Green, thinking about dialog

I'm working on Green. It's going well, thank you. But I've started thinking about dialog all of the sudden.

It's a convention of literature (or at least the subspecies thereof which I write) that people speak in clear, declarative sentences. Often these sentences occur in long paragraphs. Also they sometimes support more convoluted affairs from which subordinate clauses depend and into which comma splices are mashed.

Yet if you look at transcriptions of real conversations — not formal speech such as classroom lecturing or political oration, but true dialog between ordinary people — nobody talks that way.

Well, ok, I sometimes do. And it's not a terribly uncommon Fannish/Proish affectation to speak in that manner. But you take my point.

I am hardly the first person to whom this has occurred, and at some level I've always known this, at least since college linguistics courses somewhere back in the long ago.

Once Green clears my desk, I am intent on writing some dialog-heavy short fiction which attempts to reflect the patterns of everyday conversation. It will be interesting to see whether I can succeed at that.

Tags: green, process, stories, writing

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