Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Achilles Heel

"Alright!", Grimm says. "Time to let you in on my weakest writing skill.", he pauses dramatically, "Dialog." Grimm gauged the reaction of his readers. "I know, you'd never know it, but, I, the great talker, have trouble with dialog."

Bleh, enough of that, that little tidbit up there was painful and disgusting to write, as I'm sure it is to read. Somewhere between writing a conversation such as a blog post, and fleshing out dialog for characters in a story, I put on stilts. It's a bad habit, it's one I know, and one I'm going to have to work on at great length to straighten out.

I have absolutely no issue setting a scene, describing action, reeling out plot lines. I can paint a pretty damned good picture with words if I do say so myself, let alone what I used to be capable of with a brush and some paints. Somehow, my delivery on dialog just throws a cat in the works; An angry, claws-fully-intact 200 pound cat, with great big jagged teeth... and bad breath.

I know the voice of my characters, and can generally speak their conversations out quite nicely, roleplay them if you will. Yet somehow, when it comes to writing it out, it doesn't quite work, especially trying to intertwine it with action and reaction. I've requested some writing exercises and been directed to writing excuses which turns out to be a wonderful website of exactly what I need.

Does this mean I'm stopping writing? Hell no! I'm just going to do point form conversation with key turns of phrase while I hammer out my issues with dialog. Maybe I can get Tarantino to ghost write my dialog... it'd only add about 9-bazillion words to the document.


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