The Goldilocks of Dialogue

20th Trial: How much dialogue is too much? It is often that we say little more than we should and/or spew a great deal extra than should be allowed.

Weekly hours spent writing or in the pursuit of plot: 2.5 hours

Weekly choice of tea: Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Chai (pumpkin has come to Trader Joe’s!)

Greatest Success: At the White Water Center, I kicked away my fear of heights and accomplished the ropes courses and went rafting!!! It is a place in Charlotte where the USA team trains for the Olympics, and is open to the public. So a whole day was dedicated to outdoor adventures! Just a couple fun tid bits from this weekend:

There are so many times that while writing an interaction between two characters that I sit back and wonder, how on earth is this dialogue going to end? Do I continue down a casual road, such as person sits, stands, talks, pours tea–or just get straight to the point? There is such a talent that I am realizing with long dialogue. A whole paragraph of uninterrupted speech in which unrevealing occurs, but does not show absolutely everything, is a beast within itself! I admire the cool mysterious dialogue of Raymond Chandler, who wrote The Big Sleep, where after every word spoken the reader feels as if they are standing at the edge of a cliff, in absolute suspense of what it could mean and what it will result in. And on the other hand, the whimsical entertaining discussion of tapestries and who-wore-what-lace in Austen’s repartee has its own significant effects. In both circumstances, the dialogue is not too much or too less. I am Goldie Locks, tasting for what will be just right when it comes to the feel of my novel. And if anyone has ever read Goldilocks, you will hear the dialogue debate within my mind. This sentence is too short! This subject is not right for discussion! This soup is too hot!

On a short, different note, I am influenced more than I realized by what I am writing. I admit that I am a leech, taking in my surroundings and relying on the people I meet to propel my story forward. My imagination to this point has had to work very little. However, one scene I wrote that was not from my neighborhood–you could call it the “meet-cute”–was with my character hearing piano music from a neighboring household. The gorgeous melody will then naturally begin the strings of romance! Now you can understand my astonishment when I was leaving my apartment to take my dog on a walk, when I heard from another door the beautiful sound of a piano! I stopped, stunned by the situation. How brilliant! Not only do I take from my surroundings, but now my story seems to take form around me! And the music was indeed beautiful, just as I imagined in would be. I am happy to say that my story does not leave me, and reveals itself in senses and physical manifestations, as much as I will perceive it to.


Queen City for “Queen and Country”!

14th Trial:  Sometimes detail of the environment can be tedious, but you know it is essential and no matter how much you try, you cannot avoid it.

Weekly hours spent writing or in the pursuit of plot:  4  hours

Weekly Choice of Tea: Earl Grey with Spices from Biltmore Estate

Biggest Success:  Watching my first large Futbol game– Chelsea vs Paris St-Germain

Something more British came to Charlotte and I was ready for it! As you know, Charlotte is known as the queen city, and it blessed my weekend by the arrival of the Chelsea vs PSG soccer game. I had never watched a live soccer match at that level of skill, and it was incredibly fun. The crowd “oo”ed and “aww”ed with fancy foot work in unison, very polite and proper-like, much different than the belligerent noise of American Football (at least from my experience). I kept my Manchester United jersey at home out of respect for Chelsea, being a Chelsea fan for the day. I did however wear an England jersey, thinking something more British would be something more accepted! A man from Wales afterwards said that it is not proper to wear another country’s jersey, as only the English should be allowed to wear their emblems with pride. I told him to “bugger off” in an accent of course (that is a lie. I wish I did. Oh in retrospect!).

One thing that I found enjoyable as well, is the fact that many situations I find myself in can be relatable to the act of writing a novel. A soccer game, for example, shows a team on field, working in a sort of dialogue between them. Some respond to other’s passes, some miss the shot entirely, and like any antagonist, some slide tackle to gain control of the game. I have a scene currently with the main character in a large group of people. How do they all respond to each other in the room, moving with or against one another, as if the focus of the moment was a circle of people juggling a soccer ball. Even more so, the impressive foot work and moves to pass in a tight space can be strategically described in literature’s attempt to have all the character’s dance around one another with their unique attributes and abilities.