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.

The Act of Persuasion

1st Trial: to write, or not to write! Too easily persuaded against forming the habit to write daily

Weekly hours spent writing or in the pursuit of plot: 4 hours…not my proudest.

Weekly Choice of Tea: Turmeric and Ginger

Greatest Success: brainstorming on an antagonistic figure (light bulb came on–I have known a truly gruesome man that has truly gruesome ideas on human nature…I am now thankful to have met him!)

On the subject of firmness of character:

“…like all other qualities of the mind, it should have its proportions and limits. She thought it could scarcely escape him to feel, that a persuadable temper might sometimes be as much in favour of happiness, as a very resolute character.”-Austen

One week gone and still only nibbling at the bait and tackle! You really need to just take a bite and let it hook you, at least I am trying to form the opinion of, so that the story can write through the medium of your fingers. I am too easily persuaded to come home from work, and watch not just one, but two episodes of Downton Abbey (or Gilmore Girls…depends on how stressful my day was. I cannot deal with the anxiety of the murder of Mr. Green after being consumed by office stresses, but I digress.). There is an entire act of persuasion happening between self and self, and too easily am I convinced that I would rather slump on my couch, go on a run before the sun goes down, hang out with my grandfather (I could never regret), or happily engage myself in the book I am reading. I just finished Persuasion, and I must say I am absolutely obsessed with the torment between the lovers–any love story must have longing looks and uncertain futures that twists the heart into knots, and must therefore end with happy certainty. An account that Jane Austen ensures with her stories. I always admire her for that, though Bronte’s success of Wuthering Heights to illustrate a true love story and have it end in a shattered disaster and still have my heart sing is the greatest accomplishment I know of, I must admit! While my own persuasion tempted me towards minimal writing this past week, I feel stronger against such a force, and the upcoming week looks promising. This good looking man distracted me shortly this weekend:

Grandpa and I

However I must say that this blog idea does not allow me to place writing completely on the back burner, and I am rather excited to report to it. I even tried to reach out to other blogs, finding that being unsocial and taciturn on this network won’t allow my progress from people who do not love me unconditionally and are intoxicatingly supportive. You need adversity to become better, and therefore I intend to seek it out, though I have no idea how to get a stranger to read my blog (stay tuned). On that note, I write on my bedroom walls trying to illustrate an overall arching theme, and while I have one in mind, there are many dark alleyways that show deficiencies. Yes you can write on a subject you want all readers to take from your novel, but the subject will be displayed more properly and evidently by illustrating it through an antagonist, through a conflict. A rudimentary concept I would imagine any writer has. I remember an easy writing assignment in undergrad, where you were to describe a place by only illustrating to the reader on what it is not, rather than what it is. For example:

The writing desk witnessed nothing but the rising of the sun and moon, as the rolling chair did not yield under the hand of someone sitting down to write. The pencil remained unsharpened, intelligent ideas remained undocumented. One can imagine dust that was not being swept away by the busyness of a dog that usually sits underfoot, and the effort that no walls witnessed and the couch relished in!