The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I'm trying to sculpt this chapter of mostly dialog into reasonable first-draft shape. Right now there's twelve messy pages of it (double spaced)--twelve pages of patches of dialog on many different subjects with no transitions or scene-setting between them.

There's a fine line between self-indulgent twaddle and sharp, crisp, interesting dialog. Also I don't want to stray too far into dull bare-bones move-the-story-forward, as opposed to sparking things up with character development. But if things get sparked too much, it's like, wtf are these people talking about? It becomes completely removed from the situation they're in. Sort of like a Quentin Tarantino movie, heh.

The thing about Quentin Tarantino movies is that all the characters tend to talk like Quentin Tarantino. At least in the ones I've seen. But...he keeps the story sharp and interesting, even though sometimes he's stopping everything dead in its tracks while the people talk like him. So why is the story sharp and interesting? Maybe because his stories take such wild turns, you really have no clue what he's going to do next. And maybe he takes care and doesn't let the dialog go on too long? I don't know.

I was thinking about The DaVinci Code. I read it once, then gave my copy away, which was stupid because it was a nice copy, hardback with color pictures of the all the places and items mentioned in the book. I thought I'd never read it again. But now I'm thinking about how the author kept things moving--because he certainly did keep things moving. There was zero character development, as I recall, but for some reason that wasn't important as I was reading. I'd like to take another look at it. I wonder if I can borrow it back from the person I gave it to. Except she's off at college 300 miles away. But if I go to the library I'll end up with a bunch of books I don't have time to read, and then I'll end up reading them instead of writing. And if I go to Half-Price I'll end up buying a bunch of books I can't afford and don't have time to read. I have zero willpower when it comes to books. G*d forbid I should go to the regular bookstore, of course. I only have books one and two of Saiyuki Reload, and the others are calling my name.

Anyway, I don't know how to sort out these twelve pages. I guess the thing to do first is look to see which bits can be used to raise the stakes. Move it all around like puzzle pieces to see if any fall together. And save everything because I might end up using it.

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