Monday, December 14, 2015

The Joy of Random

I have some of the most random conversations with people I like. In a way, it is me attempting to get to know them better by plumbing the depths of their thought process. In another, it gives me an outlet for all the otherwise off the wall stuff that goes on in my own mind. It's beautiful. Hopscotching across topics can be one of the happiest moments of your entire day.

How does this translate into writing? When you're writing, considering having your friendly characters change conversational direction once in a while. I know, I know, we don't necessarily write precisely the way we talk, but it can add a level of authenticity to your conversation it might not have otherwise had. Let your characters wander away from the point and come back to it. Not only to does it offer something of interest, but it also allows you to restate the point for emphasis without seeming as if you're being overly repetitive. This also allows you, by the nature of who does the wandering and who does the bringing back, to show character in how they handle things. If one person wanders away consistently, while the other is usually bringing them back to the point, you have the basis for characterization. Done in one conversation or two.

This sounds like it will add unnecessary length to your conversations, but you can definitely weave something useful into the deviation. Consider what would be on the top of the other character's mind. They might be together having essentially two different conversations. Another point of characterization, plus the opportunity to add in interesting tidbits. All well and good.

Conversation can illuminate so much, so carefully consider how you can use your conversation to bring out more things about your characters, setting, or plot. You'll never be sorry that you did.

What's the most random bit of dialogue (back and forth) that you've ever written?

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