Use Your Words

So one of the things I’ve been noticing lately is a hint of pride I have in some of the dialogue I’ve been writing. This is especially true in scenes where the character is telling a story or conveying a lot of emotion. I’m talking proud enough I’ve taken screen shots and sent them to my girlfriend with a huge look at how badass I am innuendo behind it. Maybe I’m not badass. Maybe I’m just at the dreaded phase of thinking I’ve finally started writing something to be proud of. Who knows?

I know.

So let’s take a look at some of these awesome scenes I’m so proud of.

***SPOILER ALERT***

***THESE ARE FROM MY MANUSCRIPT***

Disclaimer: All excerpts are from a raw 1st draft with no editing what so ever.

This first bit is a rant that my character is zoning out from his sister, Dayna. In Dayna’s defense, she hasn’t exactly had the best of weeks. She was piloting a ship that gets attacked, she gets knocked unconscious, she gets attacked and beat by three men whom she then see’s get murdered, her dad dies, and let’s just say it’s all downhill from there. To top it all off, Jerrod (my POV character for this chapter) ran off seeking revenge for their father’s death, and hasn’t chosen the best of company. So let’s take a look at the rant Dayna explodes with.

1

Now, I don’t know about you, but she sounds like a nervous wreck. I can thank my own sister, and every other woman I’ve ever been forced to listen to on long occasions, for this inspiration. So, Sis? Shout out. I’ve actually not been a fan of writing for Dayna until recently, and this certainly helps. It gives you a sense of what she’s really having to deal with.

Next, let’s take a look at one of my favorite characters to write for. Sid is an old military vet on the wrong side of a war, i.e. the side that lost. He was once an asteroid miner, turned work conditions activist, turned militia hero, turned outlaw. In this scene, Marshal Gray (an old friend of his from back before the war) has brought along his young bodyguard, and the three of them are just truckin’ along when Marshal starts hearing Sid tell the third guy stories from “back in the day”. Also, “Black Bay” is a massive asteroid that has now become the Sid’s home, and considered outlaw territory.

2.png

I love hearing old vets talk. They always have the best stories. Makes me proud to be a vet myself. To me, this is a good example of how dialogue can tell a story through a memory. It doesn’t have to be exposition. Give your characters a voice and get out of their way.

Next, we have a passage from Misha. She’s a sexy little vixen with a fetish for blades. She shows no emotion, and loves her ship, who just happens to be in the hands of her estranged best friend and the brother of the girl she just saved. So what does she do? She decides to send a voice message to her ship, thinking they’ll listen to it.

3.png

Can you imagine hearing this over speakers in a ship you just stole? I think I’d be simultaneously turned on and scared for my dick.  Seriously. She has some issues in like a sexy Harley Quinn kind of way. Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes that can be hot. Dialogue can make you feel the words leaving the mouth of the person saying them. Make the most of it.

I happen to like writing for Misha a lot. She allows me to see through eyes I wouldn’t otherwise be able to. Writing is awesome in that it lets you put on the boots of anyone you create. The following is an exchange occurs when Dayna tries to understand why Misha lives the lifestyle she does.

4.png

Like Sid’s excerpt earlier, you get a feel for who she is.  You also get the idea that she doesn’t really talk about this much, and has harbored some resentment for some time for anyone who takes something as simple as water for granted.

Well ladies and gents, I hope this helps you get an idea for what I try to accomplish with dialogue. It doesn’t always have to be simple conversations.  Post a dialogue excerpt from your Work in Progress in the comments below, and let’s see how you use it. In the meantime, go and write your ass off.