WIP Wednesday #13: Speak Loud

Week thirteen. I’ve written roughly 200,000 words since January, which makes me a bit queasy to think about. And write. Before you ask, no, I don’t count the blog. Purely recreational, this.

I’m 22,000 words (out of 50,000) into the Novel-With-No-Name, which isn’t bad for a week and a half. Then, I haven’t really worked on anything else, so maybe not as great as all that. I’ve been playing with this one a bit, indulging my taste for wordplay. Lots of dialogue, some of it funny, some not so funny.

You can do a lot with dialogue, if you’ve got an ear for it. The way characters speak, and interact while speaking, can sometimes say more about them than how they fight, or what macguffin they’re after. Do they joke? Do they ramble, or digress? Do they laugh, frown or smile as they speak? Do they ignore one of the parties in the conversation? Speaking of which, a good conversation can make a scene in and of itself, if you pace it right.

Too, dialogue is great for delivering those oft-necessary bursts of exposition. Need the plot explained? Let a character do it. Preferably in a witty and engaging manner. Just don’t fall into the trap of thinking all dialogue has to advance the plot. I’ve found that giving characters a bit of room to wander verbally can punch up a slow scene, or drive subsequent scenes in ways you never expected.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for this week. Sing me out, Eartha.