What Are You Talking About?

June 19, 2010 at 5:52 am (Dialogue, Thoughts on Writing) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

It has occurred to me recently that if I were to actually write dialogue the way most people speak there is very little chance that someone who wasn’t inside either of the speaker’s heads would understand what on earth the conversation was about.

For instance, I recently overheard the following conversation.

“Did it?”

“Ya. Like.. Just yeah.”

“OMG. Really. This is just… Oh my god.”

“So have you told..?”

“Shut-up.”

“Ooh.”

“Shut-up.”

“We have to tell…”

“Duh.”

“She’s… Where is she?”

“Hm. Dunno.”

And this continued for another few minutes and then the two people talking walked away. An entire conversation unfolding and yet nothing that actually identified a subject or point to the conversation. What if characters spoke like this in books? The reader would need a lot of narration surrounding the conversation to make heads or tails of it.

Then again, my characters always speak far too precisely. I’m trying to work on that and find a more natural flow for the dialogue.

What about your characters? Do they speak in grammatically correct English or do they take a more natural approach? Love to hear your thoughts.

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