Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This and That

I've been so involved with my NaNo story I haven't even thought about blogging. I am at 19,000 + words, so I'm over the daily quota for Wednesday and almost to Thursday's quota. Guess that's a good thing, as I'm trying to get ahead and stay there so I can take the day before Thanksgiving off for baking, and Thanksgiving Day for eating!

The story is coming along, although I already know that I'm going to have a lot of revisions to do. I have gone back and read what I started out with, and have created a problem that has had no resolution or follow up. It's just hanging there, swaying in the breeze. Lily Leticia may like it, since she created it and has had no consequences resulting, but that is definitely not going to last...at least, not past December 1st!

The story has a lot of dialogue but not much action. I don't like that. But, revisions are not a part of the NaNo project, so fixing it is going to have to wait.

Speaking of dialogue, do you like to write it? Some of my writer friends say they hate it. They can come up with all kinds of actions, problematic situations, and concise and realistic conclusions, but their characters' dialogues "stink." I like to write it. I have fun making sure that my character's actions and body language fit her or his dialogue. Did you know that body language is as important in a story as it is in real life? Did you know that body language can speak volumes in a story just as it does in real life?

For example, suppose you have a teen girlfriend/boyfriend situation.
The boy is explaining why he can't drive the girl home from school as he always does. The scene goes something like this:

Hunter: "I'm sorry, Lauren, but I have to go to the library and do some serious studying for my history test tomorrow. I gotta spend a couple hours there, so you'll have to walk home today."

Sounds okay, right? Except for the body language: Hunter has his hands in his pockets, and Lauren sees his fingers moving around like little mice caught in a trap. She looks at him, but he avoids her eyes, looking down at the ground or out towards the football field...anywhere but at her.

Does that sound like someone telling the truth? Hmmm...I don't think so. Let's go on:

Lauren: "Oh...well, that's okay. I'll walk home with Ashley. Study hard, I don't want you to fail your test."

Think she believes him? Let's look at her body language:
Lauren holds her arms crossed against her chest. Her lips stretch into a tight smile that doesn't reach her eyes, which have narrowed slightly.

Does that sound like she believes this boy who has driven her home every day for the last 4 months...even when she knew he had to study for tests or had a homework project to work on? You figure it out !

Be sure that your dialogue and your character's body language match! Your story will be much more believable and realistic for it.

1 comment:

  1. Ew! Now, I know I'm gonna' hafta' watch what my hands and eyes are doing when I'm trying to get away with something. That or just make sure that Lauren is nowhere around to read what my body is saying. :-)
    Thanks for some great information, Mikki. Awesome advice. And congratulations on your NaNo success. Good job!

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