Sunday, October 6, 2013

Day 273 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis




Yes, you can build a story that is all dialogue. It's been done effectively. But let's face it, there comes a time when the talking just stops. What do you do then?
Well, I'm not a real fan of being told what is happening in a story. At least not from the third person, fly on the wall perspective. I prefer to be kept in the moment and as close to the character in the scene as possible.
There's always internal dialogue. Although this can get a little creepy at times. I spend enough of my day talking out plot lines, action, and dialogue in my head or out loud. I've been caught at it and, when I really stop to think about it, seeing me sitting by myself, babbling away might be a tad disturbing for the non-literary masses. Sorry guys, the whole order of dismemberment thing, just working out the action in Chapter Seven. Honest!
When it comes down to it, action in place of dialogue can go a long way. For example:
     The small glass pane in the side door to the garage didn't break as easy as he thought it would. It took three good shots with his elbow. Then there was the problem of getting both hands through the opening and not getting cut. Who'd have ever thought that trying to unlock a door was this hard? Guess not too many people do it backwards, in handcuffs!
      He'd have to find something to clean up the blood on the floor. There might be something in those cabinets. Looking at the doors, he was amazed. Who puts padlocks on all their cabinets? He snatched at the corner and tried to pry it open. The frame gave, and then snapped in his hand! A splinter at least an inch and a half long knifed into the pad of his thumb. He stifled a scream.
     What's that? Was there someone in the house? But there hadn't been cars or anything to indicate that there might be someone home from the outside. But those were definitely footsteps coming his way. Just then, he spied the axe by the door! Grabbing the handle, he silently pleaded, "Please, don't come out here."
Action, action, action. Moving the story forward and eliminating the need for a narrator to tell you what's going on and what they're feeling. This is a man on the run. Desperate. He is on the edge and possibly ready to go over it. Wouldn't you want to see what happens next?
The next time you hit that point where the talking stops, think about how you're going to keep the story going. YOU can tell us about it, or you can show us. The first will probably lift us out of context and slow things down. If you've just finished a rather intense scene and feel it would be appropriate to give your readers a breather, then, by all means, go expository. On the other hand, if it's time to ratchet things up and foreshadow a crisis about to come to a head, action will speak louder than words.
Another helpful hint from your Uncle Dane.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------, love, and get in there and write it with balls!
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Dane F. Baylis

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