Recently, I was reading over a part of my novel that just felt awkward. Over and over I tried to rewrite it so that it flowed more naturally, but it just wasn’t working. Finally, I realized that there were pages of description and no dialogue, so I tried to rewrite it with the same goals in mind, but this time I simply sprinkled the description and setting around a dialogue. Then, BLAM, it all seemed to come together. But is dialogue really the perfect tool to solve all my awkward writing moments, or is dialogue like every other part of writing and shouldn’t be overused?
Unfortunately, this isn’t my only dialogue issue. You see, my novel is a young adult fantasy set in a fantastical world that is Earth, only better. My main character is intelligent and thoughtful, but young. When she speaks, I want her to sound like all of these things, and yet I’m struggling with showing a young intelligent person without using slang that is appropriate to our world but not hers. So what do I do? For awhile, I just tried to write and write, hoping that her voice that seemed so strong in my mind would translate to the page, but the words always came out differently. I felt like I couldn’t just keep writing in circles, so I’ve taken a slight break to read some of my favorite authors once more and see if their writing can inspire my own.
As you might be able to tell, this somewhat rambling blog has been used as a dialogue therapy session for me to discuss my love/hate relationship with it. Regrettably, however, I think I’ve come to the end of my time, and I haven’t quite made peace with dialogue yet. I want to use it like a powerful tool through writing, but my tool may need a little more sharpening before it is able to create exactly what’s in my mind. I’ll let you know when, if ever, things begin to improve.