This week’s theme was dialogue. I wrote 5,500+ words for my three stories this week and in each I worked on trying to create dramatic and captivating dialogue. I think I had varying degrees of success overall. I would like to have some more feedback for my writing, however, I have no idea how to promote my writing blog. While I have about 20+ followers I don’t know how many actually follow any of my stories. I have gotten many likes this week and that’s certainly encouraging, but it’s hard to translate likes into constructive feedback. If anyone has any advice on how to attract people who might be interested in reading my stories please let me know in a comment. For now I just want to reflect on the three sections of dialogue I wrote this week.
The first of these was The Monk and this contained the worst dialogue of the three in my opinion. Not for the content, indeed I have actually won some praise for the content, and I am pleased with that myself. Rather what I was unhappy about with this dialogue was the simplicity of style, it was just questions and answers. It had the sophistication of a public school homework assignment. There was little passion in the dialogue, although I tried to put a feeling of solemnity in it to try and spice it up emotionally. What I would like to do in future Monk updates is have more arguments, debates, and emotive speeches. I don’t like the low energy nature of these dialogues.
In contrast I felt inspired for my dialogue in Thorns, although much of the dialogue is only available in the Patreon update (part 11). Here are three characters with uneasy relationships with each other: Erian wants to dominate Kylie, Kylie wants to seduce Elwin, and Elwin is embarrassed by his own feelings which put him in conflict with both of the others. I took great pleasure in writing the hostile dialogue between Erian and Kylie. The reasons for this will spoil some readers, so I won’t explain specifically why here, but in a general sense having characters that conflict with each other is a wonderful thing and this conflict is only possible because the three characters in Thorns are flawed. In Erian’s case we see a potentially violent character who has no respect for Kylie, which raises the tension. By contrast the characters in the Monk are not flawed, but rather ordinary. I think I will have to add some vice to them in the future.
Finally in Humhyde (part 5) I have mixed feelings about my results there. The dialogue is definitely punchy, but it might be over the top in some places. It might also be too subtle in other places. I want to use tense, chaotic exchanges between characters to stoke the drama of the story by leaving the reader feeling uneasy about what’s going on. But at the same time I want to have a few positive interactions between the characters and I fear those positive interactions are too reassuring to a reader I don’t want feeling reassured. For instance, I don’t want my reader to feel comfortable seeing Randall as a hero, nor Otto as foolish. I think this week’s update was a step in the right direction but I can definitely improve upon what I have currently written.