We have discussed ways to write your talk, but how do you show your talk? Sometimes, we are so busy letting our characters talk, we end up with line after line of dialog. Sure, this is a great. Easy to move the story forward, but at some point, this gets boring. So, show your talk.
Let’s go into the Improve arena. The same place you talked through your dialog, in the room the conversation took place, and you got angry? You gave voice to the dialog. Now, you are back in the same room and one of your characters are talking. With all the questions asked, you can react.
You can sidestep the question or questions. ‘Where were you last night? I called and called.” You shrug your shoulders, turn your head, raise your eyebrows, but not with words. In addition, you can do the same thing on paper. The character, not speaking, is asking herself or himself, why care – why is this important – I am free to do as I please. Check yourself for any echo in the conversation., You are playacting your talk.
What about using silence and and confrontation? This drives people up the wall, so to speak. Why not do the same thing with your characters? You are in a conversation with your characters(s) and you know there is no word to stop feelings. How about silence? Take the conversation above: “Where were you last night?” Not even a shrug of shoulders, just silence and an under-breath motion. This could be a cough, a snarl of the lips, which you show.
As you go through your Improve situation, practice all different aspects of a non-responsive answer. This will get you in the mood to answer without giving an answer. Watch how you body movements respond. Put yourself into this conversation. (Hold off on jumping on furniture, but consider the vision.)
This might be the place where you drop a bit of back-story or a word. Go ahead, confuse the other character(s) and your reader. What is going on? This is a part of you keeping your reader in the know and the dark. This is what turns the pages. Then you begin to analyze your whole manuscript,. Great.
Read your manuscript aloud, to yourself, in the comfort of your home. As you read, take yourself where your characters congregate: the kitchen, living room, patio, bedroom, bathroom; yes, even the bathroom. If they are in the car and your car in the garage, sit in the drier’s seat and keep going.
If you do not have a garage, drive down a back street, with little traffic, or park in a huge shopping center lot. Get a sense of the place you are at and forget about people pointing. This is your art, your work and go for every place you can get.
Hey, you are going to do fantastic. When you are having fun, your characters will join you; so expect company.
Happy Movements to your dialog.