DOES YOUR DIALOG SPIT FIRE?

ImageYes, you can make your dialog spit fire without burning you or your reader. You do this through your characters and their actions and your imagination. Go to the scene where you need the dialog. Read before and after these scenes. Get your mind wrapped around the tension, the happiness, the sadness, or the love.

Are you in the scene with your characters? Then let the words flow. Do not pay attention to hitting the wrong keys. Just write. You can clean up your work after all the words flow from your head and heart. Feel the conversation. You may find yourself writing a different scene than what you thought you needed. Why? Because you are in your character’s head and they have more ideas than you ever imagined. Pump up your writing juices and see what spills over onto the page.

Then make the dialog fire burn brighter. Instead of writing this time, read what you have written. Can you feel the fire? Can you see the fire between your characters? No? Now, you can have fun. Be each of your characters and act out their conversation. If this makes you nervous, check out a couple of movies from the library or go to your own video library. Watch for the dialog and conversations. Look at the movements between the participants talking. Forget the lips, at this time, rather check the way they stand, slump, bounce from one foot to the other. See their facial expressions. How do their eyes focus? What happens to the eyebrows? Take notes. Where are their hands? Do they shake at one another, or can you see the fingers tighten into fists. Does one person dominate the conversation or the other person back up?

Now be prepared for more fun. Put two hats on and become both characters. In the comfort of your own home, do the scene and include the conversation. Get into your improve actions. This is a heated argument, remember fire in dialog, and go for the best you can do. Yell, scream, stamp your feet, feel your body tighten, your shoulders tense, can you feel your face take its smile and replace it with contempt? Okay, you don’t want an argument, so choose what predicament you want for your characters. If this is a love scene, watch how different your improve actions become.

Practice. Practice. Then . . . write, write, write. Sure you will have revisions, but when you get the words, actions, expressions into your dialog, stand back because you will feel the fire. Please do not throw anything. You can picture this, but some practices must remain in the mind.

Happy Writing.

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