META: The Problem with Dialogue

chrisouteast at chrisouteast at
Wed Aug 6 12:52:49 PDT 2008

This is a newbie post, but I'm just going to jump right in.

One of the big challenges is finding a way for the characters to talk
like themselves and not like the author -- I think films are a good
way to pick it up.  Watching old Humphrey Bogart movies, you'll hear
him use the most bizarre decades-old slang as though it was the most
natural thing in the world.  Watch a subtitled foreign film and you'll
see stilted, artificial dialogue as the translator tries to bend the
rhythms of a different language to seem familiar.  It makes you think
about right and wrong ways for personalities to talk.

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