Dynamic Dialogue!

It’s day nine of ‘blogging 101’ and we needed to build on one of the comments we’d made from the previous day.

I chose an article on Roz Morris’ blog ‘Nail Your Novel.’

She discussed clumsy dialogue and how to improve your scenes by leaving out more than you put in. I am in the editing stages of a novel that I intend to put on Wattpad. So I thought I would give her idea a go. Here are the results;

First stage: Re-write dialogue in a clumsy way, telling everything in the scene.

‘Do you need any help?’ The boy grinned at her.

Jessie scowled. ‘I had it under control.’

‘Yeah the way you stopped his teeth with your arm was genius. You would’ve been dead if it weren’t for me.’ He yanked her to her feet. The wolf fell aside and Jessie brushed herself off.

‘If you hadn’t been wandering about in the first place, it would never have happened.’ She scowled at him.

‘A simple thank you would do,’ he said. ‘My name’s Alec.’ He held his hand out to shake hers. Jessie ignored him.

‘Hey, I just saved your life,’ he said.

‘Thank you,’ she replied, pulling out her axe and bringing it down on the animal’s neck. ‘But for the record, you didn’t save my life.’

‘I feel sick,’ he said.

‘Well stand somewhere else,’ she snapped, shoving the now severed head into her red bag.

Alec stared at her. ‘Who are you?’

Now I was instructed to highlight all the dialogue in colour. The I was to rewrite, ommitting the clumsy, obvious speech and including action and body language.

Here’s the final version:

                      ‘Lucky I came along.’ The boy grinned, exposing a crooked front tooth.

Jessie scowled. ‘I had it under control.’

‘Yeah, the way you stopped his teeth with your arm was genius.’ He held out his hand. ‘My name’s Alec.’

‘How nice for you,’ said Jessie, jumping to her feet. She grabbed her axe and brought it down on the animal’s neck with a sickening crack!

The boy turned away. ‘I saved your life,’ he said. ‘The least you could do is say thank you.’ His voice croaked and Jessie thought she detected a slight tremble.

She sneered. ‘You didn’t save my life.’

Blood dripped onto the ground as she stuffed the severed head into her bag. The boy swayed a little.

Yanking the drawstring tight, she swung it over her shoulder. The wolf’s body lay next to Alec’s feet. She pulled out a silver bottle and poured oil over the corpse, splashing the boy’s shoes.

‘I’d move away if I were you,’ she said, lighting a match.

Alec’s eyes widened. ‘You’re not from animal control are you?’

‘No,’ she said, fixing her brilliant green eyes on his. ‘I’m not.’

Now the scene is shorter, but gives more information even though I’ve actually taken dialogue out. I’ve avoided questions, given actions instead of answers and vreated an overall cleaner scene…I hope.

I welcome any feedback and would love to know if anyone else has tried this and got better results.

In the meantime, thank you for reading, and happy writing 🙂

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