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:~: Friday, March 30, 2007 :~:

It's All In What They Say

First, let me apologize for being late. I forgot it was Friday. Yes, yes, I know, kind of hard to forget, but I had fifty-six panicked teenagers trying to turn in research papers, so . . .

I'm sorry for being late. :-)

Earlier this week, I had the chance to read a colleague's latest written work, a one-act play. Wayne is pursuing both a doctoral degree in education and a second master's degree, this one from Oxford in creative writing. I've had the opportunity to read some of Wayne' s pieces for his Oxford class over the last few months -- a short story, an essay on his readings, etc.

{He has an idea for a novel I'm dying to read; therefore, I'm nagging him at every possible chance to get to work on the darn thing!}

Anyway, earlier this week, he handed me a copy of his play and asked for my opinion. The first thing I noted was the lack of stage directions. It was all dialogue. Wayne told me later that the professor's instructions included "no stage directions." However, as I read, I found that the directions weren't needed. The situation, the conflict, the characters, were painted so clearly through his dialogue that I could "see" the play unfolding in my head.

I've written about the importance of subtext in dialogue before, but Wayne's play intrigued me. There is some subtext, but mainly the action is unfolding directly before the reader in the context of the conversations between the characters. I'm incredily intrigued by the idea and challenged at the same time. Of course, now I'm wanting to see if I can do the same thing. Of course, I'd have to layer in setting, internals, narrative, etc. later, but I'm playing with scenes in the WIP, writing out the dialogue to see if it can direct the scene on its own. Will have to see how that plays out.

So, what's challenged you lately to try something new in your writing?



Blogger Elisa said...

In a recent ms, I had a hero who was a nice guy. No ounce of bad boy in him. He was sensitive and caring, and this was a huge challenge for me. My heroes are not usually so nice. ;) One of the problems with him, and I didn't realize it at the time I was writing it, was that the heroine was still a strong, independent woman, and because of this I had someone comment that she came across as mean. Ugh. Definitely not how I want her portayed.

In my current WIP, the hero is also a good guy, so my challenge is to make sure the heroine is strong, well, nice at the same time.

11:21 AM  

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