Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday's Links to Writing & Marketing Blog Posts

By: Chemist Ken

On the advice of one of my crit partners, I’ve gotten into the habit of watching a few television dramas with my back to the screen. By not having my eyes telling me what’s happening, I can focus entirely on the dialogue, figuring out how the writers manage to pack so much information and emotion into so few words. Back in July, I posted that dialogue in novels isn’t real dialogue, it’s code for real dialogue. And now I’m slowly beginning to crack some of that code.

One of the best dramas for this technique is Suits, one of my favorite shows on cable. I won’t describe what the series is about, other than to say it involves lawyers suing each other a lot, but I’ve already noticed one trick the writers use to keep the pace moving. The nonverbal information dump.

Let’s say one of the characters has just had a confrontation with the antagonist, and when he returns to the office he yells at/complains to/argues with his partner about it. The thing I’ve noticed is that the character never repeats what happened during the confrontation, other than a quick one sentence description that hardly does the confrontation justice. The writers do this because the audience has already seen the conflict and would be bored by a rehash of events, but the trick is that, despite the lack of communication, the second character now behaves as if he has a perfect understanding of that confrontation.

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Happy writing and running, Kathy 

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