when the characters snub the words I put in their mouth

I can’t seem to write dialogues that sound natural. Sometimes I can, but those times come very, very rarely. Usually what I write sounds hammy. As if I’m forcing the two characters to converse, or that I’m deliberately making them say stuff that left to their own devices neither would ever think to say.

I hate myself. I’m a crappy writer.

Okay, maybe not crappy – but way too amateurish.

In any book I read, conversation is always the highest selling point for me. I need to be sucked into the situation – need to think that these two/ or three/ or the whole army would really say things in a certain way. I get to know more about a character from what they say than what they do. They reveal their past to me, the reasons behind their actions, their feelings and what tickles their humour.

Without conversation the characters are dead to me. Sure, a poignant story can still be written without any conversation at all. Isn’t that what Flash Fiction all about. Haven’t we all had the same reaction when we first read Hemmingway’s little gem?

 For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.

I don’t deny it. But in a novel – a full-length story with all of 300 pages in it, every word typed in size 12 Arial or Times New Roman – I need words spoken between characters.

They are such powerful tools in the hands of the right author. More intimate than sex, sometimes sweeter than the sweetest first kiss and sometimes more brutal than any dagger stabbed and twisted in one’s guts.

Just saying. Words. Beautiful, wonderful words. When two lovers first meet what mundane, indifferent words pass between them? How well can the author later bring back those words and contrast them with the urgent, passionate exchanges that come with development of unexpected feelings?


I like to think that someday I’ll be good enough to write a scene where a commonplace exchange between a milkman and an elevator operator would hold my readers rooted to their seats.

Now, wont that be just great?



One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s