Awesomely cool writing tip

This comes from one of my fave bloggers and writer-guys, Chuck Wendig. He can be a little raunchy with the tips, but he’s always right on.

This week, Chuck enlightens us with 25 tips for writing dialogue, and I gotta tell you. I think dialogue can make or break a character, pacing, and a story. Here are some of MY thoughts on that.

What I really like about Chuck’s tips here is that he nails the importance of good dialogue and its role in plot. Here’s a taste:

3. Sweet Minimalism
Let’s get this out of the way: don’t hang a bunch of gaudy ornaments upon your dialogue. In fiction, use the dialogue tags “said” and “asked” 90% of the time. Edge cases you might use “hissed,” “called,” “stammered,” etc. These are strong spices; use minimally. Also, adverbs nuzzled up against dialogue tags are an affront to all things and make Baby Jesus pee out the side of his diaper, and when he does that, people die. In scripts, you don’t have this problem but you can still clog the pipes with crap if you overuse stage directions. Oh, heavy dialect and sland? Just more ornamentation that’ll break the back of your dialogue.

6. Shape Determines Speed
Short, sharp dialogue is a prison shiv: moves fast ’cause it’s gotta, because T-Bone only has three seconds in the lunch line with Johnny the Fish to stitch a shank all up in Johnny’s kidneys. Longer dialogue moves more slowly. Wanting to create tension? Fast, short dialogue. Want to create mystery? Longer, slightly more ponderous dialogue. Want to bog your audience in word treacle? Let one character take a lecturing info-dump all over their heads.

And there are 23 more, just waiting for you to peruse

Happy writing, happy reading!

Writer, market thyself! And oh, yeah, lots of other stuff!

Hi, kids. I fell across fellow writer Chuck Wendig’s blog “Troubled Minds” via Twitter and this particular entry he did is SO true. It’s about all the hats writers have to wear in order to make it in this business. Which bites giant yang, but there it is. Here. Check it out for yourself.

Wanna write professionally? Then get your super toolkit ready. Zombie-killers don’t just rely on one weapon, after all. So you need your edit-skillz, bizness skillz, tech skillz for the networking, speakin’ skillz, and oh, yeah, mad writing skillz.

Like Chuck says, writers don’t just write. Bummer, I know. But there it is. Un-sugarcoated, baby! The real deal! Writers have to do stuff besides writing. So start working on that toolkit.