without writing out the dialogue

Batman: Family (2002-2003) #7 (of 8)

“Is he giving you any trouble? Got you. He talks too much. I heard about your visit with Cain. I know that must have been hard for you. If you need someone to talk to, let me know. I’ve been there.”

Dick proves once more why he’s so beloved as the Big Brother of the DCU here. He’s given similar talks to Jason and Tim in the past, making it clear that he wants his siblings to talk to him when they need him. Advice that he should take more for himself, though that’s a discussion for another time.

Again, let’s give major credit to the creative team here because their handling of Cass is easily some of the best Cass stuff around. They really get her character, how to write the minimal dialogue without skimping out on her humor and emotions, and also just nailing that stubbornness. We might see (soon) that Dick’s outreach means a heck of a lot to Cass, but she’s not exactly one to open up very easily.

A+ stuff all around.

lone-soprano-of-sopranoland  asked:

Hello! I am having problems with the slang and dialect of my characters' speech, being an African American teenage girl. I have characters from many countries and English is not their first language, and I want their speech and slang to identify them without saying "They're a Romani, or she's from Côte D'Ivoire." I also have dozens of pages of slang for each of them, but how much slang is too much? How do I write their dialogue without coming out as either cartoony or non-existent? Thank you!

Romani Slang in Dialogue 

Hi! Firstly, you need to be very careful about where you are getting your Romani slang, because half the pages on the internet are either wrong or mix dialects that would normally never be spoken together. If you have a Romani character from a certain country, that will also influence what dialect they speak and therefore what slang they would use. If you’d like to make sure what you’re using is appropriate, you can message my personal blog and I’d be happy to check it out for you. I’m very wary about non-Romani people writing Romani characters, so you need to be careful you’re not stereotyping your OC in any way; no fortune telling, swindling, etc. 

Also, generally you wouldn’t say someone is “a Romani”; you’d say they’re Romani OR they’re a Romani person. I have heard people using “a Romani”, but generally I think that’s not appropriate. As for how much slang a character might use, it depends on context. If I’m speaking with a fellow Romani person, I might use a fair amount because I can be relatively sure I will be understood; however, when I’m speaking with non-Romani people, I don’t tend to use that much because it will just go over their heads! Nobody knows what “bi baxt” means if they aren’t Romani/don’t speak Rromani chib. :) That’s all I can answer, but maybe another mod can help wrt your Côte D’Ivoire character!

–Mod Tasbeeh

I’m of the opinion that you just write their dialogue as you would someone who has English as a second language, but that could differ based on where they’re from (such as applying different grammar rules, having to get used to gendered pronouns, etc.) 

Tossing in dialect and slang is going to scream “cartoon” unless you’re being subtle about it. 

Also, the only way I’d have other languages slipping into my English is if I’m talking to folks who can also speak that language.

–Mod Jess

iseekum  asked:

Do you ever write a lot of stuff that feels like crap but you just keep writing it anyway because you know you're biased and it's best to finish and then if it IS crap to rewrite or cut it away completely, or have you developed a fairly accurate crap-meter over time and all the stuff you've written? Also, hi! And happy New Year!

Hi! And Happy New year, etc.

Er… like most things, there’s various schools of thought on this. Did you see this Gifset about Stephen King and George RR Martin talking about work methods? And the quote attached to it from Calvino? Well, that’s a fairly hefty schism. There’s Vonnegut’s Swoopers vs Bashers too (”Swoopers write a story quickly, higgledy-piggledy, crinkum-crankum, any which way. Then they go over it again painstakingly, fixing everything that is just plain awful or doesn’t work. Bashers go one sentence at a time, getting it exactly right before they go on to the next one. When they’re done they’re done.”). Worth noting the bias in that one, of course - Vonnegut is a self-described basher, and the quotes that follow it show no understanding of swoopers.

(And from that, you may guess my bias - through that filter, I’m a swooper. I think that level of analysis of a sentence out of context is pointless. You’re writing a story. Sentences are only really good or bad depending on how they serve a larger purpose)

But binaries are also rubbish. The map is not the terrain and all that.

In other words: be careful with advice on this. This may not be you. Whatever works works. Discovering what works for you is the key thing. Maybe you lean basher. That’s fine. Being in a corner with Vonnegut isn’t a bad thing. 

(No-one leaves Vonnegut in the corner, cue dance routine, we’ve had the time of our life, so it goes.)

Generally speaking, being a working writer working in a pulp corner of the media and with other people relying on me to earn money (I think it was Ivan Brandon who argued if you leave your artist without pages, you should pay their rent.) Doing the job is, involves doing the job.

You’re correct that it’s rarely as bad as you think it is. 

At the same time, it’s also almost always easier to edit something than to write something. So write anything. You can always delete it. At the absolute worst, by writing it ,you’ve discovered one thing which ISN’T right. More likely, when it’s on the page you can sit back and realise what’s wrong with that take. What’s false? What’s missing? How can you change it to make it so?

That said, if something isn’t time critical, and there’s any other option, sometimes you know you’re not ready to write this, and you should press abort. In the notes for WicDiv 24 I wrote about my first draft of the first few pages. Now, that is almost identical in “story content” as what was printed, but was shit, or at least weightless. When writing it, I then stepped way back, realising I wasn’t ready to write the issue, and went and worked on other things to leave things to cook more. I just didn’t really know what was happening, on a much deeper level.

Now “I’m not ready to do this” is a good thing to lead you to procrastinate, so be careful with letting yourself off the hook too much, but sometimes you’re just not ready to do it, and you have to accept it.

But generally speaking, if you now the story, almost any tactics you can do to do some kind of first draft will be more easily edited than a blank page. Literally any tactic. Write it out of order. Write it without dialogue. Write it without description. Anything.

And now to go and try and prove this right with WicDiv 26′s script, which needs to get over to Jamie today, and - oh my! - have I some things to tweak.

anonymous asked:

Hey Max. So I have a question in regards to dialogue. What do you think about dialogue heavy scenes (as in the characters speak directly to each other back and forth for several lines)? I find that the general consensus is that some dialogue is necessary, but if the characters just talk back and forth it gets a bit tedious. I guess my real question is, how do you write dialogue without making it sound tedious?

Hello there, dear anon~ ♥︎

Well, first off you should not worry yourself with what the ‘general’ consensus is, because that changes with the times– and anything as shapeless as that should never be taken as gospel c;

That being said– I have a pretty good tip for your situation.

How do you write dialogue without making it sound tedious?

Read your dialogue out loud. Seriously. This is the secret trick for making dialogue sound realistic, snappy, and engaging. Write the same way people speak– and test it by reading it out loud. If it sounds the way people talk, then you’re set. If it sounds stiff (like someone reading a story) then rework it.

Now, you may be asking yourself “well, how will I know if it sounds the way people talk?” and you’re kind of right. How does one go about learning how people talk– well, by listening. Here’s a weird exersice for you:

Go out into the world. Go to a public place, preferably somewhere with loads of people. Bring a notebook with you, or something to write on. Grab a seat, and… eavesdrop on a conversation. Seriously. My college professor had us doing this all the time. You know why? Because real dialogue is weird. We don’t talk coherently. We skip details, and trim the fat in order to get to what we are really trying to say.

Dialogue should be the same. You want a rule for dialogue? Here is it: if you’re using dialogue to dump information on the reader, then you’re doing it wrong. The purpose of dialogue is to show how characters interact with one another. Keep that in mind.

Now, go eavesdrop on some juicy conversations :D

And, remember, keep writing~ ♥︎