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Question

21 Jan

How many of y’all have read dialogue and thought, “God, what an idiot?” I was reading Joan Johnston’s Never Tease a Wolf and stumbled across the following:

I do. I do want to hear (p. 48)

Those words could sound any way. So why did I make the heroine who said them whine? She wasn’t whining in text. She was supposed to be sympathetic and understanding.

When I began to think about it, I thought that I did stuff like that all the time. I made up voices to go with dialogue and sometimes forced the characters to sound in a manner the author didn’t want. I don’t know why I do it; it just happens. I think, maybe, it has something to do with me deciding early on that I don’t like a character.

But think about it. Think about how many times we can take a sentence and create a voice to mutate the words into something sinister or contrary. One sentence, given the wrong inflection, can confuse the heck out of a reader.

So my question is, can you think of any times you’ve done something like this?

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