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?

3 Responses to “Question”

  1. LesleyW January 22, 2008 at 2:27 pm #

    I have definitely read dialogue and thought – nobody talks like this.

    But I know what you’re talking about, and I do think it happens when you take a dislike to a character.

    LOL – my whiny character is Phaedre from the Kushiel series. I’m sure Jacqueline Carey didn’t intend for her to come across to me as whiny.

  2. Kimberly Swan January 22, 2008 at 11:27 pm #

    When I really get into a book, they all have voices. Now I’ll have to pay attention…lol

  3. scooper January 23, 2008 at 9:44 pm #

    Lesley & Kimberly- I never really thought about it until I was reading Johnson’s book this weekend. Now I’ve made myself hyper aware.

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