Tuesday 10th November - Day 6
Woke at 7.00am. Late! Ridiculous! Fortunately, I knew where I was going and was reasonably happy with Monday’s efforts, so I could get on. I’m beginning to remember the feel of Simon; no, not in any physical sense, more a confidence about where I am with him, how his character will place in the story and how happy I am to have him on board as one of the three drivers.
Yesterday was a day of dialogue and I’m mindful of the fact that most writing class masters decry the use of any adverb to modify verbs, especially beyond the word ‘said’. And they’re right, except that we all like to cheat a little now and then. They say the prose shouldn’t demand clarification: the language one uses in the dialogue ought to be sufficiently efficient and accurate that the reader knows in what order and sense the dialogue is carried. Scriptwriting is often a useful form of practising writing dialogue. If one ends up with stodgy conversation, one is apt to switch off or start daydreaming: I know, I’ve switched off on more than one occasion, especially at dinner parties. So, if you’re not happy with the interplay between your characters, and you’re working on a word document, simply cut and paste the section you’re concerned about onto a blank document and try to fashion the dialogue to make sense without he said, she said or they said - seriously. I took an online scriptwriting course a few years ago at the University of East Anglia, at the end of which we had to write a short script without using the word ‘said’. Each spoken sentence from one character had to funnel the listener into the spoken response from the next, and so on. In my case, I cooked up a conversation between two Southside gangsters, Vinney and Jo, standing outside an Italian restaurant. Mori had died from lead-poisoning the evening before, but…
“Jo, you know how much Mori liked his spaghetti?”
“Loved it? He would have died for it.”
“Well, the guy doing the job was late and if Mori hadn’t stayed for a second helping, he would have been gone before the guy pitched up.”
“Okay, I get it. So, it was the spaghetti that killed him.”
“Yeah, Jo, the spaghetti. Sometimes… Sometimes I just wonder if you’re worth the effort.”
Guess you had to be there.
Ciao. Until tomorrow.