writing conversations, or the voices in my head are arguing

Anyone who has read Cider Lane will know that it is not overwhelmed with dialogue. Indeed, dialogue is absent quiet often simply because characters don’t have anyone to talk to due to where they are and what they are doing, except there selves or the occasional passing sheep. That’s not to say there is no dialogue, in some parts there is lots of it. But allot of time is spent between the two main characters in silence. That was not deliberate; it was just what fit and how the story wanted to be written, and how the characters were. The silence was an important part of the relationship between them. What they didn’t say, was often more important than anything they did say.

In the novel I am currently writing has far more dialogue, again not a conscious choice as such but how the characters interact, and it wants to be written.

Books have to want to be written, and they generally want to be written in certain ways. This may just happen to me, but when it flows, the writing writes itself. Which is occasionally a problem, because the characters often start  talking so fast that all I end up with is dialogue and nothing around it, context goes out of the window, and the 90% of communication which is not verbal goes with it, and only with the first redrafting does it start to fill out with everything else around it.

It’s an odd approach, but it works for me

for example from what I am working on:-

 “I mean, it’s strange to find anything growing here… in this place… it’s unusual, to say the least.”
“In a garden?”
“In this garden, I mean how is there even a garden here?”
“Why would there not be?”
“You know what I mean.”
“So you’re asking why there is a here in the first place. That’s a very Zen question don’t you think. Like, why are we here? Because we are. Beyond that is only superstition in the end. There is a garden because Esqwith has a garden. There is a tree in the garden because Esqwith lets him take root here.”
“But? I mean why is any of this here, who is Esqwith.”
“Oh, so that’s your question.”
“Yes.”

“Oh that’s simple, I don’t know.”

These conversations happen all the time while I am writing, often they run ahead of everything else, and I end up with pages of dialogue that get all the more confused by the lack of context. Then I have a few days off, to take down a shed ( like I did yesterday) then come back to the work and realise that I am not even sure who was talking to whom in this exchange as I saved it separate to the main document as I was playing with the conversation.

I procrastinate, it’s what I do best at times. While the characters argue about the relativity of an unreal place. That conversation might seem short; it’s part of several pages of dialogue. This may take a while to sort out. The joy of the first draft.

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