Keystroke Medium

Ep 5.04 - LIVE! Developing Character Through Dialogue

January 29, 2020

Josh, Scott, and Chuck discuss developing unique sounding characters through dialogue.


*Links coming soon

Developing Characters Through Dialogue

Hosts: Josh Hayes, Scott Moon, C. Steven Manley

[00:00] Opening remarks

[04:25] Sponsor: TS Hottle’s GoFundMe [link]

[04:45] Weekly update

Scott: ‘Reaper 9 ‘complete, working ‘Reaper 10’; chiropracting and recreational violence

Chuck: Attempts at using Excel, breaking the ‘chain’, and accountability

Josh: Secret story project, ‘Enemy of Valor’ progress

[15:25] KeyStroWriMo update!

[19:30] Main Event: Dialogue!

-Can you write a character that’s a pile of crap (actual, not figurative or morally bankrupt)? – yes, through non-verbal means or through a means of translation.

-Character voice through background, societal level, and personality; idiosyncracies and phrases Example: In Military Science Fiction, a corporal vs. a general will speak quite differently because of their position and level within the hierarchy

-Character voice similarity – word choice, actions, inner dialogue, words vs. actions, characters notice different things.

-Example: Hayley Stone’s ‘Make Me No Grave’ - Apostle vs. Alameda in dialogue and narrative devices [link]

-Dialogue and accent: NO (exception: it works in audiobooks). Sprinkle reminders that a character is not a native speaker (missing words or native words/phrases used in place of common English)

-‘The Expanse’ series example, contrasting Christjen Avasarala and Alex Kamal [link]

-Example: ‘Galaxy’s Edge’’s Lo Pac character [link]

-Example: ‘Firefly’s unique dialogue and phrases owned by characters (Kaylee vs. Wash) [link]

-Different types of humor – dry, literal, sardonic, gallows, humorless

-Excited utterances – What a character says under stress often brings out the truth of the character.

-Example: Sandor Clegane in ‘Game of Thrones’ [link]

-Example: Malcolm Reynolds leadership quality in ‘Firefly’ [link]

-Example: The Last Airbender series [link]

-Lengthy, dialogue is fine, but it must serve the needs of the character and the story.

-Action beats and dialogue tags.

-Plot vs. Dialogue and avoiding infodumps. Storytelling by characters or mission briefs of how things should go vs. what goes down.

-Example: John Scalzi’s FTL in ‘The Collapsing Empire’ series [link]

-Example: ‘So there I was’ in infinite military stories

-Example: Sanderson’s use of unique dialogue for each character in his books. Rock vs. Kaladin in The Stormlight Archive [link]

-Example: ‘Galaxy’s Edge’ Ford vs. Keel [link]

-Josh’s Fangirling over Sanderson.

-Sanderson’s 2020 course [link]

[1:00:40] Closing remarks

-Fish Fact Finding.

-Dialogue is the easiest thing to mess up.

-Joshua Gayou’s interview with Georg Rockall-Schmidt [link]


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