Happy Valentine’s Day! (Think chocolate.)
In other news, one of the challenges to writing good fiction is making dialogue believable. How many times have you been reading a book and thought, “No one really talks that way”? There’s an art to natural dialogue, but the big question is, who gets to decide what’s “natural”?
I occasionally post real-life conversations here, often transcribed from our dinner-table discussions. Obviously I try to select snippets with entertainment value and avoid mundanities. I have to wonder, though, would a reader believe it if I put some of these conversations in a novel?
Take last night. George and I were lying in bed. (This is rated G, by the way. TVFH is a family friendly blog.)
George: Are you going skiing before or after Mount Hermon?
Jeanne: The weekend before. I arrive back in Dallas on Monday and leave again on Thursday.
George: So, you’ll be gone from Thursday to Monday?
Jeanne: No, I’ll be gone from Thursday to Tuesday. I get back on Monday, leave on Thursday, and return again on Tuesday.
George: So, you arrive in Dallas on Monday, but you’re driving home on Tuesday?
Jeanne: No, I leave on a Friday for Colorado and get back on Monday. I leave the next Thursday for Mount Hermon and get back on Tuesday.
George: Are you coming home between trips or staying in Dallas?
Jeanne: I don’t know. It seems like at least one other year I did this I just stayed in Dallas. In fact, I know I did. I remember repacking my suitcase. I took my ski clothes out and put my Mount Hermon clothes in.
George: Did you do the Hokey Pokey?
Jeanne: I always do the Hokey Pokey. (Pause.) That’s what it’s all about.
Jealousy over our steamy pillow talk aside, I ask you, is this natural? It’s my habitat, but I’m not sure I live in the real world.
One last note: About five minutes after this exchange, I busted out laughing. It finally dawned on me why he asked if I did the Hokey Pokey.