I suppose it’s time to openly admit it. Some of my characters are based loosely on real people. I can’t say they are completely based on these people because I’ve never actually been through the end of the world with any of them so I don’t really know how they’d react to all the things I’ve put them through. A lot of my dialogue in my stories is based on what I believe these people would do and say. To me it helps me make sure my characters are as realistic as I can make them. I’ve always hated books, movies, or TV shows that had horribly unbelievable dialogue. From the very beginning one of my main goals was to have good if not great characters.
I’ve spoken to some of my friends who know this little secret and all have said that the dialogue sounds perfect and can tell who the characters are just by what they say. I take this as a great compliment. Amusingly enough, I was hanging out one day with a group of my friends and somehow a conversation about a tank or driving a tank came up. I let them play out the conversation, only nudging it in a certain direction and then waited. After they were done I started laughing when they asked what was funny I told them that I had basically written that conversation in my first book. It was almost verbatim.
Someone, in one of my less favorable reviews, said that the dialogue sounded like constant one upmanship. My first thought was that they didn’t actually know what that meant and secondly, they obviously didn’t have a lot of male friends. I know what I wrote and I also went back and reread it too just to be sure. There’s a lot of sarcasm and poking fun at people which, if you had my friends or was my friend you’d probably be a lot more familiar with both. There’s also a lot of caring and advice in my dialogue, especially in the first book, which I guess would have been nice if said reader could have gotten past that to see the important parts of the conversation. Guys and some girls don’t always speak in straight lines, which means you have to figure out what they’re really trying to get at. These are the subtle things I tried to convey in my dialogue and thankfully, according to most people have done a decent job of showing.
Had a good chunk of dialogue this morning dealing with anger fear and a whole bunch of other emotions so I was thinking a lot about dialogue and just thought I’d share. Back to work with me now!
Enjoy your day!