Today’s topic is:
‘Do you embrace dialogue or narrate your way around it?’
One of the first books I wrote was ‘Alys in Hunger-land’, a clean coming-of-age story about an unhappy and overweight teenager. For some strange reason I was terrified of writing any dialogue, and so ended up narrating the whole story, convinced that this would be okay (dear old Alys features in a free book/sample promotion at the moment until the end of October https://books.bookfunnel.com/yacomingofage/eijp91vyzl)
Anyway, after a steep learning curve and many months later, I realised that I’d been telling and not showing. I had to re-write the whole thing and add some dialogue. I started off genuinely alarmed at the task ahead, but by the end of the re-write felt more confident. Here below is a little snippet of dialogue that I added. The book hasn’t got as much dialogue as my later efforts, and so after this I’ll add another conversation from ‘No Sex Please, I’m Menopausal’ when I was more comfortable with writing.
Excerpt from Alys in Hunger-land, by Stevie Turner:
We all want to find the magic secret to dieting and not feeling hungry all the time. Donna, a curvy mother of two, is a bit of a bright spark. There’s always one, isn’t there? Donna sits next to Annie who wants to be seven and a half stones, but unfortunately poor old Annie looks at least ten stones more than that. I feel more at ease amongst the women this week, and confident enough to ask a question.
“So, how do you all go about losing weight? I need some more ideas.”
“I drink two cupfuls of water before a meal. Trouble is, I’m peeing all the time.”
There’s a little titter of laughter rippling around the group before Donna pipes up.
“Have you tried using smaller plates?”
“No good.” I shake my head. “I could easily fit a large pizza on a smaller plate.”
“You’re not supposed to be eating pizzas!” Pauline rolls her eyes.
“Figuratively speaking.” I hasten to add. “Just an example.”
Rose, one of the quieter ladies, puts her oar in.
“Buy some of those of those fat burning pills. They’re supposed to reduce your appetite.”
“Already tried them.” I shake my head. “All they do is give me the runs.”
“I know an excellent way of losing weight.” Donna laughs.
“Oh?” I look at Donna with interest.
“Yeah, you can actually eat anything you like.”
“There’s got to be a snag.” Pauline gives Donna a suspicious look.
“There is.” Donna nods in agreement. “You just mustn’t swallow any of it.”
I laugh, but inside come to the sad conclusion that one must feel hungry quite frequently in order to look like Agnes, the stick-thin lady on the front of my diet book.
Here’s an excerpt from ‘No Sex Please, I’m Menopausal‘ by Stevie Turner
“Sorry, but it’s still the same as when I told you the last time and the time before that. It’s too painful, and I haven’t got a vagina anymore!” Lyn Fuller sighed as she removed her husband’s wandering hand. “Can’t you just accept it?”
From a clear vantage point between his wife’s legs, Neil Fuller let out an expletive as he risked a quick second glance.
“Yes you have, I can see one!” His finger pointed directly towards the object of the dispute.
“It’s for exit purposes only.”
“No, that’s the other end.”
“Well, can’t you stick something up there to help?” He took another glimpse; his erection deflating rapidly as he spoke.
“Wild yam is supposed to do the trick if you can’t take HRT.”
“Eh? You’ve got to stick a yam up there?” Neil looked quizzically at the size of the introitus on display, mentally comparing it to the dimensions of the root vegetable.
“Wild yam cream, dickhead.” She rolled her eyes.
“What good would that do?” He exhaled forcefully.
“I’ve no idea, but what else would you suggest?”
“How the fuck do I know? Ask the Quack for some bombers or something?”
“You mean pessaries?”
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