Sunday, June 19, 2011
We on the Same Page?
More process than pomp today!
I love writing dialogue. I think I have a long way to go, as far as balancing story structure and not getting lost in the fun things I want characters to say in my stories. But I've always enjoyed giving characters a voice.
I think the best dialogue has the ability to simultaneously move the story forward, while remaining true to the personality of the character that's delivering the lines. For instance, a backwoods redneck might say, "Dang. Looks like 'em martians were bent on wipin' us all out from the get-go." Whereas, a 13-year old boy might say, "Holy cow! All the humans are about to get destroyed and - oh man! Does that mean no more of Mr. Bellward's math class?"
Both statements convey the same idea - aliens are about to destroy Earth. But it's seen through the eyes of two different characters. I think it's near impossible for an artist to really disconnect their own voice from their characters or, even further, not use their characters as a mouthpiece for their own thoughts and convictions. In Dust Bunny, I feel like the ideas are a little more under the radar. I might be wrong, and that'll be for each reader to decide on their own. But all in all, I've just really enjoyed assigning a tone to each one of these characters.
That would explain today's post. Writing dialogue is fun, but I have to keep myself in check. I'm not writing a screenplay. I'm writing a graphic novel, which means the words are seen and not heard; the words will, in fact, be a part of a page's layout and design. There will be times where the words are simply more important than the art and I'll have to tip the balance in favor of whatever pushes the story along smoother. If I do my job right, the reader won't be able to tell where I compromised. That's another big challenge - making sure it all "dovetails" together. Of course, it won't be a constant battle (once again, hooray for pre-production), but those aesthetic spats will arise. This is why I took today and visited two of my more word-heavy pages. I wanted to get an idea of how they might work on paper. I even printed them out to scale, simply to get a better idea of what the final product might look like.
And don't worry, the 2 pages above aren't consecutive, so it's ok if the dialogue makes about as much sense as a diet coke.
Check out those real life dust bunnies under the couch...