Wednesday, January 30, 2008

TK Kenyon: Website Update

Some new stuff at the website:

TK Kenyon

"As You Know, Bob." — When Exposition Masquerades as Dialogue

If your dialogue sounds stilted, you may have written exposition and tried to pass it off as dialogue. Dialogue's one and only purpose is to elucidate tension between characters.

It is not, ever, to convey information.

A bad example of what I mean:

Exposition masquerading as dialogue: "As you know, Bob, we've been stuck on this desert island for twenty years, eating only the coconuts that grow on the one tree and fish which we catch with our hands. We have several vitamin deficiencies, and you've been picking your nose this whole time. Stop it, or I'm going to kill you!"


Dramatized exposition, and one line of dialogue: Ted pounded the coconut open with a rock. It wasn't quite ripe yet, but he was so tired of fish, and his fingernails stung in the salt water where they cracked and peeled.
Bob sat on the beach a few yards away. He was picking his nose again. Again.
"Stop it!" Ted screamed and picked up the rock he had used to smash the green coconut into meaty fragments.