Sunday, January 22, 2012


Yesterday I had a comment from Robbie about my Stories on Skin post, specifically my writing style of using dialogue for my 100 Words tales.  I replied that it's easier for me to paint the picture, leaving the details up to the reader (paraphrasing, though you can read the actual comments in the original post--before this one--if you're interested).

I've been thinking about this since last night.  It's like eavesdropping when you read dialogue without explanations or details, isn't it?  Overhearing something--on the bus, in a grocery checkout line, at the dentist--you don't know the before or after, just the now of the story.  You get to make up whatever you want for backstory.  That's why I like using dialogue.  I'm giving the reader a snippet, the reader gets to fill in the blanks.

For instance.  When I wrote Stories on Skin--and this next part will be X-rated, so if anyone doesn't want to deal with that, stop now.  Here's what I saw in my head:

The couple were in bed, obviously naked based on their clear view of each others' bodies and scars.  They had just made love, were relaxed and happy in their relationship, though it's still new enough they were just learning their skin stories.  They were both adventurous, a common bond between them, and enjoying the fun of sharing those adventures.  I saw them facing each other, laying on the bed, their heads held by one hand bent at the elbow, as the other hand was free to explore the skin.  That's how the eavesdropping came into play.  I listened to them talking, the details were filled in by my imagination.

Now, another example could be my mother.  She would picture something entirely different; it wouldn't even be the same movie.  The best she could do in her mind, I'm sure, is see them on a beach somewhere, in bathing suits.  There's just no way on earth she would see what I saw (naked bodies, satiation, touchy-feely).

This is my point exactly.  I use dialogue to free the imagination, letting the reader conjure up anything that works for them.  It really doesn't matter what I had/have in my head while writing the story.  And that's why it's easier for me to write this way.  I don't have to fill in details.  I can just eavesdrop, then share what I overheard.

No comments:

Post a Comment