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Jan's Writing Basics #7--Final lesson on dialog

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

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Postby Green Leaves » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:40 pm

Thanks, Jan. That makes a lot of sense to me.
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"...not to advance in the spiritual life is to go back. But those who have the gale of the Holy Spirit go forward even in sleep.". Brother Lawrence

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Postby PamDavis » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:28 pm

Homework corrections:


My sweetheart tried to persuade me to make a personal commitment to Jesus as Lord and Savior. I resisted his efforts. I believed in God; I prayed. His attitude offended me. We started attending church; and I even tried to read the Bible.

Talking on the phone one Saturday night, Norm said, “I’ll pick you up around 10. Love you.”

“Love you more than you love me!”

“No, I love you more,” he replied.

“Can’t keep my eyes open.” Yawning I said, “Good night.”

We silently slipped into a pew of the large church. The pastor delivered God’s word; and I felt the burden of my sins. My heart began to race and my conscience really bothered me. The hour passed; and we made our way out to the car.

He looked at my somber face. “What’s the matter?”

“I wanted to make a decision.”

“Why didn’t ya’ say something? We’ll do it next week,” Norm said. “I’ll go forward with you, need to rededicate my life.”

The following Sunday morning we walked down the long aisle to the front of the church. We both spoke to the pastor, and were directed to a room for counseling. On wobbly knees I prayed with a godly elderly woman, who noticed my engagement ring.

She asked, “What’s your fiancé’s name?”

“Norm.”

“When you get married you’ll take your vows, saying: I take thee Norm. Now, just say I take thee Jesus.”

The two vows were the best decisions I ever made. As husband and wife we pledged faithful love to be broken only by death. My commitment to Jesus is to be never ending. Yes, I take thee Jesus.


Pam
With God All things are Possible!

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Postby Deconut » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:40 pm

HOMEWORK-

“It’s such a charming name for a café, the Hominy Grill,” said Aunt Irene. “It’s actually quite well known. I believe they have written it up in one of those traveler’s guides.”

“The Hominy Grill? What kind of food do they serve? Besides grits, that is.” I guess my skepticism showed.

“That’s part of the charm! You never know what they will have any day. They put the day’s menu on a big chalk board and it’s ever so fresh.”

“Do they grill meat as well as hominy?” I asked. My stomach was growling, and I couldn’t put the idea of a burger out of my mind.

Aunt Irene was tiring of the discussion. “I thought your generation was so adventurous,” she said. “All this fuss over lunch. We never get to Charleston, and I am eating at the Hominy Grill.”

I have to admit she was right. I mean about not going to Charleston very often. I can’t say about the Hominy Grill. I got a burger at the Snack Shack.

************************************************************

Thank Jan, for these lessons. I am sorry that we are done with the dialog part. I have enjoyed them and learned a lot.

Kathie Tollifson
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Postby CatLin » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:53 pm

The endless tap-tap-tapping of pencil on table was about to send Cathy over the edge. "Kyle. Please. Put the pencil down. Now, who's found Luke 1:37?”

"Oooh, Mrs, Cathy! Me! Can I read?" Emma asked, waving her hand in the air.

“Yep, but wait til everyone’s found it, ok?” She rubbed her temple, trying to still the ache in her head.

Kyle blurted, “Nothing is impossible with God,” and started tap-tap-tapping again

Cathy sighed quietly, but smiled. “That’s right, Kyle, but I called on Emma. Maybe you can help John find the verse,” she said and snatched the pencil from his hand.

“I don’t need help,” John said, “cuz I know where it is.”

“Great! Let me know when you find it.” Cathy scanned the other kids crowded around the table. “Jacob, how ya coming?”

The tow-headed tyke raised his confused eyes from the table of contents in his Bible. “Ok. I’m ok.”

Maddie, growing impatient, flipped her curls over her shoulder and snorted. “Oh, come on. This one’s easy.”

“Maddie, how about if you go show Jacob how to find the book of Luke, and Kyle, would you go sharpen our pencils please?” Cathy grabbed the pencil box off the table and handed it to the boy. “We’re going to need them for our activity.”

“MRS. CATHY! I FOUND IT!” John jumped out of his chair and ran to tug on Cathy’s hand. “Come on, I’ll show you.”

Nothing will be impossible with you, God, including getting through this Sunday School lesson.


___

The names above have not been changed to protect the innocent children I love with all my heart. ;)

I generally don't use any tags (he said, she said), but let an action "tag" the speaker. I purposely used one in my challenge entry this week. :D When I'm reading, I don't see the tags, you are right about that. Sometimes I find myself skipping everything that isn't in quotes when it's an intense read.

I also worked hard on using your lessons to improve my dialog this week, and use it to add characterization and action - to let it show the story.

Thanks Jan! You are helping me so much!
Catrina Bradley
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"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (The Message)

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Postby glorybee » Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:26 pm

Pam, excellent job on the corrections! You found every one.

When Ann does her class on semicolons, be sure to stop in (or you might want to look them up online).

Reading this again, I was again struck by the sweetness of the story. Maybe it's because we more often read about believing women who lead their men to the Lord, rather than the other way around. Thanks so much!
Jan Ackerson

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Postby glorybee » Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:28 pm

Kathie, you get this week's gold star--try as I might, I couldn't find a thing to correct! Well done!

We may be done with dialog, but we've got some great lessons yet to come--stay tuned!
Jan Ackerson

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Postby glorybee » Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:30 pm

Cathy, you brought me right into the Sunday School room--and reminded me why I've never considered Sunday School teaching one of my gifts. (shudder)

I'm so glad to hear that my lessons are even helping seasoned writers like yourself to evaluate your entries. I'm having a blast writing them!
Jan Ackerson

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Postby Soren2007 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:40 pm

hoping I can just do the extra credit? Pick up A Clean Well-Lighted Place by Hemingway. Best dialogue tag/no tag, make it indescript in the tag and descriptive in the sentence juxtaposing character laced up cool story about drinking I'll probably ever read.
http://www.mrbauld.com/hemclean.html
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Out of Town

Postby flyingcross » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:26 pm

Hamburger said, “Please pass the lettuce and onions. I’m a vegetarian.”

Tofu quivered as she handed the condiments to Hamburger,” No problem. Here you go.”

Hamburger peeked out from under his bun. “What’s wrong with you? Never met a vegetarian before?”

“No, not personally,” said Tofu.

“Wow, not around here. Everyone’s a vegetarian,” said Hamburger.” PETA rules!”

“Whanna pickle?”

Tofu fainted, landing squarely on the bed of lettuce.

“Hey, that looks pretty good."


Hi Jan. I still have issues with punctuation with the 'said' that follows the sentences.
Thanks, think I'm hungry.
Cindy

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Postby tburnszoo » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:55 pm

Because it was Sabbath, there was no need to go to the well for water or to begin making bread. Mary decided to sit in Elizabeth’s garden and enjoy the fragrance of the flowers. After a while, Elizabeth came into the garden.

Smiling at her cousin, Mary said, “Good morning, Elizabeth,”

“Good morning, Mary. I trust you slept well,” Elizabeth replied.

“Yes, thank you. After the days on the road, I slept very well.”

“That is good. Even if a journey goes well, it can still be tiring.”

“This is true.” Mary smiled. “And how did you sleep?”

“Well, not as peacefully as I used to,” Elizabeth smiled and rubbed her hands over her swollen belly, “but well enough.” She sat on the bench next to Mary. “I find myself not sleeping as well and needing to sit more often. I become short of breath more quickly and am slowing down.”

“That is to be expected. Your body is no longer your own.”

“Ah, that is so true!” Elizabeth exclaimed. The women laughed together.

As they laughed, Mary thought, My body is no longer my own. No, it is God’s. I am the temple of the Lord.

“Come, let us go break our fast,” Elizabeth pushed herself up, then took Mary’s hand, and they walked into the main room.

They sat on the cushions, prayed the blessing, and shared the food that had been prepared the day before.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm not sure I included all 5 types of dialogue tags. I find it easier to write with no dialogue tag or with descriptions of characters' actions.[/i]

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Postby glorybee » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:30 pm

Soren2007 wrote:hoping I can just do the extra credit? Pick up A Clean Well-Lighted Place by Hemingway. Best dialogue tag/no tag, make it indescript in the tag and descriptive in the sentence juxtaposing character laced up cool story about drinking I'll probably ever read.
http://www.mrbauld.com/hemclean.html


I read this story with high school students many years ago, and loved it--thanks for reminding me!

I hope the rest of you will read this, for Hemingway's masterful use of 'said' and dialog pacing. So, so good!
Jan Ackerson

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Re: Out of Town

Postby glorybee » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:33 pm

flyingcross wrote:Hamburger said, “Please pass the lettuce and onions. I’m a vegetarian.”

Tofu quivered as she handed the condiments to Hamburger,” No problem. Here you go.”

Hamburger peeked out from under his bun. “What’s wrong with you? Never met a vegetarian before?”

“No, not personally,” said Tofu.

“Wow, not around here. Everyone’s a vegetarian,” said Hamburger.” PETA rules!”

“Whanna pickle?”

Tofu fainted, landing squarely on the bed of lettuce.

“Hey, that looks pretty good."


Hi Jan. I still have issues with punctuation with the 'said' that follows the sentences.
Thanks, think I'm hungry.
Cindy


Cindy, that was cute! Who woulda thunk of it?

Two tiny nitpicks: check the punctuation in paragraph 2 (the rest of them were fine), and I'm not clear on who's saying that last line.

Now I'm hungry, too...
Jan Ackerson

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Postby glorybee » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:42 pm

tburnszoo--

This was lovely! I really felt as if I were listening in on an intimate conversation between these two women. I also really like that you avoided anachronisms of speech.

I had to think about this paragraph for a while:

"Well, not as peacefully as I used to,” Elizabeth smiled and rubbed her hands over her swollen belly, “but well enough.” She sat on the bench next to Mary. “I find myself not sleeping as well and needing to sit more often. I become short of breath more quickly and am slowing down.”


When you put the action tag in the middle, you ended up with a run-on sentence. Seems to me that action tags are more often at the beginning or the end of the speech, like this:

'Well, not as peacefully as I used to, but well enough.” Elizabeth smiled and rubbed her hands over her swollen belly, then sat on the bench next to Mary. “I find myself not sleeping as well and needing to sit more often. I become short of breath more quickly and am slowing down.”

It's subtle--what do you think?
Jan Ackerson

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Thanks for help

Postby flyingcross » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:57 am

Corrections.

Thanks Jan,
I need to change comma to period, and last need clarification. It's hamburger.

New ending:

Tofu fainted, landing squarely on the bed of lettuce.

“Hey, that looks pretty good!” Hamburger covered Tofu with a tomato blanket and gave her a pickle pillow. “Kinda pale though. Could use a nice rib eye, medium rare, but I’m not tellin’ her.”

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Postby glorybee » Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:19 am

Excellent! (and yummy...)
Jan Ackerson

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