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Oh, right - I have a blog. Need to update it from time to time.

Well, there isn't a whole lot going on right now that makes my life much different than the last time I posted, except that now I have less of my summer vacation left in which to loaf about the apartment. I'm enjoying it thoroughly; I could be using my time more constructively, but hey, when can't I say that?

I've been struggling with writing dialogue for my Rome comic. First, you need to deal with the fact that if your dialogue is poor, it really hurts to read. You need to listen to the way people actually speak to each other; then, you need to realize that most conversations, stripped of their body language and other realtime contexts, sound like gibberish. The trick is finding that happy medium where people are speaking and it sounds right. Second (or third?), you need to use that dialogue to convey information that helps tell the story. You could have the characters standing around talking about their lunch (as I do in the beginning of my comic), but unless expository information is being conveyed through their discussion - details about the characters' backgrounds and personalities, the things that matter to them, foreshadowing later events in the story - unless you have something to say through their conversation, you're kind of wasting everyone's time. Some people can pull it off - Brian Michael Bendis, Joss Whedon, and guys like them - but I'm not prepared to label myself as being in their league just yet. Finally, in dealing with historical fiction (as I am), you need to decide what people's speech pattern will be like. Will you take the Shakespeare route, and attempt to make everyone's words flowery and oh-so-formal, or will you take the Hercules/Xena route and just make everyone speak 20th Century Californian? Or, you could pull off the road entirely into a Zander Cannon trail and make your barbarians speak Mad Magazine Beat Poet slang.

And every step of the way, that annoying Critic on your shoulder is complaining about how hackneyed and trite your writing is. "It's been done before, so many much longer are you going to keep beating this horse carcass? Maybe you should just go play Neverwinter Nights..."

I'm not terribly worried about it, to be honest; the thing is, you have to keep writing to get all of the drek out, and if you don't publish it, somebody else will in a manner that makes you scowl and insist to yourself that you could have done twice the job they did, if only you hadn't been so set on finishing the Forest Spirit level. Well, enough of my literary troubles. I've still got a good chunk of the month left to keep hammering it out.

The weather here has been quite lovely lately; yesterday we had dark clouds and rain (which was a pleasant change of pace, as opposed to the relentless grey days that the summer started out with), and it's been a lovely 74 degrees outside. Today is full of sunshine and blue skies, with roughly the same temperature and news-bourne promises of it continuing. I definitely need to spend some time outside today, enjoying it. This begins my favorite time of the year: the end of the summer through the autumn. As much as I miss the mountains, there are definite perks to living in Minneapolis. The air is always so much cleaner than it was in California, and there's so much green. I've said this many times before, but I still mean it.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 12, 2005 at Friday, August 12, 2005 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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