Beyond Categorization, Contests, Self-editing Tips, Snark Alert

Stuff I Made Up Last Minute

One: In Which I Make a Single Point About Dialogue But Don’t Actually Tell You What the Point Is Because It’s So Obvious Even a Non-Writer Could Figure It Out

“So it’s Friday and that means I can talk about whatever I want,” said Stephen.

“You can talk about whatever you want any day,” interrupted Stephen’s alter-ego, Pedro.

“I know that,” interjected Stephen, “but Friday is my day to be especially random.”

“Pedro?” queried Pedro. “You named me Pedro? What’s wrong with you?”

“Nothing’s wrong with me,” countered Stephen. “Pedro is a fine name. What concerns me is this horribly stilted dialogue.”

“Tell me about it,” grumbled Pedro. “Not only am I saddled with a name that calls to mind an outdated Napoleon Dynamite reference, you’ve got me ‘interrupting’ and ‘querying’ and ‘grumbling’ and that’s just not right.”

“Yeah, well, look at me. I’ve ‘interjected’ and ‘countered’ and who knows what’s next,” puzzled Stephen. “Oh great, now I’ve ‘puzzled.'”

“Look, you’re in charge of this stupid conversation,” argued Pedro, “so why don’t you just fix it?”

“I will, eventually,” answered Stephen, “but I like to pound my point into the ground and then keep pounding it until the sound of the mallet against metal and mud gives everyone around me a headache.”

“Mission accomplished,” ached Pedro.

“So I don’t need to actually explain the point?” tribbled Stephen. “Oh c’mon, me. Tribbled? That’s not even a word.”

“Ha!” Exclaimed Pedro loudly. “You really sound stupid…hey…wait a minute. You just burdened me with an adverb!”

“That’s for laughing at me,” gargled Stephen.

“You just gargled!” burped Pedro. “I can’t believe you just gargled that sentence!”

“Yeah, well you just burped your words. Don’t poke fun at me or I’ll have you fart the next ones,” threatened Stephen.”

“You wouldn’t dare,” farted Pedro.

“Told you. Clearly, I rule,” gloated Stephen.

“Fine, you rule,” acquiesced Pedro. “Oh, c’mon, now. You’re making me look like a real loser.”

“I win!” celebrated Stephen.

“I’m afraid there are no winners in this conversation,” Pedro concluded brilliantly.

He was right.

Two: Upcoming Things

  • The second contest starts next Friday. Here’s how it’s going to work. I’m going to give you three “First” sentences to choose from and three “Last” sentences. Your mission? Write a short story or scene that begins with any one of the First sentences and ends with any one of the Last sentences. What possible real-world writing skill am I trying to teach with this? I’ll tell you next Friday.
  • I’m working diligently on a new semi-regular feature. It’s called “Doofus and Talent” and if you’ve spent more than five minutes in a dentist’s waiting room, you’ll know exactly what children’s magazine feature I’m ripping off.
  • Also coming soon, the first in a series called “Things I Learned About Writing From…” or something like that, except there will be some other words where the ellipsis is now. And next week, I’m going to give you, yes give you, seven characters Guaranteed to Spice Up Your Novel. Just plug and play.

Okay. This has been Friday.

See you on Monday.

14 thoughts on “Stuff I Made Up Last Minute

  1. My husband and I laughed out loud over your dialogue. I’ve never realized so coherently before what I hated about certain novels I’ve read – now I realize why I simply cannot stand them! What a wonderful way to make your point!

    1. Thanks for laughing out loud. (And please also thank your husband for same.) I was going to write a typical “why ‘said’ is usually enough” post but Pedro insisted I make the point through this silly dialogue. That Pedro. I rarely give him enough credit for his creativity, but he does have a good idea or two from time to time. Even if he does speak flatulantly.

      “Hey, cut it out,” Pedro farted. “Okay, okay. I shoulda seen that coming.”

  2. Very funny!
    I can’t wait until next Friday. Of course I would be open to an early sneak peak, maybe one of the first sentences? You could whisper it over a Starbucks Misto?

    1. [Whispering] Shh…I haven’t come up with the sentences yet. Don’t tell or people will think I’m making this up as I go. Gotta maintain a facade of purposeful intent. Okay, so the blog doesn’t always look that purposeful. Just think of as a blog equivalent of the TV show Lost. In time, it will all make perfect sense. Now, where did Evangeline Lilly go…?

  3. “More Pedro! Less Steve!”

    That wasn’t me. That was my alter-ego. She’s not nice at all. I have to keep her in a box.

    By the way, I just linked to your post. Ha. Ha. Take that.

    1. Those alter-egos can be a real trial at times. Just moments ago I caught Pedro rifling through my wallet. He said he’d “lost a twenty” a while back and thought it might have fallen into my wallet. Yeah. Right. Like a twenty has ever been anywhere near my wallet.

      Link all you want. I’ll make Pedro respond to any nefarious comments that come via your link.

    1. It will indeed be fun. And not only will you all have a chance to win lovely prizes, I’m going to play along, too. I’ll explain it all on Friday.

    1. I’ve read Eleanor Rigby, but not The Gum Thief. As of this moment, it has been added to the queue. I will always comply with book recommendations (demands?) from Nicci Jordan Hubert.

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