"Health" update: Got through Treatment #2. Much the same as Treatment #1, but no reaction in the middle, which was good. So far, so not terrible. As you saw last week, I now resemble the Jewish Lex Luthor. Cost of doing business.
I have posted here more than once on my love for writing dialogue. It's the most enjoyable part of the process for me and the most intuitive. As a writer, I can start my characters off and let them go in the direction they choose. Quite often that is the most interesting and unexpected part of the work. I like it a lot.
But here's what I've never really explained: There's a way to write dialogue ALL the time, and no, I don't mean one of those novels that makes a stunt of it. I'm talking about a much more common and accepted way to keep your talking going from Word #1 to THE END. And that is to write your story in the first person.
All of my published fiction and almost everything I've ever written has been presented in the first person, with the character telling the story directly to the reader. That's just the way these things have presented themselves to me and as a writer, you never question something that seems to work. This is a hard enough job without putting more obstacles in your own way.
Since the character is the source of all the information, there are some limitations on the story. The reader can know only what s/he knows, can see and hear only the things the character gets to experience, and in most cases has to rely on the narrator to be honest about what has been going on. There are exceptions of course but that's usually the way these things go.
But the rewards, at least from this author's point of view, are tremendous. Assume the main character of the book is sitting on the next barstool, or across the kitchen table, or one pillow over from the reader. Whatever works. What comes then is a direct communication from character to reader. And that is what dialogue is all about.
The character is talking to you. Every word in every book that's written in the first person. As a writer--or at least in my case--that makes the task considerably more natural. There is no omniscient, in some way otherworldly presence conveying information. It's the person at the center of the story just telling you what happened. And if I'm writing and picture my character just talking to the person reading the book, they can say ANYTHING.
There has been some discussion (not much, to be honest) about my "breaking the fourth wall" in books, having the character make comments that on stage would be considered "asides," giving the audience (reader) a reminder that this is a book. Some people like that and others think it's a crime against literature. Both points of view are defensible but I enjoy it and if you hate it, there are more than a few other authors whose work you can sample.
My rationale for the practice is that in my mind the narrator is ALWAYS talking directly to the reader, so "breaking the fourth wall" is a natural occurrence that would be questionable in its absence. And besides, it's fun. Groucho Marx used to do it all the time.
I get to write dialogue all the time. That smooths the rough patches for me when I need it and it allows me to throw in a few jokes that wouldn't work otherwise, and if you know my writing, you're aware that I'll rarely turn down a good joke when I can use one. Maybe even some not-so-good ones.
I love writing dialogue. That's why I never don't.
Opening Day is 29 days away.