Monday, October 11, 2010

Fashion, Medicine, and Dialogue!

Since my mind runs in a million different directions, I decided to split up this post into a few sections.

Fashion love: Since this past spring, I have fallen in love with one shoulder tops and dresses!

Relevant medical knowledge I must pass on:

In our 20s, we are making the calcium reserves for the rest of our lives. After that, we are maintaining what we've got. So, stock up on yogurt and milk (the best sources)!

After your 30s, iron is often the element of concern. Make sure you eat enough good cereal and leafy greens!!

Also, going with my ever lasting love for public health, I've realized that while it's good to study trends through graphs and numbers, it's important to remember people as individuals with unique backgrounds and concerns. In school, we place an emphasis on specialized patient care and I'm grateful for that awareness.

In writing news,

I edited my 9th chapter and tried to tweak the dialogue. This meant, taking out irrelevant adverbs, planting the tiniest bit of tension and foreshadowing, and trying to make it sound real. (Obviously, I may not have accomplished any of these so please let me know if I have not!)

Anyway, I found that saying the words out loud helps me write is slightly schizo but it does the trick. (So does eavesdropping on neighboring conversations, which is you can pick whether you would like to be a schizo or stalker...I prefer both.)

Here's a clip between my main character and a guy who just entered her life.
“No, yeah, better,” I stammer and laugh. “Talking is better.”
“Are you…drunk?” He asks, starting to chuckle himself.
“No, not really.” I say, somehow feeling awkward and comfortable at the same time. “Maybe just a little tipsy. Why? Are you?”
“No, no.” He says and I can picture the distinct wave in his hair. “I was actually falling asleep at this party so I decided to leave before I got kicked out for passing out in a club.”
“Oh, was it that boring?”
“Ha, no. I was just really tired. I wasn’t even going to go but it was my friend’s birthday and I missed it last year. She told me she’d be really pissed if that happened again.”
Why didn’t I picture Neil with a stable group of friends, when he seems like the type of person who can be everyone’s friend?
“Aw, that’s sweet. Did she have a good birthday?” I ask as I pay the cab driver and softly shut the door.
“Yeah, she was wasted before I even got there. You know, all those birthday shots.” He sighs. “Anyway, how much did you have?”
“Not a lot. Just a few…here and there,” I say, giving a two drink lie.
“A few what?”
“Cranberry vodkas.”
“Ha, I knew you’d be a girly drinker.”
"What's that supposed to mean? The fruity stuff just tastes better. I don't know...I can't handle beer."
"Well, we're going to get you a beer next time."
"Yeah. You should come out with me. With weekend."
"Hm," I mumble as though I am considering his proposal when really, I am dying to know what it would feel like to party with Neil Desai. How would I act? What would I wear? Is he the type to get bottle service? Does he sit with his equally posh friends, smoke imported cigars, and dissect complex ideas?


  1. I think the dialogue works well there! It sounds natural and realistic and it's certainly not hard to believe. The only thing I'd probably add is that a) a scene like that probably needs a bit more tension or something plot-relevant to push it along and b) the "ha" in Neil(?)'s speech is repetitive, it would probably work better just once.

    It's such an annoying thing to keep in mind, but I've been told dialogue in stories is supposed to say true to speech without actually copying dialogue in real life, so the 'erm's and 'uh's and 'ha's are meant to be kept to a minimum!

    Thanks for the tip about the calcium! I definitely don't get enough :-)

  2. Girly drinker, ha ha!
    Thanks for the tips. I'm trying to eat the right stuff but I'm not a big yogurt fan and the cheese has too much I pop a calcium supplement when I remember.
    I think I may start dropping healthful hints on my blog too soon...I love my blogging friends too much to not nag them about being healthy!

  3. I think the dialogue works well, too.

    And oh, I'm the biggest fan of one-shoulder dresses!

  4. Thank you for the tip! I can't stand milk at all, but will definitely have to stock up on yogurt for the next 9 years now. :)

  5. The dialogue flows well. Nothing trips you up or feels out of place. I like it.

    Reading aloud is an integral part of my editing process. I read the whole book out loud and if anything sounds strange or forced, out it goes!

  6. That dialogue definitely reads well.

    And I love one shoulder dresses too, though I am convinced I am too old to wear one, so never have :-(

  7. I don't like yogurt (mostly because of the texture: it's like thick milk. Yuck! Lol.) and I only drink milk with cereal and chocolatey desserts. Sigh. However, I get my calcium from other good foods!

    I like your dialogue! It flows well and sounds pretty natural.

  8. Oh I eavesdrop!! I also better eat more yogurt!