Have you ever been at a public event or participating in a conversation only to have it high jacked? Of course you have. The event, which could have been very informative, is derailed by somebody who doesn't know when to shut up.
Well, I'm that person. It's not intentional. I just have a lot to say about everything. My solution to this problem is to zip my lips and throw away the key.
It will thus come as no surprise that I struggle with dialogue in my writing as well. My characters start chatting in my head and, if I'm not careful, their conversations takeover the story.
Now, Meat Head was written before I had learned to zip my lips and put my chatty fingers under lock and key. I've been fight to control the dialogue which is funny and finally it occurred to me that I needed to rip it out. I've spent countless hours trying to work it in. One of the slowest ways to "fix" a flaw is to fall in love again with things on the page that is great on the sentence level, and even scene by scene, but detracts from the larger story.
I've spent the last two days ripping out dialogue. On Saturday, Meat Head was sitting at 60,000 words. Now it's 45,000 words...
I happen to love the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz. I love it, but sometimes the dialogues get out of control. I'm listing to Stephen King's Tommy Knockers on audio book as well. There's a seen where one of the character's gets drunk and goes on a rant. It's quite long and drawn out, and at times boring. This has been Meat Head's problem. And sure, I can go ahead with these flaws, and probably be fine.
Whatever I have come July, will be what I have. Imperfect. I'm trying to do the best I can with Meat Head but it will never be as good as something I might write now. But even that isn't fair. A story has it's time. I couldn't not write a manuscript like this now. What I didn't know about writing three years ago, contributed greatly to the magic, flawed as it is, of Meat Head.
This theory is at the core of why I think it's wrong to spend too many years writing the same story. There is magic in mistakes that ten years of trying to do better will screw up as surely the typos in my posts.
M.R. Jordan is a writer, editor, sporadic blogger, and lover of beer. Lives in South Korea with her two cats, Bear and Geumbi.
Bear (Gom in Korean) then (above) now (below)
Geumbi (Gold in English)... then (above) and now (below).