Saturday, May 19, 2007

Conversation continued..

A client of mine had a great follow-up on the last post. He noted that a lot of people aren't really listening to what the other party says. For them, conversation is more or less a way of making their statement -- dominating the other party, or impressing, or whatever else. And guess what? A conversation like that probably would have a lot of exposition. They WILL tell friends about facts that are already understood between them. They WILL lay out the basic relationships. They will repeat a son's achievements. They will rub a friend's nose in the basic problems of a friendship.

Sometimes exposition is inevitable. And there are ways to make it feel natural. The key here is the same as with any dialogue: context. So the tip for today comes courtesy of my client and buddy, Doc:

Explore your characters for traits that help you communicate necessary exposition. Are they the kind of character who never listens? Are they boastful? Dominating? Do they repeat themselves? Do they like rubbing people's noses in their mistakes? Are they dying for a chance to do it to another character? Let 'em!

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