said, the undead

Asdfg asked about yesterday’s post:

This is very enlightening. Is this what you do for the first draft, then fill in the “he saids,” etc. for making it into appropriate dialog?

It’s possible that some people write their scenes this way, but I don’t. The process is all woven together for me, dialog and underpainting. I presented it this way only so I could experiment on it a little.

Below is my attempt to rewrite the dialog from yesterday into a scene. A really bad scene that incorporates all the things you can do wrong. I may have missed a few, but not many. Tomorrow I’ll try to articulate the problems, and look at them more closely.


“Ben, we talked about this last night, right here at this table,” exclaimed June. She tapped the table.”You talked about it,” Ben yawned. He examined his reflection in the toaster.

“By your silence, Ben, you were agreeing implicitly that the clothes you wear to school are–,” George said seriously.

Ben interrupted. “Didn’t you teach me always to get it in writing, Dad? Implicit doesn’t cut it. Unless you drew up one of your iron clad contracts and I signed it while hypnotized, I’m wearing what I’m wearing,” Ben announced.

“Son, that t-shirt is unacceptable,” June pleaded.

“It’s inappropriate,” thundered George.

“So’s the ketchup on your tie, Dad, ” Ben smirked.

June leaned toward him. “It’s obscene,” she hissed.

Ben looked at his t-shirt. “Obscene? Lick Bush? Whatever do you mean? You know that I joined the progressive democracy club at school, and I’m campaigning. You wanted me to get involved,” he explained.

“You know what your mother means!” George exclaimed.

“I’m afraid you’ll have to explain it to me if you want me to change my shirt. Is there some dark double entendre you’re seeing? Have you raised this with your psychiatrist, how you read sexual acts into even the most mundane language?” Ben sighed.

“You know the ephemism perfectly well. Lick is a reference to – to -,” June stopped. She moved the sugar bowl.

Ben drank the last of his juice. “Let me know when you come up with that word, would you mom? In the meantime I’ve got to get to school,” he said.

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