Friday, November 04, 2005

That old devil dialogue

In my writing stint today, I wrote a lot of dialogue. I like writing dialogue, and I think I'm good at it (please, don't disillusion me!), but I always worry when I find I've written a number of dialogue-heavy pages. Is dialogue the easy way out? Am I cheating the reader of dense, informative, deep-delving narrative if I write a lot of spritely, fast-moving dialogue? I try to deal with these doubts by shelving them--much better to think about that later, when I've actually written a draft.
I worry though that I 've made some kind of moral equation: dialogue = lightness, triviality, speed; narrative = gravity, significance, slowness. After all, is Muriel Spark (dialoguist extraordinaire) a lesser writer than John Updike (the king of adjective-laden narrative)? I don't think so. And while we're there, I'd like to say that Muriel's book Memento Mori is one of my favorite books, and much funnier than you'd think a book about aging people and death could be.
I'm reading Bird, by Angela Johnson, a writer from Kent, Ohio, and a MacArthur winner. It's both light and grave, and so far a wonderful book altogether.
Note above another picture of my incredibly messy office.


Blogger erieblue said...

So, if I took a picture of my office would it look as colorful and funky and fun as yours? Of course the frame does let you leave all the doleful piles of pages out. (At least my office has doleful stacks of stuff about.)

11/04/2005 4:43 PM  
Blogger lucette said...

The frame has a lot to do with it, don't you think?

11/04/2005 7:24 PM  

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