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Share a quote from your characters

Dialogue tells us a lot more about characters than just what they’re saying and the kind of mood they're in. 

The words we put in a character’s mouth give our readers an insight into his/her personality. They help us get to know and understand that person better. If readers like what’s said (and the way it’s said), they’ll feel more connected and therefore more involved in the story as a whole.

Besides, from a personal point of view, making up dialogue is one of things I enjoy most about the writing process.  

With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to share some of the things we have our characters say.

To start us off, here are some one-liners from Snowy, the talking cat in my MG urban fantasy, Fur-Face:

“I don’t beg. I just let them feed me sometimes…when I’m starving…or hungry…or feeling a bit peckish.”

“How would I know how to work a computer? I’m a cat. The only hacking I do is when I need to get rid of a fur-ball.”

“Bill, it’s the middle of the night, I’m a black cat, wearing a pair of sunglasses. How much more camouflaged could I get?” 

Hopefully, if I’ve done my job right, any one of those sentences should show a little of Snowy’s character, even without narrative.  

How about you?  

What have your creations been saying and what does their dialogue say about them?

Care to share?

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Apr. 17th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
The morning the quarantine was lifted, Katie recogized the hansom cab belonging to Jarrod's attorney as it came up the road. At once, she ran out to the tobacco field where Ishamael was driving the field slaves. He saw her racing toward him, and his jaw dropped open. He gaped stupidly at this peculiar sight.

"We're free!" she gasped, barely able to speak from her shortness of breath.


"Free," she repeated. Then she gasped in another breath and continued excitedly. "Your father. In his will. Before he died. Told me that I and my children. Would be freed when he passed."

Ishmael, still gaping, began trembling as well.

"The attorney." She went on. "He's coming up the road. He's bringing our manumission papers. Get your brothers and sisters. Come to the big house."

"What about the nigras in the field?"

"They'll get a new overseer soon enough!" she shouted this, suddenly angry. "We have to get out of here before anyone thinks to stop us." As she walked back to the big house, Ishmael did as he had been told.

As she approached, she noticed horsemen and hounds spreading out, moving along the perimeter, but she was too excited to give them any thought. She noticed a wagon pulling up behind the hansom cab, but didn't think about it, either. When she was close enough to converse, the attorney reached into the pocket of his coat and asked her if she was familiar with the terms of Master Wentworth's Last Will and Testament.

"He had told me that I was to be free," she answered, "I and my children."

"Those were his wishes, yes," he replied, "however--" at this point, he quickly brought handcuffs from his coat pocket and had them on Katie's wrists before the next word came from his lips. "--you are legally still the property of his wife. Her guardian has instructed me that the lot of you are to be sent to Virginia immediately."

"What?" she asked. Before anyone could hear her question, let alone answer it, Wesley was brought out of the house, carried by two white men who held him by manacles and leg irons.

"You can't enslave me!" he shouted. "I was born in England! I'm a subject of Queen Victoria! I am a free man!"

"You're black as soot," replied one of the white men, "and we got a bill of sale. That makes you an American nigra, and a subject of the law we enforce. In you go." With that, the two men swung him and flung him into the wagon. He landed with a thump and a groan, and Katie suspected he had spoken his last.
Apr. 17th, 2010 07:52 pm (UTC)
A bit too much narrative in there to judge accurately, but there's certainly some interesting conflict going on there :)

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

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