Image by arthus.erea via Flickr
I’m so sorry about my week of lists kinda falling apart the other day but life is life and all that.
One of the best pieces of advice that I ever received from a teacher was on the touchy subject of dialog. If you want to craft believable dialog then don’t write as people talk in the “real” world. When you copy down actual dialog it’s difficult to read, in fact it usually rings hallow and is just dull. The trick is to write dialog that deceives the reader into thinking it sounds real. Basically it’s just an optical illusion but for the eyes and ears.
I feel like this stands true for crafting fictional worlds. A good fictional world, a world that you can feel yourself getting lost in, needs to be real. But when you only have a few hundred pages, or episodes, to convey the world in you can’t show everything, you can only show what the plot requires. The optical illusion that’s required here is the illusion that bends the readers’ mind so that they can’t see the gaps that you haven’t filled in and convinces them that they could leave the plot of the novel and the world would still exist.
These are my favorite worlds that absolutely, completely have me totally convinced of their reality. It’s not uncommon for me to spend my school time imagining myself wandering throughout the Lancre Forests on the Discworld or eating at Redwall Abbey or working for the Starfleet JAG offices or fighting for Animal rights with Elaphaba in Oz. These worlds are as real to me as my own.
- Terry Pratchett’s Discworld
- JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth
- Gene Roddenberry’s Future
- George Lucas’ Galaxy Far, Far Away
- Brian Jacques’ World of Redwall
- Gregory Maguire’s Oz
- JK Rowling’s Earth
- C.S. Lewis’ Narnia
- Rien Poortuliet & Wil Hoygen’s Europe
- Oh gosh… Er… Look, I haven’t been sleeping well lately, can I get back to you on this one?
This is the fourth post in my week of lists. For Wednesday’s post click here.