Can you use dialogue to speed up your character?

 

I think so. #writetip I discovered one way to do this while I was proofreading the German Version of my novel, Fracture Line.

My character enters a scene and says two short sentences. Both are five words long. The only punctuation is a period after each sentence.

The translation turned the two sentences into one connecting them with and.  It’s only one more word, but it changes the from two simple sentences to a compound sentence.

When I read the translation I realized the longer sentence was slowing my character. I wanted her to rush in and blurt out her news, not take her time to be articulate.

The German sentence sounded more eloquent, but it didn’t give the impression I wanted.

Do you have other ways to give the impression your character is in a hurry?

 

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3 thoughts on “Can you use dialogue to speed up your character?

    1. And, of course, I know the second one is a fragment but, my high school English teacher notwithstanding so many years ago, a well-placed frag can add punch, reality, and character traits.

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      1. You are so right about the impact of a sentence fragment. As long as they are not used too often and only when you mean to use them, they are a great tool. Funny how we remember what our teachers told us years ago.

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