"Each person's life is lived as a series of conversations." ~ Deborah Tannen, professor of linguistics
I've never looked at life as a series of conversations. Things I've said--and not said. Because aren't conversations both the spoken and unspoken words?
The responses of others. Or their questions. Or their words of comfort. Or their words that prompt a life-giving belly laugh to rumble up past my lips.
Give and take.
Ah, I'm beginning to see what Deborah Tannen meant.
Considering this quote from the perspective of a writer: I am all about dialogue. Often my first draft is 75 percent He said-She said and 25 percent He did-She did.
Dialogue, so I've been told, is action. And I believe it.
When people talk, they are interacting with one another. They may be confessing their love for one another (gotta' love a good romance) or plotting how to prevent the aliens from conquering the world (Cowboys and Aliens, anyone?). Maybe they're revealing a secret. Or lying. Or apologizing. Or whining. (Sorry, I've raised four kiddos and done some whining myself.)
What we say, just as much as what we do, is action. It's life.
In Others' Words: Is there a recent conversation echoing in your mind? Is it a good memory--or not so good? Would you go back and change what you said or didn't say? If you embrace the concept that your life is a series of conversations ... how would that change what you say?
And for my writer friends: How do you use dialogue to create action in your stories? Any favorite conversations between your fictional characters?
Labels: Beth K. Vogt, conversations equal life, In Others' Words, our words, quotes