Thursday, July 28, 2011

What'd Ya Say? Dialogue Contest

Great dialogue can make or break a story or film. I love writing dialogue. Witty or powerful speech is challenging to create, but if you get it right, people will remember it for a long time to come.

Who can forget Rhett Butler's "My dear, I don't give a damn." ?(from Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind). Frankly, I like the movie version better. 

Or this unforgettable exchange from "Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail"?:
Bridgekeeper: Hee hee heh. Stop. What... is your name? 
King Arthur: It is 'Arthur', King of the Britons. 
Bridgekeeper: What... is your quest? 
King Arthur: To seek the Holy Grail. 
Bridgekeeper: What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow? 
King Arthur: What do you mean? An African or European swallow? 
Bridgekeeper: Huh? I... I don't know that. 
[he is thrown over] 
Bridgekeeper: Auuuuuuuugh. 
Sir Bedevere: How do know so much about swallows? 
King Arthur: Well, you have to know these things when you're a king, you know. 

Do your characters love to argue? Are they comedians or just sarcastic? Did one of them say something ironic or foolish before they met their untimely demise? Or did they say something so compelling it brought tears to your eyes?

Here's one my own favorite exchanges from A Ranger's Tale:

Galadin: "What?"
First Mate Shyler: "This 'un's got you round her finger, Cap'n, that's what."
Galadin: "Shut up and steer."
Show me that dialogue! It can be from any type of fiction, any character, any situation, as long as it's yours. And let's keep it short. No lengthy monologues, please. 

If I get 15 or more, I'll choose some finalists and put them up here so you can all cast your votes. Up to ten, and I'll just post them all so we can vote. The winner will receive a $10 gift card to feed his/her reading addiction. 

***Please send me your entries via the message form at the top right of my sidebar. I'll take entries until next Friday, August 5, and then will choose finalists for voting. Let the submitting begin!


  1. Just sent one in from the new ebook I'm publishing this weekend.

    Elaine Chase

  2. Thanks!! Keep em coming peeps!

  3. Great idea, I'm in. Just sent you a message.

  4. Thanks all of you! Keep sending!


  5. Love this! Now, I must find something to send. :)


  7. Duly submitted - and cool idea for a comp! Took me AGES to find a pertinent bit that wouldn't give away too much...

  8. Thank you everyone! Hotcha--you can indeed help by voting when we choose the finalists! Stay tuned. Next weekend we'll start compiling the list.

    I've chosen my hubby as the impartial judge since I'm familiar with a lot of these authors' works. :)

  9. Any rules, mysti? Like use of tags, action, and such? Hmm?

  10. Action and some narrative are fine as long as the focus is dialogue. No real length rule but 100 words or less keeps it quick.

  11. OKAY! i sent one, but it's 156 words. ;)

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