Writing Dialect Without Going Overboard

One of the things I like seeing in a work in which most of the characters are coming from different places is an understanding that they’re going to have somewhat different dialects. That’s awesome; it makes it clear to me that the author/GM knows that people sound different, and can fake the distinctive features of [...]

Adding Description to Dialogue: The Comic Method

The biggest challenge in writing dialogue, I think, isn’t necessarily actually writing good dialogue. Most of us can find examples of snappy one-liners or decent conversations. The problem, instead, is making sure that the dialogue doesn’t yawn and swallow the rest of the scene, leaving us with a couple of characters talking in what for [...]

Deception: The First Ingredients

One thing I’ve noticed about both games and stories is that every social monster needs at some point to learn how to deceive, whether this actually involves lying or not. After all, the social monster’s job is to get the people to the conclusion that she and/or her companions want them to reach, and that’s [...]

Impractical Applications (Rank and Dialogue)

Earlier this week, I talked about characters’ speaking styles and how they might adjust for different people’s ranks. While it took me most of my time as a serious gamer to realize the extent to which I played with that concept, I’ve known I had something of an interest in it for a while—and certainly, [...]

Character, Rank and Dialogue

I’ve talked a lot about dialogue before; it’s at least as useful as appearance for differentiating characters. And while accents, verbal tics, catch phrases and levels of vocabulary are all very well, there’s one way to take a look at a character’s mind that just requires interaction with people of different stations. How much store [...]

Impractical Applications (Five More Minutes?)

If there’s one thing I’ve discovered in my game, it’s that sleeping or barely-waking characters can make for some really interesting comments, regardless of whether it’s me or one of the players providing the dialogue. What sorts of odd things did they come up with?
Kes came in two flavors, depending on how abruptly she’d been [...]

A Speech-Writing Process

Rhetoric. It’s the purview of a speaker, a common way of showing why a leader is so popular, an excellent use of a high Performance score, a way to show off one’s own writing skills—but on the other hand, as techniques go, it’s also a bit intimidating to write, and when one is writing a [...]