07 March 2008

Great Dialogue

I hate to admit it, but I see very few stories these days (published or in the slush) that have cracklin' dialogue. You know, the kind where you can't believe what the character just said, and you can't wait to see what comes out of her mouth next. The kind that sounds completely realistic, yet unique with a rhythm and style all its own.

Well, if you want to see it done well, go see the movie Juno. (Actually, I loved everything about the movie, so go see it before it's gone.) Listen closely to the dialogue. Every line is well-crafted and fitting. The slang is different yet believable and understandable. Even the metaphors similes are twisted just a little, to add texture a flavor. Here's a sample:

Punk Receptionist: Would you like a free condom? They're boysenberry. 
Juno MacGuff: No, thanks. I'm off sex right now. 
Punk Receptionist: My boyfriend wears them every time we have intercourse, it makes his junk smell like pie. 

And another one (about Juno's mother in Arizona):

Juno MacGuff: Oh, and she inexplicably mails me a cactus every Valentine's Day. And I'm like, "Thanks a heap coyote ugly. This cactus-gram stings even worse than your abandonment." 

And another:

Su-Chin: I'm having a little trouble concentrating. 
Juno MacGuff: Oh well I could sell you some of my Adderall if you want. 
Su-Chin: No thanks I'm off pills. 
Juno MacGuff: That's a wise choice because I knew this girl who like had this crazy freak out because she took too many behavioral meds at once and she like ripped off her clothes, and dove into the fountain at Ridgedale Mall and was like, "Blah I am a Kracken from the sea!" 
Su-Chin: I heard that was you. 

For more free samples (no, not condoms, dialogue), go to IMBD.


lesleylsmith said...

I agree, Dave. The dialog was awesome in Juno. However, sitting next to my parents, some of the lines made me cringe, like the pie-smelling junk! :) Do I foresee some wild and crazy dialog in your next work?

ssas said...

Ok, you're encouraging me to spice things up with Castile. He's been holding back. I see that now.