Friday, April 06, 2007

A Blog Dream

OK, this is a first. Last night I dreamed a blog entry. I was writing about dialogue, about how it can’t be realistic but must sound realistic. Realistic dialogue would be cluttered up with “uhms,” and “likes” and so on, and would meander around the point until your reader was firmly ensconced in their own dreams. Good written dialogue has to carry just a flavor of such realistic voice, but also needs to be crisp, non-cliché, and needs to advance the plot while simultaneously revealing character. Seems simple, doesn’t it?

Of course, my dream wasn’t quite as succinct as what I’ve written above, and was full of asides that mostly make no logical sense in the middle of the day. But there was one aside that feels as if it might deserve greater attention. For the dream post, I’d developed a color scheme that represented different types of dialogue. Dialogue that meandered, was perhaps too realistic, was color coded “muddy brown.” Dialogue that screamed, “I am the bad guy,” was, of course, “black,” while dialogue that showed the good guy being good was “white.” Crisp dialogue was “red.” Non-cliché dialogue was “pink.” Dialogue that advanced the plot was “orange,” while dialogue that revealed character was “yellow.” Dialogue that did all four of the latter things well was rainbow colored.

In the dream, this seemed a great insight, although in the light of day I see that it’s tremendously complicated and would be very difficult to put into practice. I may try something like it on a story of mine sometime just as an exercise. Any time I can keep myself thinking about the purposes of written dialogue I think it helps.

In thinking about where this dream came from, I think I’ve figured out a possible genesis. Remember the David Morrell story I posted about a couple of days ago? It was “Orange is for Anguish, Blue for Insanity.” The painter in that story had color-coded emotions. I know this resonated with me, and somewhere in my unconscious it’s been ricocheting around ever since. Funny how that works.


Erik Donald France said...

Pretty cool, Charles. The color coding would definitely work after a first draft. As for blog dreams, that's not too surprising. Posting regularly is seeping into our minds and floating around in dream states. Makes perfect sense to me. I subconciously color-coded some dialogue in my post today, with a differnet coding scheme, apparently.

Steve Malley said...

I'm guessing the goal is to have more or less all rainbow dialogue?

RK Sterling said...

Very interesting, Charles. Although I would think of cliched dialogue as pink. :)

JR's Thumbprints said...

I have the most difficulty with orange dialogue being too contrived.

Donnetta said...

Veeeery interesting, Charles. I dream in color and dream complete stories. You know, they have beginnings and endings. Some are boring. Some are inspiring. Haven't dreamed about Blogworld yet, but I imagine that will happen. If I dream about you, I will let you know. You'll probably be telling me I need to use more color!


Drizel said...

wowi...what a kewl dream....I can do with such a dream...instead marilon manson licks my face in my dream...not nice;(
Have a good day:)

Charles Gramlich said...

Erik, I might give it a try myself.

Steve, yeah, although in the light of day I tend to think of how the rainbow is used here as a sign of gay pride. Lol.

Kate, you know that makes more sense. Pink is kinda cliche.

JR, purposeful dialogue could end up looking that way because most of us don't do that kind of thing when he chat with friends.

donnetta, I've dreamt a few stories myself.

etain, now "that's" scary.