RE-READ? RE-SPEAK? BOB DYLAN?

Dilemmas have big horns.

When White Wolf Moon was released the majority of comments I received were about the dialogue and how realistic it was. I used a lot of off-hand “yeahs”, “uhs”, and “hmmnns” which is a no-no, apparently.  I’ve also been told that I used more than an acceptable number of ellipses “…” and too many contractions…“can’t”, “I’ll” etc..

What’s the dilemma? A year ago when I started to write the second book I was conscious of the rules. They state that I should use only a few, if any, “filler” words in my dialogue. I‘ve started my read-through. The dialogue sounds forced and almost sterile so, against all the ‘rules’, I’m humanizing it a bit more. I guess I’ll know soon enough if this is the right move but I have to feel comfortable with it.

On another note…Super Bowl, in particular the Bob Dylan Chrysler commercial. At the time of this writing there are close to 2,000 comments on a facebook page dedicated to this commercial. Most are critical for his American car company reference (Chrysler is owned by Fiat apparently), many are calling him down for “selling out”, and a few are even playing the old ‘what’s the hidden meaning’ game.

That spot along with the Bud puppy commercial were, to me, the highlights of the whole broadcast. Yes I was pulling for the Seahawks but the Broncs lost that game more than the Hawks won and it became a bit of a bore before the end of the first half.

Dylan

But back to Bob. I’ve been a fan since the beginning and from that beginning he has always built and taken his own road and you have to respect someone that after fifty years is still on that road. I caught him live on his last western tour and will never forget that experience. While I usually resist getting involved in this sort of nonsense this time I had to add a comment to the list:

“My God so Bob Dylan did a friggin’ television commercial…like there aren’t bigger issues in the world. Did he ‘sell out’? Who cares? Most say he sold out when he went electric and that hasn’t stopped him. Bob Dylan is going to do and say what Bob Dylan wants to do and say regardless of what anyone thinks. It’s always been that way and always will. If a few million other people had that kind of conviction, strength, and confidence it might be a better world. It’s just a commercial for crying out loud…not some over-the-top hidden-meaning social statement. All it’s designed to do is to get people talking about Chrysler and guess what???”

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3 comments on “RE-READ? RE-SPEAK? BOB DYLAN?

  1. sknicholls says:

    Who writes all these rules to fiction anyway? Ever read The Color Purple, a Pulitzer prize winner?

    • Mike Grant says:

      No but my interest is piqued…

      • sknicholls says:

        Alice Walker wrote with no quotation marks around any dialog. She wrote extensive negro speak to give her characters their own voices…to me, some of it got really weird with letters exchanged between sisters, one in Africa and one in the US. But it was a good story and it won a Pulitzer.

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