Sunday, April 23, 2017

Who writes incredible dialogue?

Here is Dave Barry on the author he thinks writes the best dialogue. To make this interesting, I've edited out the author's name; can you guess who Barry is talking about?

"When you read him and then read somebody else, you realize that everyone else is doing writing that's supposed to be the way people talk, whereas [he] is writing exactly the way people talk. Which is more difficult than anybody can imagine. He has this phenomenal ability to tear away all the thing we don't say, and leave out all the things people really leave out, so that much of the thoughts are poorly express or incomplete—writers have a lot of trouble doing that, they wan to tell you to make sure you get it. But [he] relies on your ear to fill in things that weren't there and thing that go unsaid, and to deal with the ambiguities that real life forces you to deal with. He does that so incredibly well and he does it very consciously; it's not effortless. He works really hard to get that feel and sound to his writing. I don't think anybody does it as well as he does . . . "
—Ronald B. Schwartz, For the Love of Books: 115 Celebrated Writers on the Books They Love Most, (Gosset/Putnam, 1999), p 12.

The author Dave Barry is talking about is:

Elmore Leonard

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