Tuesday, June 22, 2010

He said, WHAT?

I am really picky about my dialogue. I believe good, natural dialogue is one of the hardest things for an author to master. I work really hard on mine because I know how much bad dialogue can pull me out of a story. Not sure how well I do on it, but I take it really seriously.

I'm giving fair warning about what I'm about to say. It's kind of silly and to some people it might not be a big deal at all, but this really annoyed me. So much so that I didn't want to finish the book. Feel free to laugh at me :)

I was happily reading a story the other night. It wasn't the best book I've ever read, but I didn't hate it. Then the hero says to the heroine, "Sorry for being a turd last night". *insert laugh here* A TURD? That one word totally ripped me out of the book. I couldn't really take him seriously after that. Again, I know it's one little word but it just rubbed me the wrong way. I just can't see a guy saying that. Sorry I was an ass, a jerk one of those, yes I can see, but a turd? Guys need to sound like a guy. I hate it when men in a book don't sound like guys (that's a topic for a different day though, lol) and maybe I'm being judgemental or grouping all guys into the same category or something, but I just can't see my husband, or any guy I know calling themselves a turd.

That's the power of dialogue. That line, coupled with another piece of dialogue he said later in the book made it so I had to put it down. I simply couldn't read it. Dialogue makes a character real. It helps me to relate to them, get a handle on who they are. If the dialogue doesn't sound real to me, the character ceases to be real.

Am I alone in this? Did I totally overreact or do you see where I'm coming from?


Kara said...

I think that would have turned me off the book too...I mean really "a turd"???

I read a book once where the hero kept calling the heroine "Lizard"...seriously threw the book against the wall...LOL.

Anny Cook said...

Oh, I'm with you. I would have closed it right then. Some words you just... can't use.

Anne Rainey said...

Um, turd? Really? I can honestly say I've never read that in a book. LOL

Madison Scott said...

Whew. Glad to see it's not just me!