You may slave over the right thing to say or the right way to say it, but the funny thing about words, spoken or written, isn’t how they are used nor what is said. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is in the interpretation.
What does that mean?
If a person is in a dark place and someone says “I hate you”, said person might go over the edge and do something awful. Perhaps they’ve been clinically depressed due to a family incident or have a substance abuse problem…or have been the victim of violent crime. The words have a significant impact due to their psychological state at the time.
Switch gears and consider that this person is a teenage girl, admiring a pretty friend in a new outfit, who looks totally awesome. Saying “I hate you” is actually just a compliment…with a tinge of envy. It’s poking fun at the person and actually means just the opposite of the words, right?
When writing fiction, the author must strive to give the words along with the context of the interpretation. The key to great fiction isn’t just in the dialogue…it’s portraying what goes on in the head of the characters as well. Doing this well and maintaining the proper POV (Point of View) is harder than one might think. POV is something that really is important and probably something that first time authors have difficulty with. Readers don’t enjoy popping into the head of one character after another and a good author will portray the story from the least amount of “heads” or character’s thoughts. Subsequently, they will SHOW the reader enough action from the other characters to portray their thoughts actively through actions.
Some of my favorite authors can tell a story such that you know exactly where the character is coming from when he/she responds to an action even though it may not be what I would do…you can relate and understand.
Master this and you’ll have fans forever.
Here’s a few resources on the subject that I’ve used and love(Amazon links). I am going to give a disclaimer here…I get NOTHING from passing on this information. The authors don’t even know me nor do I know them. I just liked these resources and wanted to share because they were helpful. If you have another resource that’s equally helpful, please share. Have a great day!
I posted links straight to the books because…it’s easy:
The Emotion Thesauraus:
Rivet Your Readers With Deep Point of View