I’ve been writing for a while now, and while some point love my ability to take a conversation or an idea and turn it into something concise on the page, I lack the skill to do the opposite of that. I seem to lack the ability to write characters who have believable dialogue or believable motives. This may be related to social awkwardness that I’ve suffered from, or perhaps a yet to be diagnosed position on the autism spectrum. Some of the reading I’ve done lately suggests that I have a tendency to make mistakes that are common among those who are on that spectrum. There was an interesting post on reddit listing a dozen or so common mistakes that get made, mostly relating to matters of social conventions.
Generally speaking, when someone asks me how I’m doing, I reply, “Not dead yet.”, referring both to the character getting thrown into the charnel wagon in Monty Python, and to the quote from Herodotus, “Call no man happy until he is dead.” In essence, I’m saying that I could give you a complicated answer, but I think you’re just asking to be polite, so I’ll give you something that sounds amusing, though the implication is that there is more there, if you want to know. Often, people don’t. They’re just asking because it’s how people interact. Sometimes, they do want to know, and then I try to explain it to them. I tend to have more woes than can easily be encapsulated though, so this tends to go flat rather quickly.
When I was writing at Douglas, my classmates found my dialogue to be a bit too overthought, or overly intellectualized. At the time, the conversations that I was having that weren’t basically functional, tended to be of that nature, so it was hard for me to understand that complaint.
I am trying to express my difficultly in natural communicating with others, both in my life and between my characters in my writing. I am acknowledging this, and I’m making a note to be more aware of it in the future.
Also, apparently I shouldn’t end sentences with periods when texting, as that comes across as abrupt. And use more emoticons.