Posts Tagged ‘“Leave it to Beaver Syndrome”’

Writers, how can you write a best-selling work of fiction? Let’s see ..

We are going to discuss in detail the three most important components of good fiction:

1.  “Flowing” dialogue

2. Snappy narration

3. Creative characters

As I share these posts, I welcome your comments and questions. So let’s get started and begin with how to write dialogue that flows.

Flowing dialogue? What in the world does that mean?

Flowing dialogue is “natural” dialogue or conversation in your book that sounds “normal,” that’s easy to read, and that which fits the personality and background of each character who has an important speaking part in your story.

Let’s begin this discussion with one of my pet peeves, what I call the “Leave it to Beaver Syndrome.”

Anyone who is as old as I am remembers that when TV was in its early stages and just becoming a member of every household, programs like “Leave it to Beaver” were in their infancy with some of the scriptwriting quite poorly done. Such is the case in many of these early sitcoms, in particular, the dialogue between the characters.

If you are a fan of the “Leave it to Beaver Syndrome,” here’s a sample of how your dialogue looks between the only two characters in your scene:

“Pete,” Mary said. “I’m going to the movies. Do you want to go with me?”

“Not tonight, Mary,” Pete said. “I have too much homework.”

“Well, Pete, how about just a game of Boggle?” Mary asked.

“Mary, I can’t even do that,” Pete said. “I’ve got too much to do.”

“Oh, for Pete’s sake!” Mary said. “You can certainly take a half hour or so to relax a little.”

“Mary, I said no! I just can’t tonight, so get lost!” Pete said. “By the way, bad joke.”


Now, there you have a prime example of the “Leave it to Beaver Syndrome.”

What I’d like you to do until next time is rewrite this mini-scene and rid it of this ho-hum style that will put your reader to sleep or inspire him to use your book as kindling wood.

In my next blog, I’ll rewrite this scene, shaping it into something that isn’t as stagnant, redundant, and just downright boring.

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