You read that correctly. Today I’m leaving the Muppets to their own devices and am instead breaking out this fabulous Monty Python clip. After last week’s post I just couldn’t help myself.
First, I must admit that Monty Python is a great example of good writing.. Truly. Sure there are some stinker episodes on Flying Circus, but generally those writers had a great wit about them they could easily communicate to an audience. This particular clip had me thinking about dialogue and how much we can communicate within those few lines of speech.
The relationship of each character in this clip was apparent, as was their personalities, through each spoken word. Let’s look at Lancelot’s willingness to move straight to the head of the line. Any hesitation, stammering when he greets the person guarding the bridge? No. King Arthur? Well, he’s a clever little bugger, isn’t he? If all lines were written with the same language, nothing of the person’s personality apparent within them, how would it have flowed? Would we be as engaged? Entertained?
Of course not. Dialogue needs to show the difference in each person, the relationship and all through how they outwardly communicate with their world. To be uniform in presentation would be to give the reader a world in which you might as well have written an entire novel out of a monologue. Even someone with multiple personality disorder should have different tone and verbal capabilities betwixt each identity.
I must thank Monty Python for this inspirational, albeit odd, post about writing.