About this post:
Type of technique: random stimulation for creating dialogue
Technique in a nutshell: in your head, repeat a section of spoken dialogue you hear on TV programmes, films etc recreating everything except the actual words. Create words to fit the 'vacant' places.
I devised this Doo Doo Dialogue Trigger (nice name, huh?) to help devise dialogue. I turn on the TV and mute the sound. Then, for a brief burst, I unmute the TV and listen to whatever dialogue occurs in that burst. I mentally replicate everything about the dialogue except the words; I immediately replace the words with 'doo doos'. I look at the situation occuring in the story and make up words to fit the doo doo utterance.
I've been experimenting with this technique and I've found (while it is in development, anyway) that it's a good idea to take a scene from a film and make up some dialogue for the scene. A scene I've been using is the car cleaning scene from Pulp Fiction, where John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson are cleaning up the brains from the car. I don't really try too hard to come up with anything interesting or funny but I find that quantity leads to quality and eventually I'll come up with something interesting.
I don't know if the dialogue created with this method would serve to drive the plot but it does help in the creation of interesting and unhackneyed dialogue.
I've been experimenting with making variations of the doo doo phrase. One mnemonic I've used is FASH, which stands for:
I choose one of these emotions and using the doo doo phrase I create dialogue that reflects that emotion.
Content of dialogue
If I want the dialogue to run smoothly I can lift a word from the previous line of dialogue and insert it at some point in the next line created from the doo doo trigger.
I can also pick a random word and force the use of that word into the line of dialogue.
One experiment I want to try is to create a fictional brainstorming session. I will make a list of people and, using the doo doo trigger, I will create a line of dialogue/thought that each person would possibly say in the brainstorming context. This would echo the 'fantasy dining partners' game. Would be interesting to see how dialogue develops.