The weirdest ones…

Posted: 3rd February 2008 by onyxhawke in Uncategorized
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Someone asked what the oddest submission i’ve ever gotten was. Great question, i needed something to blither talk about in this space.

So…

The science fictions ones stories that make not just interesting addendums to the laws of nature as we know them are always ah, eye opening to say the least, I can’t call any of those the weirdest. There are also the stories that seem to have been modeled after the bawdiest of Rice or Hamilton’s adventures in bed sheets, those are just a touch too formulaic to be weird. There are also the submissions by those for whom English is not their first language, and while this leads to some unintentionally jaw dropping turns of phrase and sentence constructions, those two are not that odd.

I’ve gotta say the single weirdest submission was one where the entire story (the three chapters i read) was dialogue. No dialogue tags, no internal monologues, no descriptions of anything. The only reason we knew a character was ‘rude’ was because the main character said so. The reason we knew what someone looked like, or how they talked was because of the dialogue.

  • There's a YA book that is all dialogue. (And why is LJ's spellcheck saying that dialogue is spelled wrong?) I can't remember who wrote it, but it was a really interesting read, and done very well. It was like watching a subtitled movie–after a while, you didn't need descriptions/settings/whatever; it was all in the dialogue.
    I think–and I'm really stretching here–that someone–I'm thinking a fantasy author, but I can't remember who–wrote a short story that was all dialogue, too. And it was rather cool.
    So I guess it can be done, if it's done right.

    • There are many things you can get away with in a short story that wont work nearly as well in a novel… this imho is one of them.

      • I wish I could remember the author of the novel!
        But true–it would be more difficult to do as a novel vs. a short story.

      • There's also the minor problem that making your entire story out of dialog produces profoundly alienating characters, which is why They're Made Out Of Meat is vacuum-packed with awesome. Making an entire novel out of dialog strikes me as damaged, not weird. (See, I can say that. I'm not the one in a position to criticize.)

  • Took me awhile to remember what that reminded me of
    Actually Mr. Mani by A.B. Yehoshua is all dialogue, and it's pretty cool. Actually it's monologues.
    The book tells five different stories going backwards from 1980 to 1850s. The stories are all told from the perspective of outsiders who encounter the Mani family and they are always talking to someone else and you only get their side of the conversation. The first is a girl who gets pregnant and finds one Mr. Mani and stops him from suicide. ANd then it goes back in time to when that Mr. Mani was a boy and a Nazi is talking about how he and his father were trying to escape to Palestine.
    Very strange book, but I really liked it. You should check it out.

    • Re: Took me awhile to remember what that reminded me of
      Of course, you could also argue that it's five connected short stories that are barely novellette length.