“Which is most important in writing dialogue from memory accuracy, succinctness, or liveliness? Why?”

When writing dialogue from memory it should be accurate, succinct, and also lively, but which of these three is really the most important.  Although all three are incredibly powerful, I think that accuracy and liveliness together are the most powerful.  This is not to say that succinctness isn’t important, I just believe that accuracy and liveliness are much more important.

Everybody likes to get things done fast and effectively with minimal effort.  it is slightly annoying to read paragraph after paragraph of irrelevant bulk.  I personally enjoy reading, but there are many of people that really don’t like to read.  People like this especially prefer short, sweet, and right to the point material.  Succinctness is great but this is my conclusion, if you spend effort making it succinct, you may end up having to leave out specific/important details.

A young man walked into a bookstore, this man was in search of a book on financial advice. He browses each isle in search for books that would be helpful to him, he found a section of books that fit his needs.  He grabbed a book and began to read the first page, he soon lost interest.  He selected the next book and began to read, but again he was quickly lost.  A third time he picked up a book, but unlike the previous books this book excited him, and caught his attention.  That of course was the book he chose.  Just think, what if the other books contained better advice?  Livliness is very powerful.

Accuracy is important, especially when writing about significant occasions, or historical events.  Whenever I read autobiographies, biographies, or even published journals, I prefer to read accuracy.  Although accuracy is important sometimes the accurate truth can be very dull, and difficult to read.  If the writer chooses to write accurately, he should also try to be lively and exciting.

The dialogue should be written in such a way that, the reader can feel what the author feels.  The reader should be able to picture what the author sees.  In order to create this affect I believe accuracy and liveliness should be combined. There is a valid argument as to why each of these prospects are important.  When I Write an autobiography I want it to be succinct, but more importantly accurate, and lively.

 

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