Present your research in the form of dialogue


‘My god,’ said Geoff, ‘so it’s true. We hold in our very hands the original draft of the hitherto unknown third treaty of the 1648 Peace of Westphalia signed by the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III himself.’
‘Yes,’ confirmed Sally. ‘Who would have thought when we set off this morning for this remote Swiss village that we would end the day in possession of the very document which marked the birth of modern European statehood?’
‘Certainly not me!’ laughed Geoff.
’Nor me!’ guffawed Sally.
‘And to think,’ Geoff extemporised, ‘the Ratification of the Treaty of Münster occurred exactly three hundred and sixty-one years ago today!’

32 comments:

  1. Love the blog. Would you be able to fix your RSS so that the entire text appears in it? It is annoying to have to click through.
    Cheers.

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  2. :)
    You said guffaw.

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  3. Hilarity. That kind of dialogue is such a pet peeve for me. Even if it weren't between quotes it would still be an info dump and, in my opinion, justification to put the book down and never pick it up again.

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  4. Seconded on full feed entries!

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  5. If you're really a fan, you'd be willing to support the man by reading his stuff here, so that he can get the traffic. Keep up the good work JS.

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  6. If you really understood the web, you'd know that's a bogus argument.

    I just found this blog today, and have never heard of Joel or his work before. I think the posts so far have been great, and maybe I'll become a fan, or maybe I won't if it's too inconvenient to keep up with the blog. If I become a fan, maybe I'll in turn promote this site and drive a few more readers this way.

    Making things less convenient for your fans is not a good strategy. Not saying that's what Joel is trying to do here, but it sounds like something you're promoting.

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  7. Heh heh. Isn't this exactly like Lost Symbol. But this is just a mere snipplet, in Lost Symbol this dialogue lasts for 100+ pages.

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  8. Hey everyone. I've switched the RSS feed to full text, so no more clicking through needed. The tradeoff is that I'm running it through FeedBurner, so I can at least get an idea of how many people are reading. Hope this is okay.

    PS. I promise the next post will be less Dan Brown-y.

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  9. Thanks for the full feed, Joel! Very much appreciated.

    And of course, thanks for the fun posts!

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  10. Love your blog, great post.

    And I love your speech tags: "laughed", "guffawed", "extemporised"... now that's writing badly well.

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  11. Yup - definitely the new Dan Brown blockbuster. Throw in lots of architecture and it'll be a best seller.

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  12. Nice one on the full feeds! Much appreciated.
    (Original poster)

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  13. Lisa Collier Cool recommened this (via Twitter) and I'm glad I did. Kudos to her for passing this along. Delightful and funny read.

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  14. Ahem - and I'm glad I read it (correcting previous, badly written comment).

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  15. Of course, TVTropes has this one covered:

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AsYouKnow

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  16. Wow, your blog is cool. I appreciate someone telling it like it is.

    This technique is especially effective if done combined with doing it in excruciating detail with no regard to pacing like you explain here:

    In fact, probably all of your techniques get stronger the more you use them and the more they are mixed in with the other techniques.

    I'm sorry I used technique so many times, I don't have a thesaurus yet. But I'm gonna get one.

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  17. This is hilarious! Love it!

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  18. lol

    Reminds me of having books in a series and to catch new readers up on what happened in the book before, the characters talk about it like:

    "You know, I'm the guy who killed the Pope and you have tried to catch me but failed miserably. And here we are again..."

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  19. A master of this style is Tom Clancy. "The F/A-18F Super Hornet Carrier Based Multirole Figher Aircraft's nosewheel was locked into the shuttle of the CATOBAR system as the General Electric F414 engine whined up to maximum power . . . (four pages of description of plane taking off from carrier, which, in real life, takes about five seconds)

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  20. Love it! Info dump is a total snore (no apologies to Dan Brown). I just linked to your blog on Twitter.

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  21. These are hilarious examples! I'll be passing the link on to my students and colleagues!

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  22. Funniest writing advice I've read since the Mystery Writers of America put out that guide including a line something like this:
    "..." he ululated menacingly.

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  23. Absolutely hilarious

    Keep up the good work

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  24. In science fiction fandom, it's known as "infodump", and it can be summed up in four words:

    "Now tell me, Professor..."

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  25. This is also known as: "As you know, Bob..."

    Brill-yant.

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  26. That's nothing like Dan Brown. It's reasonably factual.

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  27. Very funny writing! I'm glad a writer friend pointed me to this blog.

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  28. Another instance from "hard" science fiction--the detailed physics of the Fernbacher Drive, or whatever plot device is used to get around the Universal Speed Limit of the speed of light. This often includes some historical data of how the Space Cadet Force managed their missions before this invention came along. Can also apply to time travel and interdimensional movements.

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  29. Oh, boy... extemporised. Hilarious.

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  30. "Shit Rastaman, that's the original copy of Habeus Corpus you are using to make that spliff!"
    "You mean..."
    "Yeah dude, by the time ya finished smokin' it they'll be able to bust you without a warrant, an' lock ya up forever."

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