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Dialogue Coach

Spotting interesting ways of describing dialogue instead of just He said, She asked, He replied. These are from Vaticanum by Jose Rodrigues Dos Santos. I’ve just pulled the interesting lines out at random from an extended conversation about corruption in the vatican bank, in no particular order – in other words, they’re not supposed to form a coherent conversation on their own, so don’t even try.

250x“Mas isso não tem pés nem cabeça” explodiu a auditora

“Nunca poderemos ter a certeza” sublinhou

“Como”, admirou-se

“É essa o problema”, reconheceu ela

“Isso já eu sei” devolveu Tomás

“Como queira” retorquiu

“Ah bom”, aprovou o historiador

“Isso é uma chico-espertice indigna de gente séria e de uma instituição de bem” protestou

Tomas empertigou-se: “Como se explica que nada tenha mudado desde os tempos desse bandidolas do Marcinkus?” quis ele saber

“Que ladrão” exclamou ela, escandalizada.

“Isso não é resposta” contestou

“Não foi isso que eu disse”, precisou o português

“Irónico, não é”, observou

By the way, José Rodrigues Dos Santos is sometimes compared to Dan Brown, which is a terrible slur on the poor man, but I think the point of similarity is probably in the way he describes dialogue. Although he doesn’t go as far as “The famous man looked at the red cup”*, in his efforts to avoid pronouns, he seems to describe people in some slightly clunky ways. The dialogue will be peppered with “said the chief of COSEA” or “said the auditor” or “said the french woman” – and those are all referring to the same person and all in the same conversation between two people!

*=yes, I know DB never wrote this, Stewart Lee just made it up, but I wouldn’t put it past him.