The Ziggurat of Babel

Size Matters

Modern Tower of BabelAt first blush, building the Tower of Babel must have seemed like a noble undertaking. According to the account in Genesis, the people of Babel, ‘of one language and few words’, decided to build a tower and city, ‘whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth’.

It’s interesting to me that, at least as portrayed in the language of King James, these people knew what was about to happen, but did not realize that what they were about to do would be the cause of it. Instead they thought the tower and the city would cement them in both history and geography. Not the first time that men have misread the portents of their ambitions, nor the last. Continue reading

How to Write Realistic Dialog

whatwehaveherecoolhandlukede2I worked with a really great editor at Wag’s Revue several years ago while prepping my short story, “Mourning Jimmy Crooks,” for publication there. We had a lengthy discussion about dialog in which he told me that sometimes it is useful to write dialog as if the parties to the conversation are not talking to one another. In other words, no one is responding to what the others are saying. He seemed to think that this was a good way to end up with realistic dialog, even if the process seemed somewhat counter-intuitive.

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