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Notes on writing dialogueDialogue can be one of the most challenging components of writing fiction. Often, the conversations come off feeling too forced or too clunky, lacking in natural rhythm.
However, improving one's dialogue-writing skills is well within anyone's reach, especially considering that there is an art form solely devoted to dialogue: plays/screenplays. We are going to look at how to take tips and pointers from these things, and apply them to our own writing.
He would never say that!
Have you ever watched a movie or seen a play and thought, “Geeze, no one would ever say something like that.” Or maybe, “Why would they word it like that?” You know what I mean; where the delivery of the line is directed more toward the audience rather than the other character in the scene.
Maybe it's just poor acting; more likely, it's that the writer was lazy and didn't care if the line was out of character, or the writer simply added too much information
Write What You Know
Once upon a time, a young woman was so in love with books that she decided she wanted to become a writer so she, too, could create loveable stories. She read everything she could about writing. Then, one day, she found herself in a book store where she bumped into an old man among the shelves. Turning to apologize, she discovered it was a venerable, much-loved author.
As soon as she could find her voice to speak, she said, "Oh, sir! I know you are very busy, and so I would just like to ask you one small question: what is the best piece of advice you have for a beginning writer?"
The old man smiled and said, "Certainly, young lady. In fact, I will write it down for you." He took out a small slip of paper and a pen and jotted something down. Then he handed the paper to her.
She thanked him profusely and moved out of his way so he could go about his business. Then she looked at the little paper in her hand. She frowned.
"Write what you know."
Well she was very disappointed. In fact, it m
They might have thought your hair
was seaweed, with its twisted, matted
locks; the way leaves had caught there
and your fingers tangled bone-white
in the river.
Love drowned with you; it was
shadowing at your side, sometimes
a stain upon the dress-hem
of your gown.
To his aging mistress
Our afternoon has come and gone;
how lazily we strolled!
Through gardens lush, by river, we
passed fields that gently rolled
beneath a lace of flowers
and the mid-day sun.
Many summers have kissed
our skin; woven silver into
plaits my hands have missed;
now this glass wherethrough
we see our long-since-past,
and what is left to us
but these severed halves?
Ah, these letters touched
with time and the breathlessness
of our more earnest hours;
these, I shall remember best
when every color fades
at evening's final hush.
He turns on the boarding dock. He is trying to smile; the corners of his mouth twitch. Shifting his duffel bag from one arm to the other, he raises a solemn hand to her.
She rubs her eyes. Everything blurs for a moment.
I want to turn back time, she'd told him.
So do it.
He is at her side. They trudge up the subway stairs, their fingers entwined. Lights stream by under a darkening sky. They return to her apartment, sit at the table in day-old clothes. He covers her hand with his when she reaches out. Steam drifts above their coffee mugs. They make a promise.
They drag themselves down to the first floor. She puts her mail into the box at the stairwell's foot. They swing the doors at their backs and it is night.
It is night and they are winding through the park. They leap up on a park bench and dance, dance like they are young and foolish. Then her feet are on the asphalt; he has her arms in his and he is coaxing with a smile. He jumps down with her. They meander in their s
So I am once again a river
swollen at its shores; yet
it's a hollow thought that
life is fertile within me.
Better to have lips of frost
than a flooded field; those
bits of rooms swept away--
a chair, a tattered doll.
In my waning, I do not
forget moon language;
this eternal push and pull,
the experience of blue.
Saturnalia Word War round III part 2The alleged shooter stood before the bench. Everyone had expected him to plead guilty, but when it came time for it, he looked very honestly at the judge. "I did it, your honor, because I didn't know guns could kill people. I was always told only people kill people."
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