Great dialogue usually comes from two things: inside knowledge of your characters and tons of revisions and rewriting.
Each character has to be unique and must have their own voice. Be sure that all of your characters sound different from eachother and ensure that there is a consistency in their voice. For example, Dumb characters don’t suddenly become intelligent unless something happens, like they go to university or acquire magical powers etc. If all of the sudden your dumb character starts quoting Shakespeare for no reason, your reader will be confused. With speaker tags like “he exclaimed,” “she pronounced,” and “he spoke angrily” are totally unnecessary and possibly even distracting.
Death: Think about all of the novels you’ve read. In how many did a character die? Most of the greatest stories often involve death. , The Hunger Games, Harry Potter Charlotte’s Web, Where the Red Fern Grows, and so many more all had main characters who died. Death is universal because one day everyone will die…I guess you could always write about taxes instead.
Today’s exercise is all about murder. I know, it’s not a very flowery, fun topic but I can guarantee that it will make you think outside of the box. I want you to write a short piece about your escape from a murderer…be sure to include:
Where you are being held
How you got there
Describe what is around you, sights, smells, sounds
Describe the murderer, what do they look like, smell like, sound like
Describe how you feel
Describe how you are going to escape
Describe the escape
Are there any other people, is anyone with you
Do you escape or are you recaptured
Is the killer caught or still at large after your escape
Good luck with this and have fun! Use your imagination and write something inspiring!
Let’s talk about point of view for this writing exercise, but first things first-what exactly is Point of View?
Point of view refers to the way the author allows you to see and hear what’s going on it the novel, book, short story or manuscript. We’ll focus on four main points of view:
First-person point of view is in use when a character narrates the story with I-me-my-mine. The reader is sitting beside the character and is viewing the world through the eyes of that character. The reader experiences the world through the eyes of only one person.
Second-person point of view, the author uses your and you, this is rare; authors rarely speak directly to the reader. If you do happen to come across this point of view, you should pay attention because the author is trying to tell you something. Second-person point of view draws the reader into the story, and makes the reader participate in the action.
Third-person point of view is that of an outsider looking at the action. This is the most common point of view. The author’s voice, not the character’s voice, is what you hear in the descriptive passages.
Objective-point of view is when the narrator is a fly on the wall or a video camera in the corner of the room. The character’s thoughts are never known. Objective point of view is all about watching, listening and observing.
Try writing from a different point of view and step outside of your comfort zone. This allows you to stretch your abilities and who knows, you may actually really like a particular point of view that you had never considered before. Happy Writing!
Sometimes it’s fun to think out of the box. For today’s writing prompt we’ll explore writing for a different genre: mid grade. Use the prompt and the image below to write a short, action packed story. Have fun and be fearless!
Joey stood at the bottom of the tree house, his head turned frantically. His best friend Kyle Mitchell was late again. The air was thick with afternoon heat and the humidity was over a hundred. Joey heard the buzzing of mosquitoes and slapped his arm when one landed; a sticky mess of insect guts mixed with blood smeared his arm. He heard branches crack in the distance and quickly hid behind a large bush. Based on the circumstances, and what the boys had found, it was a wise move for him to hide; he crouched close to the ground and held his breath, he could only see part of a shoe but wasn’t sure it was Kyle’s.
This weekend I am fortunate enough to be attending a two day workshop at the College I attended a million years ago. It’s another writing for children course and I’m very excited to attend; it’s great to meet new authors, have your work critiqued and of course network with like minded people who understand the hurdles of the industry.
I really recommend that aspiring AND published authors take advantage of such programs in their city/community because they’re an excellent source of ideas, education and fun. At the last workshop I attended I was reminded of so many things that had sort of fallen by the wayside and this caused me to write much more diligently. Sometimes we all need to brush up on our skills a little bit even if we’ve been doing this for years.
I’ll report back about what I’ve learned over the weekend and share some tips, tricks, ideas and inspiration with you to help you become the best writer that you can be!
So take advantage of courses, workshops, free events, classes, talks and meetings in your area…it might lead you to exactly what you need to know or to an idea for your next best seller! Happy Writing!
Today’s writing exercise is one that will make you question what you know and dig a little deeper into your mind. Let’s get started!
Have you ever wondered if all of this is real? What I mean by all of this is the world in which we live. Have you ever thought that this world, our friends, parents, homes, objects, animals etc. are all just a figment of our imagination? What if this entire time everything you thought was real or the truth was just a hologram? Or what if this entire time, everything you’ve “seen” has been your brain working over time while you lay in a hospital bed in a coma? I know, we’re sort of getting all Matrix(y)/Inception(ish) on you but think about it, at least entertain the idea for your next writing project.
Write a short story about looking for the truth and uncovering it. What would happen if your character uncovered the truth? Who would the hero of the story be? What did they find out and how did they find out about it? Who would they tell? Would there be anyone to tell? Why did this happen and how did this happen? Was it some sort of alien experiment or some kind of government cover-up? Or was it a horrible accident? You get the picture.
Today’s exercise is a fun one so enjoy it and happy writing!