Pick a story--one you've written or are working on--that has more than one character and lots of
dialogue. If you don’t already have a
story like that, write one! Then read
the story out loud, using a different voice for each character. I have a feeling, as you start pretending to
be the characters, it’ll get easier to write dialogue for them and each
character will have his or her own distinct voice.
This week we celebrate Earth Day. I love Earth Day. It's one of my favorite holidays. I don't have to cook, clean, buy or wrap presents, or do much of anything except show support for our lovely planet. Earth Day is EVERY DAY for me because at any given moment, I'd rather be outside. So without further explanation, I offer you my thoughts (rules?) about Earth Day. No writing tips or things to do here, just a little light reading. Click on the link below, read my list, and then go out and do at least one thing. Who knows? Your adventure may lead to a great story.
As a writer, I'm always on the lookout for new story ideas.
Sometimes, few come. Other times, there are so many, I don't know where to
begin. I'll definitely take too many instead of too little, but it's hard to
know which one is the best. You may get the advice to write about the idea you
can't stop thinking about, the one that keeps you up at night. That's certainly
awesome advice! But what if more than one does this? What if you start writing
and then realize the story that you thought was THE ONE is not really? It would
be great to avoid that disappointment, right?
In addition to writing, I teach language arts. Recently, we
did an exercise to teach persuasive writing. The students had to fold their
paper in half and write down the pros and cons about a topic. Before they made
their lists, most had already chosen a side. After the lists, they realized the
side they wanted would not make the best writing piece because there weren't
enough arguments to support it. This got me to thinking about fiction writing.
Sometimes the stories we really want to write seem amazing
in our heads, but once we put them down on paper look less than stellar.
Sometimes we get bummed when that happens and feel like we've wasted our time.
BUT, if we wrote only a page or two or even a few paragraphs of a few of our
ideas, time might be saved in the long run.
So the next time you have a few ideas just dying to break
free from your imagination, pick the two that are screaming the most. Write a
few paragraphs of each. Chances are one will flow better than the other. THAT'S
the story to write. And what if both sing? That's not a bad problem to have.
File the paragraphs away for another day or when you need a break from story