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#402145 - 04/03/08 07:30 AM FFP Workshop : Dialogue - Between the Lines [Re: elle]  
Joined: Oct 2005
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elle Offline
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elle  Offline
Koala

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
Melbourne, Australia
Introduction to Dialogue

You have a slight breather with today�s chapter, which eases you gently into the section on dialogue. Even if you�re good at writing dialogue, have a closer look at yours today and experiment with some alternatives, noticing how it alters the tone of your scene.

Your assignment for the sixth class:

1. Read through Chapter 6: Between the Lines of The First Five Pages.

2. There�s only one exercise for today, unless you feel like experimenting a bit and doing both versions of the exercise:

If you tend to write dialogue that races on the page without many dialogue tags or much narrative action, take a dialogue scene and double the wordcount while retaining the same amount of dialogue.

Or, if you battle to let your dialogue flow, or if you just want to experiment, take a different scene and double the amount of dialogue, while halving the wordcount.


Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna
#404128 - 04/08/08 04:56 AM FFP Workshop : Commonplace Dialogue [Re: elle]  
Joined: Oct 2005
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elle Offline
Koala
elle  Offline
Koala

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
Melbourne, Australia
Commonplace Dialogue

Today�s assignment:

1. Read through Chapter 7: Commonplace of The First Five Pages.

2. Read through the article Writing good dialogue

3. As per the end of chapter exercises, spend some time out and about listening to other people�s conversation. Take a notebook with you and write down some of the interchanges.

If you don�t have a notebook with you at the time, try to recall interesting conversations you�ve eavesdropped on when you get home. Improve on the dialogue. Add gestures and body language � especially if you weren�t able to watch the conversation you overheard. Having to imagine the body language that went with an invisible conversation can help you to hone your skills of showing certain characteristics, rather than resorting to �telling� them.

4. Go through your five pages and look for commonplace dialog. Use the options in this chapter to try to edit out the boring bits and make your dialogue serve the plot.


Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna
#405056 - 04/10/08 08:15 AM FFP Workshop : Informative Dialogue [Re: elle]  
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elle Offline
Koala
elle  Offline
Koala

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
Melbourne, Australia
Informative Dialogue

Today�s assignment:

1. Read through Chapter 8: Informative of The First Five Pages.

2. Read through the article Avoiding exposition pitfalls

3. Rewrite the dialogue in your five pages with the assumption that any information the characters are discussing has already been explained to the reader. Cut and paste the information you remove into a new document.

4. Strip this dialogue down further by assuming that the characters already have all the information they need about each other and the situations they are discussing.

5. Freewrite an exploratory conversation between some of your main characters where you allow them to lead the dialogue. Does anything interesting crop up that you need to take into account?

6. If these exercises result in more natural-sounding dialogue, consider moving the information you�ve removed into the narrative instead of the dialogue, or trying to find other ways of showing what you need to convey.


Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna
#406573 - 04/14/08 07:58 AM FFP Workshop : Melodramatic Dialogue [Re: elle]  
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elle Offline
Koala
elle  Offline
Koala

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
Melbourne, Australia
Melodramatic Dialogue

Today�s assignment:

1. Read through Chapter 9: Melodramatic of The First Five Pages.

2. Read through the dialogue in your five pages searching for tone and pitch that would suggest overly dramatic writing.

3. Pull out the dramatic scenes conveyed by the dialogue and in the surrounding narrative. Copy and list these in point form in another new document. Check that each of each dramatic scenes has a logical dramatic arc. Consider pairing dramatic narrative with simpler, more understated dialogue.

4. Take a melodramatic scene from your pages and rewrite it to make use of dramatic silence in place of melodramatic dialogue. Does your scene improve, or do you need to keep part of the dialogue? What can you make your characters convey by body language or actions in place of dialogue?


Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna
#408053 - 04/17/08 06:16 AM FFP Workshop : Hard to Follow Dialogue [Re: elle]  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
elle Offline
Koala
elle  Offline
Koala

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
Melbourne, Australia
Hard to Follow Dialogue

Today�s assignment:

1. Read through Chapter 10: Hard to Follow of The First Five Pages.

2. Read through the article How your reader experiences your book.

3. Read through the dialogue in your five pages (and beyond if you have time) searching for use of dialect, slang, and cryptic dialogue. Try to give your dialogue an honest assessment in terms of clarity to the reader and ease of reading. Bear in mind that some more advanced readers might like to �float� through a book � check for any aspects that could jar them out of this absorbing mode.

4. If you do need to use dialect to show characterisation, spend some time studying the type of people you are writing about. Look for their word usage, mannerisms, body language, and behaviour as a way of indicating where they come from or their social status, rather than resorting to adjusting the spelling in your dialogue.


Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna
#408054 - 04/17/08 06:24 AM FFP Halfway Poll [Re: elle]  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
elle Offline
Koala
elle  Offline
Koala

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
Melbourne, Australia
Half way poll

If you�ve stuck with us all the way here, congratulations! you are half-way through the workshop, and you have completed two parts of the book (out of three!) smile

So, it�s time for a poll.

How are you tracking through the FFP Workshop? Do you need a week off?

How are you tracking through the FFP Workshop?
single choice
Votes accepted starting: 04/17/08 06:23 AM
Do you need a week off?
single choice
Votes accepted starting: 04/17/08 06:24 AM
Last edited by elle Fiction Ed; 05/07/08 06:28 AM.

Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna
#415695 - 05/07/08 06:31 AM FFP Workshop : Showing versus Telling [Re: elle]  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
elle Offline
Koala
elle  Offline
Koala

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
Melbourne, Australia
Showing versus Telling

We�re moving onto the Bigger Picture now in Part 3 of The First Five Pages. The ability to �show� a story is one of the key artistic skills that differentiate average writers from excellent writers. A lot of books told purely in �telling� mode do get published, it�s true, but these are rarely the books that readers remember decades later.

Today�s assignment:

1. Read through Chapter 11: Showing Versus Telling of The First Five Pages.

2. Read through the article Showing and Telling.

3. Select one of the characters introduced in your five pages. Write a new introduction scene that contains only his actions. How can you use these actions to show the reader what you wanted him to understand about the character?

4. Now rewrite the scene, or choose another character, making the character�s actions deliberately ambiguous. Ask a few different people for their opinions on the character based on your scene � you�re aiming to get several different responses.

5. Have your narrator describe some of the other characters in a way that shows the reader something about the narrator rather than those characters.

6. Next, describe your location without telling the reader what it is like or what you want him to think about this place.

Last edited by elle Fiction Ed; 05/08/08 02:39 AM.

Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna
#418263 - 05/14/08 08:09 AM FFP Workshop : Viewpoint and Narration [Re: elle]  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
elle Offline
Koala
elle  Offline
Koala

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
Melbourne, Australia
Viewpoint and Narration

Today�s assignment:

1. Read through Chapter 12: Viewpoint and Narration of The First Five Pages.

2. Read through the article Point of View.

3. Choose a scene from your pages and rewrite the narration in order to bring in a certain element of your viewpoint character�s personality. Try this again with a different element (or change your character�s perspective for this exercise). Try to convey these different points to your reader purely through your narrator�s point of view (ie, showing, not telling).

4. Choose a scene and write it in the opposite narration � first person becomes third person, and vice versa. Note anything that changes the tone and information conveyed. If you like the changes, find a way to incorporate them.


Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna
#434745 - 07/11/08 06:32 PM Re: FFP Workshop : Viewpoint and Narration [Re: elle]  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 958
Trish-D Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Trish-D  Offline
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Parakeet

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 958
Michigan, US
Okay, obviously I missed this workshop. I'm so grateful the thread is still up and thank you Elle for all the links and articles. I will be devouring this thread as I can catch snippets of time.


Trish Deneen
PatriciaJoy.com
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