Writer's Blog

Conversation Piece

'What's the good of a book without pictures or conversation?' Alice demanded. Her creator, Lewis Carroll, made a point. OK maybe we can forgo the pictures but  a book where non of the characters speaks (or very little) makes for a monotonous read. Writers who employ mainly narrative are unconfident (I suspect) of writing realistic dialogue. It's a pity because it is a powerful tool, not only giving characters voivces but telling the reader a lot abut their character, background location, mood, thought process, feelings...need I go on? I've never found writing dialogue difficult but for those who do my advice is this: cultivate being a listener, tune in to people's voices. Keep a notebook and write down scraps of dialogue overheard. And here is the big one: eavesdrop on conversations whenever you are in a public place. Eventually the music of dialogue will enter your brain and you'll find yourself writing convincing and realistic dialogue. 

Who is telling the story?

So many writers, especially at the beginning, make mistakes over point of view. They begin a short story or  a novel telling the story through one character's eyes and then switch to the view of another character. And the reader, who is happily immersed in the story as 'told' by Character 1, is brought up short and  the illusion is lost. You, as writer, has to decide 'who is telling the story?' and stick with it. Ok, you CAN change point of view but there has to be a clear signal...beginning another chapter, for example. You are taking your reader on a journey into your character's mind. Don;t risk them getting lost. 

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I am based in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex

Tel: 07599 813820

Email: info@jenniferpulling.co.uk


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