I am not a writing teacher, and this is not school. The idea here is that we can all teach each other to be better writers. Constructive criticism (e. g. always welcomed. Destructive criticism (e. g. you stink!) is never welcomed. Vague criticisms and/or praise (e. g. that was amazing!) is lovely but it's a lot more helpful if there are some specifics.
Everyone is welcome to write, and everyone is welcome to critique. Anyone wishing to suggest a workshop topic should send me a Private Message. Workshop topics will be opened pretty much whenever I have topics.
Now for the current challenge:
In writing, we often need to explain things. We set scenes, we describe furniture, we insert a mood, etc. It's tempting to do this through exposition. Exposition is fine, so long as it isn't over-used. E. g.
Emily felt tired. Very tired. Like she'd been working all day, which she had. And the day before, and the day before that. Tired, tired, tired.
Wouldn't it be better to just write:
Emily said, "I'm exhausted."
Both are "correct", per se
, but the second example gets the same idea across without making the reader plod through endless prose. The first example makes the reader as tired as poor Emily is!
So here's the idea:
You are to write a short two-character scene about anything - anything at all - but you cannot use anything but dialogue. No "he said", "she said" or "the clock was ticking" or the like. Get the characters to tell the story, or at least to explain who they are. Get the dialogue to set the scene.
Now, it's tempting to do this in a very unnatural manner, e. g. "I'm Doug, and I'm a handsome, fourth-year English major from Auburn, Alabama, into sailing and French cooking. I have a trust fund and my mother thinks I'm irresponsible but I have poisoned her so I can be free." etc. No one talks like that.
It sounds like a personal ad, not half of a conversation! So you'll need to try to get it to sound natural and unforced.
To keep things clear, either use separate colors or italic and regular script for the two characters. So, Doug is blue
posts and Emily is red
, for example. If you don't know how to format text, use the "Reply" key and type out your story. Once done, scroll your mouse over the first line you wish to format. Select a formatting option from the boxes (B
for Bold, i
for Italic, U
for underline, or pull down the font color from the drop-down. Please don't use the green from the rainbow as it's hard to read. See?
I'll post a sample below. Feel free to critique or add samples on this thread. If you're critiquing someone, please use the quote function and quote the first line or so of their piece so that we can keep everything straight. Pieces should be less than about 500 words long. Thanks!