Motivational Dose For The Day #10

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How To Write Short Stories – Part Six – Dialogue in Short Stories

If you have missed my previous parts the content is as follows –

Part One – General outline of what a short story entails

Part Two – How to get inspiration for your short story

Part Three – Characters

Part Four – Plotting Your Short Story

Part Five – Point of View in Short Stories

Dialogue in short stories is very important after all conversations make up a huge part of our day. There are a few rules when it comes to writing dialogue, if you follow my tips below it should hopefully make it a lot easier when it comes to writing your stories!

–          You need to identify exactly who is speaking.

–          To make your dialogue more realistic have the character doing something at the same time. Our lives are full of multitasking, whether you are on the phone to your best friend whilst unloading the dishwasher or talking to your mother whilst making her a drink of tea and this should also happen in your dialogue. It is really simple to put in as well, an example might be – “You really think this date will be different?” Susan asked as she brushed her hair.

–          Always put a comma/full stop at the end of the sentence but before the speech marks, for example, “.”

–          It does not necessarily have to be spoken, it could feature in an email, a text etc. by using various ways it makes the story more interesting.

–          Use dialogue to reflect the type of character you have created. For example if you have created an excitable character then their dialogue will be enthusiastic using a lot of exclamation marks. The reader will then be familiar with the character so will be able to know it is them who is speaking later on in the story.

–          Give your characters their own phrases and mannerisms through their dialogue as it brings them to life more. For example does one character always repeat a certain word or phrase such as ‘like’ or ‘you know’, does one swear etc.

–          Use alternative words to ‘said’ so it does not get too repetitive.

Hope this has helped you, Part Seven will be on FIRST and THIRD PERSON so keep a look out for that!

Sophie Chekruga 🙂

How To Write Short Stories – Part Five – Point of View in Short Stories

If you have missed my previous parts the content is as follows –

Part One – General outline of what a short story entails

Part Two – How to get inspiration for your short story

Part Three – Characters

Part Four – Plotting Your Short Story

This post will be quite short as there are only a few rules I follow regarding viewpoint when I write my short stories. These rules are as follows…

–          Try not to switch between viewpoints without warning in short stories because it will confuse the reader.

–          If you are going to switch between viewpoints make sure it is in a clear way, for example starting a new chapter with a different character’s viewpoint with their name as the title of the chapter or leave a reasonable amount of white space between the two character’s viewpoints.

–          Different viewpoints are a good thing because they broaden your plot. It allows the reader’s to get inside different character’s minds which they would not have been able to do if you only stick to one viewpoint.

–          In reality we do not know for sure what other people are thinking we can only guess and this has to reflect in your work. For example do not say ‘Sarah thought that play was boring’ ( if she has not actually said it herself) instead say ‘Sarah yawned a lot looking bored and disinterested’.

Hope this has helped! Part six will be on DIALOGUE so stay tuned! 🙂

How To Write Short Stories – Part Four – Plotting Your Short Story

If you have missed my previous parts the content is as follows –

Part One – General outline of what a short story entails

Part Two – How to get inspiration for your short story

Part Three – Characters

This part is on how to plot your short story.

The trick is to grab the reader from the beginning, starting with an initial idea then to develop it further adding a twist as you go along. Here are a few methods of how to plot your short stories in a more structured way. Remember different ways work for different people so it is better to find out which one suits you best.

–          Represent different characters on different coloured paper. At the top of the page write the character’s name and write underneath what they are like, their involvement in the story then what will happen to them as the plot unfolds. This way is good as it helps keep the characters separate so you do not get them confused with each other!

–          Use a whiteboard. This is so useful because you can add things or erase things as and when you please. You can make bullet points about what will happen or even do mind maps (where you put one key word in the middle and branch off that with other ideas).

–          Bullet points. Write down the events in an organised list. This way is really helpful as you have the skeleton of your story in front of you all you have to do is write around it!

Important Things to remember…

–          Get the right pace. In your story you want a mixture of calm, reflective moments and fast paced, action packed moments. Make sure you find the right balance because too much calm could be boring for the reader and too much action could bamboozle the reader.

–          Make sure ‘something’ interesting happens every 4-5 paragraphs for example a decision, a change of scenery, meeting a new character etc.

–          Always always always read your work! Reading it out loud to somebody helps you to pick up on mistakes you have not seen before.

Hope you enjoyed part four of my short story tutorials, part five will be on VIEWPOINT so make sure to look out for it in the next few days!

Sophie Chekruga 🙂