August 17, 2020-You need social skills to have a conversation in real life — but they’re quite different from the skills you need to write good dialogue. Educator Nadia Kalman suggests a few “anti-social skills,” like eavesdropping and muttering to yourself, that can help you write an effective dialogue for your next story. Directed by Joyce Stenneke, narrated by Rose Eveleth. Check out the TEDEd below:
October 23, 2019– We’ve all been there. Pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, we’ve all written scenes that don’t work; they’re boring and bland and we sit staring into the abyss wondering where we went wrong. The good news is that we can fix it! Here’s how…by using our five senses.
- Sight-What is around your character? What do they see from their point of view? Are there landmarks? Describe in detail what your character sees. It’s better to write too much and pare down afterward, than it is to write too little.
- Sound-What does your character hear? Is there dialogue? Is more dialogue needed? Do they hear their own thoughts? Is there internal dialogue between the character in their head?
- Smell-What does your character smell? Is there the scent of salty ocean air? Fresh baked cookies? Rotting flesh? That escalated quickly, but you get my point.
- Taste-What does your character taste? Blood from biting their tongue? Vomit? Coffee? The taste of someone else?
- Touch-What does your character feel? Do they feel the softness of cashmere against their skin? Do they feel the brush of another character’s hand against their own? Do they feel cold metal against their temple?
Here’s the thing, it’s important to write and get the words on paper before you can even think of editing them. When you do find a scene that needs a bit of meat on it or that is boring, use your five senses to expand the part and then edit from there. Happy Writing! X LLB