A Challenge! Interested?
There is a fine line as to how much of your story is dialogue, and how much is description, and every story’s fine line is different. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out just where that fine line falls. But some of us have problems writing dialogue and some of us have problems with writing descriptions. Personally, I like writing dialogue, so when it comes to descriptions, many times mine are weak or seem flat, or there just isn’t enough. I find it fascinating how some writers intertwine the two so beautifully and make you want to read more. My son and I were talking the other day and he’s currently writing a series where his main character doesn’t talk, well not until the very end of the series, so he has to be able to bring out the character’s personalities, his thoughts, and his feelings only with descriptions. I was watching “Bones” last night on TV, now normally I like the show, but last night the dialogue was atrocious, well maybe atrocious isn’t the right word, but they were horrible. The lines Bones had were so dry and long and boring! I know, they are scripted, but…Who writes this stuff? Hello! It’s called entertainment for a reason! Entertain me! I’m the type of person who does not like the “Behind the scenes” Yeah, Peter Pan flew. Don’t show me how you made that happen. I don’t want to know. Let me just enjoy the fantasy and it’s the same for a book. I want to get lost in another world for just a little while. I want to use my imagination. I want to see what you see and feel what you feel.
Okay so here’s my idea. Could you write a short story or a scene, using only dialogue, to get your point across, to let others see, feel, and hear what your characters do? Or visa versa, write a short story or scene using only descriptions?
Can you imagine a foot chase scene going on for an hour long show? Would you be able to describe it without any dialogue? Or how about two people having a conversation for an hour and the only descriptions would be in the words they say.
The two links are probably the most famous of a dialogue only skit. The first you can read the dialogue, the second you can watch them play out the skit.
Example for Dialogue and description combined
So instead of
“Look out.” She screams, as the huge boulder rolls down the hill towards him.
“I’m fine, missed me by a mile.” He grins and shrugs it off, but she can see he’s shaking.
Example for Dialogue only
You might say,
“Look out! Oh my gosh, that almost hit you. Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, missed me by a mile.”
“Well if it would have fell on you, you’d be crushed.”
“Nah, that boulder probably only weighs fifty pounds.”
Example for Description only
She grabs his arm and yanks him out of the way just as the huge boulder rolls down the hill landing in the very spot he was just standing. Happy she pulled him away in time, she wraps her arms around him and feeling him shaking, she realizes just how scared he is.
Okay, well that’s just an example. I told you I could use some practice in descriptions. 🙂
And here’s a helpful link for creative writing.
I don’t like to put people on the spot, so if you’d like to participate in…Let’s call it, “The Writing Exercise Challenge” leave a reply and a link to your blog and next week I will make it official, put up my 3 scenes and tag you in my post. Now I guess we should have some rules.
- Write a short story or scene using
a. Dialogue only
b. Description only
c. Both combined
They can be as long or short as you like, as long as you get the point across to your readers.
2. Now tag 3 other people or ask for participants
And if you think there should be additional rules post a comment!
Want to challenge yourself further? Try writing outside of your genre. If you write romance, try your hand at horror. Or if you are a mystery writer, try writing a steamy romantic scene. Hey even mysteries have romance sometimes. 🙂
So what do you think? Is anybody up for a writing challenge?