Welcome to the Thursday Writing Essential! Since there was a bit of a glitch last Thursday, making it impossible to access any of the Thursday Writing Essential submissions, I would like to reissue the same prompt as last week, in an effort to recognize those writers who did submit to the writing essential.
As a bonus, if you take part in this prompt, I will also feature any second piece of writing you submit (as long as it's appropriate, of course) along with your first submission.
So without further delay, here is last week's post.
Greetings, Gather writers. It's Thursday, and that means it's time to submit some of your best writing to the Thursday Writing Essential.
Today's theme is dialogue. Dialogue can make or break an article or even a piece of fiction. If the dialogue doesn't seem natural, the characters in a story seem contrived, and the people quoted in articles seem stiff and staged.
The only way to excel at writing dialogue is to write dialogue. It's what you do after you've written it that is key, however.
Once you've written some dialogue.....read it. Read it out loud. Even if you're the only person in the room, stop what you're doing and read the dialogue out loud.
Does it sound ridiculous or does it sound like something that might actually be said in a conversation?
With regard to quotes for articles, there isn't much that can be done with the substance of the quote, because a quote is a quote. How you present it to your readers, however, is the key here. For example, as you're reading out loud, decide if the usual "he said" or "she said" makes the grade....or if there should be a more dramatic presentation of the quote.
Most newspaper articles prefer to stick to "he said" and "she said," but often magazine articles will go with a more dramatic presentation of quotations.
"He left me!" Mary sobbed.
"I won!" he screamed.
Remember that practice really does make perfect, but that still isn't a cut and dry guarantee. Different editors will have different requirements that can sometimes throw what you think you know right out that proverbial window....sometimes from the 21st floor.
So be prepared. Write dialogue. Read it out loud. Play with quotes for articles. Read them out loud, too.
And then don't be surprised if you're asked to alter your ways by an editor or two. Think of it as a learning experience. After all, that's what writing is....a constant learning experience in motion.
For today's theme, I'd like you to submit some prose containing dialogue or an article or article excerpts where you experiment with ways of presenting quotes. (Make sure you read it ALL out loud!)
Be sure to submit your work to the Gather Writing Essential, and use "Thursday Writing Essential" in your tags.
I look forward to reading your work!