The Author of, If I Should Die and Milk Carton People, Sally Franklin Christie, asked an interesting question the other day,

"Why do TV characters end phone calls without saying "good bye?"

My quick answer was, "it's done because of 'time aired'. It doesn't move the plot forward and is unnecessary Most viewers don't notice. It's telling the reader what is already obvious and doesn't need to be in the script". Or something like that...

So, this point about dialogue is particularly important in short stories, script or Playwriting. 
The idea is to cut two of every three lines of dialogue that would occur in a natural conversation in real life.

Sound hard?

It is a bit. Not the cutting/deleting words bit (that's the easy part). The hard bit is the rewriting so that it makes sense. This is how you make your writing tight. 

Take a look at this simple example:



What's up?
We're going camping wanna come?



I've got a bad feeling about the weather.

It'll be cool, trust me.

No, the forecast is really bad

You worry too much?

Okay, so writers need to keep it tight.

Another part to this is, 'avoid "yes" and "no" in your dialogue'. Imply it in the answer. It makes dialogue stronger.

A real example from Game of Thrones 

A: You trust me, Jon Snow?
Jon: Does that make me a fool?
A: We're fools together now.

Of course, this doesn't always apply, sometimes a short "Yes." might be even better. But try it out on your own story and tell me what you get.

Are you still feeling a little rattled? Yes 

Here's some encouragement from Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury. Ray says " can't write 52 short stories in a year (one a week) and make all of them suck. At least one of them will be good enough for you to rewrite". 

I actually reckon I could make them all suck but the ideas is to believe you can do better so let's just believe we've got this thing.
To try this you need to write one story every 7 days. If you struggle to finish a story by the end of day 7 simply write a terrible ending, or spend another 7 days on the same story and adjust your goal.

NOW, go write!

Been thinking about how words make you feel. Being an E/I/NFP-T type I like books that make me feel something. I don't have to visualize great scenary or enjoy long descriptive pieces unless they have that uncanny ability to make me all goose-bumpy.

So I was quite surprised while holed up at the Writers Chatroom this week to read one of the participants quips. The line was:

"I have dozens of short stories on the go. Occasionally I give them a poke. Sometimes it's like visiting an old friend, sometimes it's like visiting that granny who always kisses on the lips".

Nothing to jump at emotionally until that bit! 'granny who ALWAYS kisses on the lips'... Is it compulsory for everyone to have one of those relatives? Because, yes, I had one too. I don't even remember who or which one she was, and I don't want to go back there. *shudder*

How about you? Do you find certain words or groups of words give you an actual physical feeling? Feel free to share some in the comments


What happened?


Gee the time flew!

Isn't it amazing when you read a book and get so totally involved in it that you completely forget where you are?

This is the dream and ultimate buzz for any reader but more importantly for the writer. To have your readers totally engrossed in your writing; loose themselves and all sense of time and sometimes even reality. Because if the writer feels this way writing the words then chances are the reader is in for a special treat.

Cool huh?

Imagine doing that?

Giving your readers the chance to forget they are reading and be drawn into your world. To have them completely forget where they are. They are no longer simply reading. They are seeing, feeling and imagining the words you used to paint those vivid pictures. This could be the biggest most successful thing we could do as writers.

How awesome!

When was the last time you lost yourself in reading or writing?

Hello Writer Friends,

Remember that post about having NO EXCUSES!?

Well, this is now the THIRD, but not final, attempt to get this blog up and going again. Let's see if technology and life get in the way this time. Dare I speak too soon.

So, what's been happening while Blogger and Google conspired to lock me out of my own blog? 

Ahem, completed that dastardly University Degree and graduated. Hilarious: I got to wear that funny little hat :) →→ Apparently, it's called the 'Hat of Cleverness" 

I obtained a Business Degree worked as an Accountant for one whole year and four months. I was ‘let go’ because they said they had “cash-flow problems” [I interpret that to mean you are now costing us too much/our government kick-back has ceased and because of your age we now have to pay you more so you're out]. But hey, isn’t it hilarious, unbelievable almost, but really, an accounting firm with cash flow issues? He-Haw! And, after a prompting from me, “Is there any other reasons?” One lovely man only two years younger than myself says “Yes, you’re too old”. Two men and two women giving me the chop by-the-way: safety-in-numbers (pun) ~ Accountants are a rare and timid lot.  Not one to dwell I moved onwards and upwards – Okay, so maybe it was sideways ~ Leave it...

No so Woohoo!

I worked in hospitality for a few years under a company that contracted to the Aussie Army and then Aged Care for four more years finally leaving to run my own free range egg business from our farm and yes I am a whole lot older and maybe a tad Wiser? Smarter? Nah! Still forever learning life lessons.

Oh, one more thing that didn’t change throughout all this life drama. I am still running our local writing group called Write Friends. Check it out here: Write Friends And, I must say we’ve all grown in our abilities and had our Wins in that group. Some published, some achieved their outcomes and left the group to go it on their own and others went on to gain roles that could lead to fame and fortune but those stories are still in the pipeline so “shush” – more as they unravel.

SO let’s get right back into this writing thing. 

What have you all been writing? Had any Wins? Anything exciting going on?