Discussion in 'General Writing' started by lost123, Feb 3, 2011.
How to change the story from narrative to conversation?
Typing between "speech marks" is a help.
Well, there's only one way I can think of. Imagine what the characters would say to each other. Imagine it like real people talking, don't have them tell each other stuff they already know.
Of course you know I'm sure that you can't have a story that's all conversation, unless you're really, really good at it. For most people it's just too hard to figure out how to tell the reader what's going on without having the characters say things real people wouldn't say. But you can have a scene that's mostly conversation, especially if the people are talking about what they're doing, and so you can tell what's going on.
Some narrative can't be turned into dialog of course, like a fight scene where there's really not that much talking. But most can, because people basically talk most of the time.
Example. Here's a snippet of a scene I wrote today about my main character Magali. What I could have written if it was narrative:
I walked into the kitchen. Nina was washing dishes, sitting at the sink on a high stool, her crutches leaning against the wall. Rosa tossed me a dishtowel. But my hands were freezing and I wanted to put them in the hot dishwater, so I asked if I could wash. Rosa was mad at me for asking, because Nina needs to sit down since she's on crutches. Nina was ready to jump right off her stool and let me wash, and that made Rosa even madder. I told her it was fine, I'd just warm my hands and then start drying.
What I did write:
I walked into the kitchen. Nina was washing, sitting at the sink on a high stool, her crutches leaning against the wall. Rosa tossed me a dishtowel.
“Can't I wash? My hands are freezing.”
“Nina's washing, she has to sit down.”
“Just for one little minute?”
“Is okay. I can stand.” Nina slid off her stool.
“No, Nina, it's okay, you don't have to stand." Nina was on those crutches when she got here, she walked here from Austria on them, but Rosa was looking at me with reproachful dark eyes. "I'll just warm my hands real quick and then I'll dry.”
You see how you don't need to have people say a whole lot--saying short things with a lot of back and forth is better than people making long speeches. And it's always more interesting if the people don't completely agree with each other. And you put in the actions people do, but just briefly, in between what they say.
READ fiction by good writers and you'll SEE how to do it...
and, btw, it's not necessary to shout... we can all 'hear' you just fine in normal-sized text...
that was helpful, thanks
I wrote without wearing my glasses, I couldn't see the writing so I wrote big SORRy to bother you though
Separate names with a comma.