1. Venom.
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    Venom. Member

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    Scene plotting: Dialogue and Detail. Help!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Venom., Jan 21, 2013.

    I'm trying to write a short story but my problem is I can never feel satisfied with the amount of detail I plan. This is a relatively short story (2,000 words) but what I get annoyed with is that I can never plot a scene to my own standard. I don't know a definitive way to plot dialogue and action in a linear way and it's annoying me.

    I want to create a general small plan for dialogue between two characters but I just can't get it out onto the page.

    Anybody else know anything that can help me? :(
     
  2. Nate123
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    Nate123 New Member

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    Hmm how long have you been stuck? Sometimes if a story doesn't come to you then perhaps it would be best just to scrap it then waste creative energy trying to make it work. Also, a short story doesn't need to be loaded down with exposition (in fact no story does.) Since your story is only about 2,000 words it wouldn't be a major sin to just jump right into the action after a sentence or two of exposition. Lastly dialogue doesn't have to be linear just believable. Even if the dialogue between your characters seems unconventional if it works then it works. IF your stuck on how your characters should interact with one another further flush out their back story. Who are they, what are their motivations, what are their goals, what are they afraid of, what are their hobbies, what are their biggest pet peeves, what type of skeletons are they hiding in their closet, What was their childhood like, what is their favorite food, etc...
     
  3. Venom.
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    Venom. Member

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    I've already gotten the first draft written out, but I'd like to be able to plot a scene with enough control because I feel like I'm still writing a 'Seat of the Pants' story. I'd like to be in control of my dialogue and such because I seem to trail off. :(
     
  4. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    If you're trying to write a crisp scene involving both dialogue and actions, try writing as though you were writing a movie scene.

    "You're too casual," Jim said when they reached the fruit stall. "You don't take anything seriously."
    "I'm totally serious," Tim snorted, stealing an apple.
    Jim took it, shined it and put it back. "This is why you never got into college."
     
  5. Nate123
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    Nate123 New Member

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    Personally I think it's a good thing that you can lose yourself in your writing. Perhaps you should loosen your grasp on the story and let it flow organically. Become a passive observer in your story instead of an all powerful omniscient creator. (if you do this all ready than I apologize, it's possible that I'm misinterpreting the problem) Let the interactions between you're characters play out organically, you may be over analyzing which might explain your current dilemma.
     
  6. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't usually need to plan a short story, but it's not a bad thing to do if it's getting confused in your head. You say you have most of it thought out anyway: it starts with xxx, then xxx happens, it ends with xxx happening. Try refining that: a few sentences as if you are describing the beginning, middle and end to someone. Then, think about the key moments in the story. I often figure out the scenes with very little dialogue because I prefer writing action and description, and I generally extend the dialogue after I've finished working the whole story out. It's no crime to write without having a detailed plan, though--maybe you are one of those writers who don't need one.
     
  7. Nate123
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    Nate123 New Member

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    To tack one to what madhoca said, maybe you should try writing your story in treatment form. Where you only describe the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the story sans any dialogue at all (seriously not a peep.) The treatment is traditionally used to outline film scripts but who knows, maybe it will help.
     
  8. Venom.
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    Venom. Member

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    I think writing out more dialogue-heavy scenes in script form would be worth a shot for me.
     

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