1. -NM-

    -NM- Active Member

    Mar 19, 2008
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    Fleshing out chapters

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by -NM-, Apr 1, 2012.

    Hi there,

    I don't post much here but I'm trying to get myself back in the swing of writing and I thought I may as well check this forum out a bit again.


    One problem I have noticed quite a lot when I've been writing is that I have trouble fleshing my chapters out. For example, excluding dialogue, they tend to just be action. I.e. This Happens -> That Happens -> This Happens -> End of chapter. Which means my chapters are often quite short (<= 10 pages). Whereas pretty much every book I've read generally manages to expand a lot more and go a lot more in-depth, often spending 10-20 pages on a relatively minor aspect, but somehow still making it seem all relevant and necessary to the plot.

    I also find dialogue very challenging to write, as I am a very introverted person and hardly ever do much talking, so it's very difficult to come up with conversations people might have, since conversations are an oddity to me usually and I tend to end up saying the wrong thing.

    So a couple of quite general issues there, but I was wondering if anyone had any tips or views on how I could go about improving in these areas?

  2. Nakhti

    Nakhti Banned

    Feb 22, 2012
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    I'm not sure I can answer the first part of your question, since the only way to thicken up chapters that seem light or too straight forward is to add more description, or more story. If all your chapters are very action oriented then maybe you should slow them down to add in some more details. Or introduce a theme or subplot to add substance to the main plot?

    With dialogue, the only way to get better at it is to listen to more of it - you may not talk to people much, and if it makes you uncomfortable to participate in conversation then by all means sit on the sidelines, but don't completely remove yourself from conversations. Instead, become a keen observer of human interaction. Study the way other people speak to each other. Read books with lots of dialogue, watch movies. The world is full of conversations. You probably know more about them than you think.
  3. Tesoro

    Tesoro Contributor Contributor

    Jan 3, 2011
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    A place with no future
    That first problem is something I often experience myself as well. I include thoughts and character reactions to the events but yet they seem too short. I've always admired the authors that seem to be able to go on writing about a single thing or event (even a non-action filled one) for like 15+ pages without it coming off as boring or bringing the story to a halt. That is something I'd like to learn as well.
  4. killbill

    killbill Member

    Feb 27, 2012
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    where the mind is without fear...
    On dialogue, let one thing be clear, good fictional dialogue is not a copy of real conversations. So, you being an introvert has nothing to do with it. There are lots of distractions in real conversations. Like every other elements of a story, fictional dialogue should filter out all the flaps and include only those relevant to the idea you want to put across.

    As long as you are not 'telling' everything, I am fine with it. The only time I'll read an author going on and on about something is when that 'something' is relevant and important to the plot/story.

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