As well as maintaining interest, effective dialogue can make or break your story–but can it also be the story?
Bartleby Snopes thinks so. The seventh annual Bartleby Snopes Dialogue Only Contest opens today, and it is this contest that has inspired my June writing challenge.
Monthly Writing Challenge #4–June 2015: Dialogue Only.
Think of a dramatic interaction between two characters. The scene/characters could be part of a story you are writing or imagined for the sole purpose of this exercise. Write the dialogue that would unfold between the characters, and keep it under 2,000 words.
Write only the dialogue. Do not include any scene-setting, actions, or attributions–even he said/she said.
It can be tricky to begin with, but you may find this way of writing to be your preferred way of getting your characters’ voices onto the page, without the noise of extra words.
If writing in dialogue only seems so tricky to you that you can’t even get going, start off by writing dialogue in your usual style. Then try to absorb the emotion, action, characterisation, etc. that you would ordinarily include in the narrative within the dialogue itself.
If this challenge still seems unsurmountable, look to Bartleby Snopes for some pointers and examples, via http://www.bartlebysnopes.com/dialoguewritingtips.htm.
★ Sound too easy? Add to the challenge by incorporating a third character.
What are you waiting for? Get cracking! I promise your dialogue will be tighter for the practice.