Crashing Lucy’s workshop

Hi peeps,

Well, already we’re messing with our schedule! It’s taken less time than I thought 😉 This week, I’ll be posting instead of Lucy and I thought I’d talk a little something about The Thursday Night I Crashed Lucy’s Workshop.

On a Thursday every fortnight for five fortnights, Lucy is holding a workshop on The Craft of Writing a the SA Writers Centre. Last Thursday, I totally rode her coattails all the way into the Centre, laughing manically all the way. Well, maybe not manically, but there was definitely a chortle or two.

That fortnight, the class were discussing Dialogue. Lucy had some great things to say on the subject, starting with her breakdown of what influences dialogue:

GOALS, MOTIVATION, CONFLICT will influence everything you write, and in this case, will influence what dialogue you choose for your characters. The plot should always be moving forward, and your dialogue should reflect this.

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SENSES using the senses will help you ‘show’ rather than tell. The example Lucy gave: Rather than using description to alert a reader to a sound, such as a bell, have your character say “Did you hear that?”

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PUNCTUATION will change how a reader interprets your intent. Lucy used the example of the word ‘yes’. Yes. is different from Yes… from Yes? from Yes!

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EMOTION will influence everything, but the other steps will help you show rather than tell the emotion your characters are feeling.

Lucy also discussed the use of tags and adverbs in regards to dialogue. Myself, I try to avoid tags whenever possible. Dialogue is always stronger if an action is attached rather than a tag, ie,

“You’re a dick,” she said angrily.

vs

“You’re a dick.” Shaking off his hand, she crossed her arms and glared.

There were lots of other bits and bobs, including the portrayal of accents, the use of exposition and a description/dialogue ratio. Twas definitely a fun night out and, just quietly, I’m looking to crash the next workshop too! Don’t tell Lucy, ‘kay? 😉

– Cassandra

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2 thoughts on “Crashing Lucy’s workshop

  1. {{fanning face}} You make me sound really smart! Thanks for that, Cassandra. Yep. Workshops are indeedy funtimes. I do enjoy sharing what I do with others and hopefully explaining it in a way that they can understand and apply to their own work. It’s all about having the right tools for the right job. Had better go sort out the next workshop, which… is… on… … … pacing! 🙂

  2. Ah, pacing. You know, I didn’t understand what pacing was until I watched the first nine minutes of the movie SERENITY. Those nine minutes ramped up the tension and the action until my heart was pounding in my chest – and then it just ended! OMGLWTF??? When I finally saw the whole movie, the next scene is a funny ha ha scene, that took its time as well. This scene released the tension of the first and I realised “ohhhh! that’s what pacing is!” Of course it took Joss to demonstrate it for me. Is there anything that man can’t do??

    And I must say, I’m looking mighty forward to the workshop!

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