Saturday, July 16, 2011

Two More Classes Left

There are only two more classes in my six week Creative Writing Course at Writers Circle - Dialogue and Characterization. Both of these subjects are important to those who write personal essays or short stories.
It has been said that dialogue is the part of a novel, story or prose piece that the readers do not skip.

In the modern world of today, readers have been trainded by movies and TV shows to enjoy fast paced scripts filled with action, emotion, and interesting characters. If a story begins with long passages of description, no matter that the writing is excellent, readers of today will likely skip it and find the action or they will stop reading and go on to something else. Character-driven stories draw the reader in if the characters are clearly defined and appealling in some way.

A main character should not be perfect. We don't relate to perfect people. After all, none of us is perfect. We don't like for our characters to be all black or all white. We are all shades of gray with good and bad.
When I write about my father, I don't show  his bad traits only. He had good traits that people admired. His sense of humor was wonderful, his storytelling kept his audience on edge. But I can tell also about his temper and how he could hurt us with his sharp tongue. I can tell how he was insecure and jealous of my mother when he had no reason to be jealous at all. All of these traits made up a man.

Often we best show the character of a person by using dialogue. We can show his mood, his personality with dialogue. We can move a story along with dialogue. We don't want to use dialogue in such a way as to insult our reader. I mean we don't want to use a conversation between two people to remind the reader of something in the past he has already read or quickly cover action in the story in order to move on to another scene. And the use of punctuation in  dialogue is baffling to many experienced writers.

We do have room for one or two students in these last two classes,. Call 828-389-4441 to register.
The dates are July 20 and 27. fee: 18 dollars each.


Susan L. Anderson said...

Hi Glenda,

I like your info. Hadn't thought that characters and their likability have nothing to do with perfection. It is so true! I am reading Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. The characters are far from perfect... which makes it a believable story.

Glenda Beall said...

Hi Susan,
Yes, we relate to people who are more like us, people with foibles.
We can love people who are not perfect, and sometimes we love them more because they are not perfect.
Thanks for your comment.