Writer's Direction forum: Conversation?

 
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Imagethreegardeners
Mar 14, 2011 1:39 PM CST
Name: Lee Anne Stark
Ontario, Canada
Perpetually happy!
Any tips on adding conversation to a story?
Probably because I hardly talk in real life I suck at putting conversation into a story. I'm guessing an entire story would be quite boring without a bit of conversation...any tips for a woman of few words on adding talking to her stories??
ImageSharon
Mar 14, 2011 2:05 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
This is an important topic. Thanks for bringing it up.

Did you ever role play when you were little? Have pretend friends that you had conversations with? Sometimes my mother swore I was talking with the rocks and trees and whatever was around me.

So maybe if you have a scene in your mind and you can mentally role play that scene, it would help.

A conversation between two people doesn't need much description outside the conversation if the writer plays it just right, sort of like this:

"Pass the sugar, honey," she said between bites of her cinnamon bun.

"You've already had sugar in that coffee," he growled.

"That was the first cup, this is the second, gimme the sugar."

"And that's your third cinnamon bun."

"So? And your point is...?"

"My point is, all that sugar's showing, your jeans are ti..."

"Look, if you don't like it, leave! There's the door!" she shouted as she flung the coffee in his direction.

Does that help?
Imagethreegardeners
Mar 14, 2011 2:15 PM CST
Name: Lee Anne Stark
Ontario, Canada
Perpetually happy!
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

That helps :))
ImageHorseshoe
Mar 14, 2011 5:18 PM CST
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC
And in the end...a happy beginning!
3-G, conversation is one thing to add to a story, muttering also counts! *grin (I'm a mutterer.)

As he left the room, wet-butted with coffee that was surely to stain his south-side, he was heard to mumble, "Dagnabbit, I know she did that 'cus of all the sugar. (mumble/mutter-mutter.) If only she'd understand I meant only the best. (mutter/mumble-mumble.) Why do I put up with that woman, you'd a'thunk after all these years she'd know I'm looking out for her best...(mutter/mumble-mumble....) That coffee would taste better in my mouth than on my....

She could barely hear his words, most likely because her own muttering canceled his. "Tight jeans. Humph! (Mutter/mumble.) I declare, that man's opinion oughta be in jail, without him, all alone! Lawsy! (Mumble/mutter.) You think after all this time he'd understand my jeans are tight cus I need a pair from this year, not from the '80s. Humph! Dagnabbit, wish I hadn't thrown that last cuppa coffee....

......*grin. Sorry, couldn't help but point out conversation goes on singly, too.

By the way, Sharon, how does one enter muttering into a writing? Hugs!
(He muttered. She muttered. He/she muttered incessantly....?)
Shoe
Imagethreegardeners
Mar 14, 2011 5:25 PM CST
Name: Lee Anne Stark
Ontario, Canada
Perpetually happy!
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

Shoe, you're amazing!

**bowing to the pro's**
ImageSharon
Mar 14, 2011 5:35 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
"ummmmmmmm....how does one mutter, he says.....um..uh....I'll show him how I mutter....rotten son of a gun.....I knew better'n to hitch up w'him.......mmmmmm...but did I listen to my Ma?........uh no, I didn't."


Heh heh, Shoe....ummmmmmm.....I reckon two can....ummmmm ....play this game.......uhhhh.... ya' think?

Hi My Dear Buddy Shoe....sure is good to see you here!
Don't be a stranger, ya heah?
ImageHorseshoe
Mar 14, 2011 6:33 PM CST
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Ten-four, gotcha loud and clear! Love it! :>)
And ummmm...we will meet one day in person and mutter in unison, or take turns.

You're the best, Sharon!

See ya!
Shoe (who hopes we haven't gone too far off track from 3G's original question, cus I'm easily distracted, ya see...)
ImageSharon
Mar 14, 2011 6:40 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
I doubt that 3G minds at all, Shoe.
It's real good to see you, and I'd be happy to mutter with a master mutterer. Someday, I hope.
ImageAguane
Mar 14, 2011 8:45 PM CST
Name: Susie
Phoenix AZ
Very good question, Lee Anne. Something I've always taken for granted, as the reader. I'm not a fan but I think Nicholas Sparks has a grip on "conversation".

In film my favorite conversation movie is "My Dinner With Andre".... I think the sequence of events is the conversation took place between Wally and Andre, it was written, it was filmed.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082783/
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ImageDesertPirate
Apr 21, 2011 9:13 AM CST
Name: Rand Lowe
Vista, CA
Philosophy:common sense w/big words
I'm a big fan of using conversation in my writing.

As a "listener" and self described 'not much of a talker' Lee Anne, this may be easier for you than you think.

I'll simply imagine what would be said between two people in the setting and put it to words. Here's an example I used in a story written right here on "Cubits".

Quoting:“Officer Williams….are you officer Williams” asked the obviously scared young man?

“Detective Williams” Chase corrected. “How can I help you?”

“They told me I should talk to you. I’m the one that found that girl this morning.”

“What’s your name son, and which girl are you talking about?”

“Name’s Eli, detective. It’s the girl that got shot this morning, or last night, whatever...... I found her this morning. The lady at the desk said your partner was working the case but since he’s not here, that you could take my story.”

“Sure, I can take your statement. Tell me what you found.”

“Well it’s like I told the cops this morning, I was walking to my job over at the auto parts store. I cut through that alley over behind the movie house and that’s when I seen her. She was just laying there with her head on her purse. I wondered why she picked that spot to lay down. It’s still a little cold in the morning you know, and I couldn’t figure out why she was wearing a short sleeved dress on a morning like this. Then I saw her face and the blood….. and I knew she was dead.” The boy began to shake and tears welled up in his eyes.

Chase walked around his desk and put his arm around the lad. “Just have a seat Eli. Take your time. Would you like a bottle of water?”

“Yessir, thank you officer.”

“Detec….O.K. wait right here for a minute Eli.”


To me, conversations make the story come alive. A narrative is fine to set up a scene, but to really draw the reader into the story and make them feel like they're in the room, I love the use of conversation.
[Last edited Apr 21, 2011 9:19 AM CST]
Quote | Post #629275 (10)
ImageZanymuse
Oct 13, 2011 5:39 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
The conversation is not too hard for me. It is remembering to let the reader know who is speaking that slows me down. Lately, I have experimented with script style. Name of speaker in left coloum and then let the conversation roll. Then I go back and add the quote marks and who was speaking prompts for the reader. Then I reread it and fill in the narrative to set the stage and mood as needed.

I am still practicing, but so far, the results have been a vast improvement over my previous endevors. At least I think so Rolling on the floor laughing
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ImageSharon
Oct 18, 2011 9:25 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
I never answered you, DP. I must have forgotten.

That particular scene you describe was amazingly well written. When the conversation is between two people, you nailed it! There is no need to say who is speaking once the first person is identified.

He said, she said is often distracting to the reader, it's best to let the conversation flow just as you did.

And Zany, it's true, your conversations are getting better, I noticed it in your last story segment. Even so, try it without so many he saids and she saids next time, particularly when it's between two people.

Just let the conversation flow. And with three people, it can often work as well to omit the speaker reference. Often you only need to designate one of them occasionally.

"You are pulling my hair!! Stop it!"

"Am not!"

"Are, too!"

"Am not!"

"That's enough, both of you! Next word outta either mouth and you're grounded!"

See?? In that instance, we all know who's doing the talking.

Too many he saids she saids are superfluous.
Readers are usually pretty smart, they don't need elementary writing.
ImageZanymuse
Oct 18, 2011 9:47 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
"Ah! That makes sense, she thought, I like the idea of not having to repeat the he said, she said so often. You rock!"
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ImageSharon
Oct 18, 2011 10:24 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Sure, I hate all that redundancy. And it does work.
Doesn't work as well with several people, but in most cases it can be minimized.

But watch your quotes; it should read:

"Ah! That makes sense," she thought, "I like the idea of not having to repeat the he said, she said so often. You rock!"

It's the quotes within a broken sentence that matter, too.
ImageZanymuse
Oct 18, 2011 11:13 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
Thumbs up Thanks! I'm a slow learner but I'm learning.
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ImageSharon
Oct 18, 2011 11:59 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
I doubt very much that you are a slow learner, but I know very well that you are for sure learning.

I can tell by your great writing.
ImageZanymuse
Oct 19, 2011 12:07 AM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
Than you. I appreciate your kind words Lovey dubby
Your right, I am not a slow learner. I just seem to have a problem remembering what it was that I learned when I need to use the knowledge.

Playpen of Graphics FREE graphics, FREE Jigsaw puzzles!
Zany's Playpen
ImageSharon
Oct 19, 2011 12:21 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
You haven't needed to use it very much till now. The more you use it, though, the easier it will be for you.
Quit worrying, you're doing fine.
ImageLaVonne
Dec 18, 2011 1:22 AM CST
Name: Dorothy (LaVonne) Mitchell
Somerset, KY

I have read this thread from the top and have learned a few things so thank you all for the topic.
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Tahlmorra lujhala mei wiccan
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KAMasud
Jan 20, 2013 8:46 AM CST
Name: Arif Masud
Alpha Centauri.
I have also read the entire thread from top to bottom and quite enjoyed.
Sharon am quite good at talking in my mind Hilarious!
Regards,
Arif.

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