The First Time They Met
(A Flash Fiction Writing Session from The Safe House)
This session is about imagining, creating and writing dialogue. That is, a spoken exchange between characters.
Young and talented Canadian creative writer, Christine Fichtner uses dialogue to great effect, in her piece, ‘The Attack’.
She uses tags sparingly and only for purposeful effect. Her use of dialogue exposes her characters and their relationship to the reader, creates tension and moves the story forward. And, to cap it all, she demonstrates precision control over the tricky task of properly punctuating speech.
There are plenty of resources that give advice on writing dialogue. Here are some of them:
And here is the Wikipedia page on dialogue in writing.
Simple and straightforward. Create and write a dialogue between two people.
The stimulus is this brief extract from Sombrero Fallout by Richard Brautigan. (Click the image to enlarge)
Continue the dialogue between the two people. There is very little information here, so how you carry on is pretty open.
Take a look at the dialogue writing tips in the links above and then have a go.
Word count and process
About fifty words of dialogue? It’s up to you, really. It doesn’t need to be long. Dialogue is a part of fiction writing, not the main focus.
As always, you should take time to read what you have written, change words, add words, delete, edit and all that. But something you do need to do really carefully this time is to focus on punctuation.
Take a look at this link to help you with punctuating dialogue consistently and accurately.
Make sure you are happy for people to read your writing!
If you feel like it, or if you want some ideas about how you can develop what you have written, you could share it by sending it to The Safe House at:
Here at The Safe House we will give you feedback to support you in what you are creating!