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Writing in a Spoken Voice

If you find the point of view in your stories tends to wander around the place (sometimes very informal and close to the character, sometimes quite formal and distant) write in a more spoken voice. Choose a voice you can hear in your head, perhaps even one belonging to someone you know very well. If you do this, then rather than worrying about technical difficulties, you can just think, ‘How would X start this story?’ or ‘How would X do dialogue?’

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The Gap Between

I’d like you to do something very simple. Sit back, close your eyes, and try to remember an…

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Exploring different third person points of view

Write part of a story in the form of a scene from a play, beginning with a description…

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Subjective third person narrative

When I was a child, like most young readers I wanted to identify with the characters in books….

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Bringing Dramatic Action Into A Scene

The purpose of this exercise is to help us bring dramatic action to our scenes. Firstly we should…

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Inside the Shed

Sometimes we are really keen to tell our readers everything, to make sure that they understand what it…

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You don’t have to tell young readers as much as you think

There is sometimes an assumption that younger readers won’t understand what’s going on unless the plot and the…

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Emotionally Engage

If you think about plays you’ve enjoyed, that stay with you, and try and work out why they…

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Gas Ring – the game

A quick exercise to show the importance of writing high stakes for your characters when writing a play….

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Exaggerate to accumulate

This is an exercise in what the comedian Stewart Lee calls “exaggerating for comic effect.” He was being…

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Drawing out the comedy

Somebody famously said that writing comedy is harder than writing drama because in comedy you have to do…

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Cut the fluff

There is, of course, no rule that says you should never write dialogue that looks exactly like real…

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