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SADM 2018 – Day 21: News flash

http://storyaday.org/day-21-news-flash

Julie says: Write A Story As A News Report

This could be a TV report with a panel of pundits yelling at each other, a reporter on the street, the voice of a producer in your anchor’s ear…

Or, this could be a traditional newspaper report.

Remember to tell a story, though!

Go!

This year I won’t be publishing the stories here as I want to send them off somewhere and blogging online counts as published which most outlets won’t accept but will let you know each day how I got on the previous day… so you know I’m doing the challenge with me. Do leave a comment below to let me know how you do.

And me? <tumbleweed – swamped with work>

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Posted by on May 21, 2018 in ideas, short stories, writing

 

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SADM 2018 – Day 20: I’m Gonna Sit Right Down

http://storyaday.org/day-20-im-gonna-sit-right-down

Julie’s prompt today is to… Write A Story In The Form Of A Series of Letters

Tips:

You could do social media updates, conference call, letters, records.

In this story remember that each party in the story has an agenda, conflicts.
You could tell three different sides of a story

Your format will affect the type of language that the characters use: in letters things might be more formal, in texts it’ll be more brief.

Go!

This year I won’t be publishing the stories here as I want to send them off somewhere and blogging online counts as published which most outlets won’t accept but will let you know each day how I got on the previous day… so you know I’m doing the challenge with me. Do leave a comment below to let me know how you do.

And me? <laughs then sighs>

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2018 in ideas, short stories

 

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SADM 2018 – Day 19: Direct to Camera

http://storyaday.org/day-19-direct-to-camera

Julie says: May is far from over! Don’t give up now. And if you’ve just discovered StoryADay May, it’s not too late to jump in. Here’s today’s prompt, and you can find a new episode of the podcast here: Is It Time To Quit? (spoiler: no!)

The Prompt: Tell A Story ‘Direct To Camera’

This is probably going to be in first person.

Write as if you’re writing to your best friend, or talking directly to a police officer, or relaying this to a room of strangers.

if all else fails, stand in front of your phone and tell the story. Tell a real story or a fairy story. See what this does to your writing.

Go!

This year I won’t be publishing the stories here as I want to send them off somewhere and blogging online counts as published which most outlets won’t accept but will let you know each day how I got on the previous day… so you know I’m doing the challenge with me. Do leave a comment below to let me know how you do.

And me? <laughs then sighs> If you’ve been following this series then you’ll know how far I’ve not come. Mmm…

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2018 in ideas, short stories, writing

 

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SADM 2018 – Day 18: It’s A Bit One Sided

Julie says: Write a story today in which the reader only hears one side of the conversation

This could be a telephone conversation, a text conversation, a series of social media updates, a series of letters, whatever.

Examples

Go!

This year I won’t be publishing the stories here as I want to send them off somewhere and blogging online counts as published which most outlets won’t accept but will let you know each day how I got on the previous day… so you know I’m doing the challenge with me. Do leave a comment below to let me know how you do.

And me? Ever hopeful but realistic that I won’t participate this year. Sadly.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2018 in ideas, short stories, writing

 

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SADM 2018 – Day 17: Write a Sonnet

http://storyaday.org/day-17-write-a-sonnet

Julie says: Today’s prompt is all about limits, but don’t worry, you don’t have to know anything about poetry and you don’t have to make this rhyme!

Write A Story In 14 Sentences

That’s it!

(Sometimes limits can be surprisingly freeing so if you hate this idea, try it anyway!!)

Go!

This year I won’t be publishing the stories here as I want to send them off somewhere and blogging online counts as published which most outlets won’t accept but will let you know each day how I got on the previous day… so you know I’m doing the challenge with me. Do leave a comment below to let me know how you do.

And me? Struggling for time this month. I was planning on doing Story a Day May (this project) as part of an unofficial NaNoWriMo, i.e. 50,000 words in the month from Story a Day stories topped up by any of my works in progress. 😦

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2018 in ideas, short stories, writing

 

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SADM 2018 – Day 16: We Need to Talk

http://storyaday.org/day-16-we-need-to-talk

Julie says: Today we continue our look at short stories as not-mini-novels and play with them in ways you can only play with short stories!

Write a story completely in dialogue

It’s probably best to keep this to two characters because it’s harder to have more than two characters, without attribution.

I want you to keep it straight in our heads, who’s talking, simply by the way they talk.

A guy who works on Wall St should sound different from a farmer from a rural area.

Go!

This year I won’t be publishing the stories here as I want to send them off somewhere and blogging online counts as published which most outlets won’t accept but will let you know each day how I got on the previous day… so you know I’m doing the challenge with me. Do leave a comment below to let me know how you do.

And me? <laughs> Yep. Still on day one and not looking good (too much work) for any catch up this weekend. I’ll try.

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2018 in ideas, short stories, writing

 

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Guest post: Putting Words In Their Mouths – How I Write Dialogue by Kristen Bailey

Today’s guest blog post, on the topic of dialogue, is brought to you by novelist and short story author Kristen Bailey.

Putting Words In Their Mouths – How I Write Dialogue

kristenWhen I was little, I was always slightly in awe of the cinema. I was a child of the eighties, when films were always a big event and I spent many hours with my sister and brother watching films over and over again until the video tapes sometimes snapped. It didn’t stop there, we would re-enact them, and commit a vast repertoire of classic lines to memory. I would like to say I’ve matured a lot since then, but still now Sunday lunch will be spent with the three of us quoting entire scenes from films that no-one else has seen, to the despair of my parents who wonder where they went wrong raising us…

It’s why I often think I’m obsessed with dialogue when I write. It’s the part of writing I actually love the most as it gives my characters life and purpose. By rights, this means I should probably be a screenwriter but instead I write contemporary women’s fiction where dialogue always features heavily and which often has to have an acerbic comedy edge to it. Does this mean my work is brimming with one-liners and jokes? Not really, and especially when it comes to dialogue. Few people speak like stand-up comedians and I know immediately if I’ve forced a joke in my dialogue as it will feel unnatural on reading it aloud. A lot of comedy is actually in the delivery and the situation, but it’s also not always explicit. It can be observational or paired with the reaction of someone’s inner thoughts. An editor once gave me the good advice to limit the amount of swearing I used in dialogue too. Saying ‘f***’ a lot can be amusing but can be jarring to read in print. It’s far funnier to be inventive instead: consider the usual ‘f****** hell!’ and how a replacement like ‘mother of arsebiscuits!’ is more memorable yet equally as impactful.

In both my novels, Souper Mum and Second Helpings, I also gave myself the challenge of tackling a variety of dialects; Tommy McCoy is a Mockney TV chef, Jools’ husband, Matt is Scottish, his mother Italian, Cam is American and Remy, Luella’s husband is French. Why not just ensure all my characters are from South London? Well, where would be the fun in that! I think it’s a tribute to my background and line of work. I’ve always loved, listening to the way that people talk; the intonation, the rhythm, the dialect that sets any one speaker apart from another. I trained and worked as a teacher of English as a foreign language so have always been fine tuned into listening to people’s accents but it’s also something I grew up with having a Singaporean mother and Guyanese father. Of course, authenticity is key here, so when writing dialogue in dialect I always read it aloud. My husband knows this better than most as he often wanders into a darkened room confused as to why I’m doing bad impressions of Shrek…

Inspiration to write dialogue can come from different sources too. I am admittedly a bit nosy and a great eavesdropper, nothing gives me greater joy than being sat on a crowded train and being inspired by two drunk people having a conversation about nothing. Because sometimes conversations have no purpose, their credibility is in their normality. In Second Helpings especially, there are scenes between Matt and Jools littered with incomplete sentences and a conversational ‘shorthand’ that is often evident between couples who have lived with each other for so long that they implicitly know what the other is talking about. In these scenes, economy is key: the prose takes over but I annotate the action with periods of comfortable silence too.

However, I’m still a TV/film addict too. I believe some of the best writing today is on television, and hearing dialogue being read out, as it should, can give you such great clues into how people really speak. Orange is The New Black has some of the best one-liners I’ve ever heard, the dialogue is not only slick but the comedy comes with how quick they spew out those lines, one on top of the other. For comedy inspiration, I always go back to shows like New Girl, Sex and the City, Modern Family and anything by Graham Linehan.

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Posted by on November 26, 2016 in articles, ebooks, novels, short stories, tips, writing

 

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