Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Recruiting Members

We are always welcoming new members to our local writer's group. I placed a n anotice in the Osceola News Gazette and St. Cloud in the News inviting area writer's to join us in April. I've had a few responses. For May, I'd like everyone to spread the news and if you'd like, bring a friend. I may run the notices again.

In April we meet on the 12th. Narration is going to be the topic. In a scene narration should be interspersed with dialog to keep the flow moving. Don't rely on dialogue to drive your scenes. If you find your characters are talking too much, "take the control back from them. Report what one or the other says, don't use direct dialogue." This is per The New York Writers Workshop in the book "The Portable MFA in Creative Writing." The example they give goes somewhat like this -- D. & B. are having dinner in a quiet restuarant. The waitress just placed their food on the table. D. begins speaking.
"I like potatoes," she said.
"Marvelous," he told her.
"I like carrots, too."
"Imagine that," he said.
"And celery. Asparagus. I can't say much for yams...."
The dialog goes on in a long discourse with her naming all the vegetables she likes, or doesn't and the history of them all for about a half a page. - It would be better if after describing a few vegetables the author simply said, D. continued to identify her vegetable preferences. B. consumed the contents of his plate, nodding occasionally. He never cared much for vegetables, or at least the discussion of them. --

The example continues, but you can get an idea from this. The important part of the scene is establishing the relationship between the two characters, not how many vegetables can be listed. That is accomplished in the manual's edited version.

For the meeting next week, see if you can write a short scene with dialogue and narration. We will read them.

Everyone have a great weekend!