Writing stories: journeys and character transitions (tip 37) 2

D.D. Johnston explains in five minutes everything you need to know to understand every story ever told. Enjoy!

Click this link to open the story planner worksheet that accompanies this video.
read video transcript

Filtering devices: avoiding repetition in the first person (tip 36) Reply

Some writers worry about repeating ‘I’ when writing in the first person. Here’s some advice on avoiding repetition through cutting out filtering devices and telling the story through external concrete detail. Thanks to Veronica Charyton for suggesting this topic.
read video transcript

Using reported speech to avoid writing boring dialogue (tip 34) Reply

Unless you’re a certain type of Californian, the question ‘How are you?’ isn’t designed to solicit and in-depth answer. Rather, like much of our spoken communication, it’s designed to merely perform some social task – it’s an example of what linguists call a ‘phatic expression.’ Other conversations are mundane, and the information they contain is only important to the participants – it may matter to Jack what time Jill will get home from the dentist, but it’s not a conversation that would entertain an eavesdropper. When writing dialogue in fiction, we normally want to cut out as much phatic and mundane speech as possible, so that only the interesting stuff remains. One of the best ways to do this is by using reported speech.

read video transcript

Dialogue tags editing exercise to accompany writing tip 33 Reply

Dialogue tags exercise imageAfter watching Writing Tip 33, you might want to have a go at this writing exercise. Just click on the image to open the exercise and then clean up the dialogue tags to improve the excerpt. For comparison, the published version follows further down the document. As always, please let us know how you get on.

Dialogue tags: attribution tags and action tags (tip 33) 1

Modern novels contain more dialogue than ever before, so it’s a problem for many aspiring authors that they make mistakes when writing dialogue tags. Here, D.D. Johnston shares everything you need to know.

read video transcript