A commenter on a previous video noted that “You can get carried away saying ‘this is like this and this is like this and this is like this.’ It can reach the point where you just want to say ‘shut up and get on with the plot.’” It’s a fair point and I agree that in most instances you need a good reason to use a metaphor. Usually, for a metaphor to be worthwhile, it has to do at least two things. Find out what in our latest video.
Do you write stylised dialogue or naturalistic dialogue or something in between? What are the benefits and pitfalls of writing dialects and accents? Should you use phonetic spellings? If you do want your dialogue to be close to spoken language, what techniques can you employ to make conversations sound natural? D.D. Johnston takes a look at the tricky business of writing different voices.
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EM Forster’s classic distinction between story and plot, and why truth really is stranger than fiction: