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This process is comparable to producing something delectable in the kitchen–any ingredient that you put into your bowl of dough impacts your finished loaf of bread.To create a perfect loaf, you must balance ingredients baked for the correct amount of time and enhanced with the right polishing glaze.”Your job, as a writer of short fiction–whatever your beliefs–is to put complex personalities on stage and let them strut and fret their brief hour.Jen plays the piano and is an amateur photographer.
So close your eyes and picture your characters within desert, jungle, or suburb–whichever setting shaped them.
Imagining this helps balance location and characterization.
“We are already maxed out on our credit cards.”The second example is mechanically correct, since it uses a separate paragraph to present each speaker’s turn advancing the conversation.
But the narrative material between the direct quotes is mostly useless.
Dialogue is what your characters say to each other (or to themselves).
Each speaker gets his/her own paragraph, and the paragraph includes whatever you wish to say about what the character is doing when speaking.
(See: “Quotation Marks: Using Them in Dialogue“.)Where are you going?
” John cracked his knuckles while he looked at the floor.
Perhaps the sound and fury they make will signify something that has more than passing value–that will, in Chekhov’s words, “make [man] see what he is like.” –In order to develop a living, breathing, multi-faceted character, it is important to know way more about the character than you will ever use in the story. She is a fair-skinned Norwegian with blue eyes, long, curly red hair, and is 5 feet 6 inches tall.
Here is a partial list of character details to help you get started. Contrary to the stereotype about redheads, she is actually easygoing and rather shy.