Posted: February 19th, 2022
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Based on Hills Like White Elephants: Write a story told mostly through dialogue and setting. (See my video in Media Rich Files where I give a short dialogue-less and see handouts in Readings folder for punctuating dialogue and pitfalls/dialogue to avoid). Two characters are discussing some decision or matter they don’t agree on; whether a resolution is reached is up to you. Be sure to include setting details that may offer clues to the situation. Follow correct dialogue formatting guidelines as discussed in class. Try to play with the readers perception of whos in charge.
Your story should develop a character swiftly. Think about revealing tension (which is what drives any story) within the first few lines. What is not going as planned?
Your story should fall between 800-1300 words in length. You will be encouraged to exceed the page count in your revision later in the semester, but for this draft, please stick within the minimum and maximum range.
Point-of-view is something that should remain consistent throughout this story. Meaning, if a story starts in first person, it should not switch to 3rd person halfway through.
You story must be fictional, but you can use what you have observed in your life to help you create a convincing character. We will, however, be responding under the assumption that the story is fiction.
Create details that either reveal or hint at your characters age, gender, strengths, weaknesses, likes, and personality.
Pay attention to setting details: where and when is your story, and what is the culture of the place.
Dialogue is only required in option #1, though you can use dialogue in any of the options. Be sure to check out the handouts in Readings folder and my video lesson it you are writing dialogue. Video Lesson on punctuating dialogue is in media Files folder and here:
Write snappy dialogue; use fragments and contractions (ie don’t, can’t, won’t, I’m). Stick to “he said/says” and, “she said/says” as tags. Avoid fancy tags such as “she queried, he interrogated, she postulated, etc.” and avoid adverbs in tags such as “he said enthusiastically” etc.
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