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Writing 101: Give and Take

Focus today’s post on the contrast between two things. The twist? Write the post in the form of a dialogue.

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Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.

Remember those “compare and contrast” essays in composition class, in which you’re forced to create a clunky juxtaposition of two arguments? Just because that particular form was a bore doesn’t mean that opposition has no place in your writing.

Bringing together two different things — from the abstract and the inanimate to the living and breathing — creates a natural source of tension, and conflict drives writing forward. It makes your reader want to continue to the next sentence, to the next page. So, focus on your two starkly different siblings, or your competing love for tacos and macarons, or whether thoughts are more powerful than words, or…you get the idea.

Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers — a lovers’ quarrel or a fierce political debate, for example. Or you could aim to highlight the difference in tone and style between the two different speakers — your call!

If you’d like more guidance, check out these ten tips on writing solid dialogue. In case you’re intimidated by dialogue tags — all those “he said,” “she whispered,” etc., here’s a useful overview.

Emulating people’s speech in written form takes practice, and creating two distinct voices could help you see (and hear) the different factors that play into the way we speak, from our diction and accent to our vocabulary and (creative?) use of grammar. (We’ll discuss the topic of voice more formally later in the course; for now, take a stab at writing dialogue on your own.)

Need a helping hand? Head to The Commons.

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    1. Here, now when the rains are gone and sun is not toasting me up… I felt good reading the dialogues 😀 and I miss my childhood days..paper boats and all ..MEmories

      And good post in between..Nice idea of checking out tha what its like to be them 😀

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  1. I have a question about this challenge–of all challenges overall, but specifically about this one that sounds so interesting for me. Can I still do this challenge, but in another time, week, day…a different day to the one it was originally posted? Because I don’t think I will be able to write as much in the following days, but I am soooo tempted to do this one! ;w;

    I will dearly thank to anybody who can clear my doubts.

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    1. You can most definitely follow the challenge at your own pace, your own time! One aspect of the course that’ll be different that you won’t be taking it alongside many other bloggers with whom you can chat and share your work, but nothing should stop you from using the assignments to benefit your writing any way you see fit.

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  2. Oh I love dialogue! After I finish yesterday’s post (fell ill, illness and writing doesn’t always equal great works) I am so going to tackle this down! I was always told in a film writing class that I had great dialogue….only thing I could do well really.

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  3. I took a stab at this and it was quite fun. My best friend and I are always debating something. I can suck her into a conversation on the likes and dislikes of Ritz v. Saltines and she’ll oblige me. LOL I love it.

    Making this a quick dialogue was more of the chore than anything. I always avoid it because I hate quoting, and I have trouble finding segue words that arent redundant like

    “she said, she spoke, she replied:”

    Im forced to be creative against my own will lol

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    1. Your writing is more of a monologue…rather then whats there in the assignment i.e to work the dialogue.

      But that’s a nice piece you wrote there…loved it otherwise 🙂

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