Keeping plot, action, and dialogue fresh can be a challenge. but Sol Stein can help you with that.
Who is Sol Stein, you ask?
He’s the writer of a great book on craft techniques and strategies, both fiction and nonfiction, and beyond. It’s titled, Stein On Writing. And why wouldn’t it be?
He suggests to spice up your drama, dialogue and plot, maybe give each participant a unique secret, kind of a whisper in their ear. Something that relates to the story, yet only is known by the person speaking. It may be a motive for a particular action, a desire for a specific result, a reason for having a lively conversation in the first place, etc. Provide something unique to each person that only they know to fuel their actions, motive and personal stance within your WIP. And no two characters get the same information at the same time. Intriguing for sure.
But it makes total sense, doesn’t it?
I mean, isn’t that what happens in real life? We take the bits and pieces of available information that specifically pertains to us and use that as our motivation in our conversations and dealings with people. Now, whether any of that information is accurate is a totally different story, but nonetheless, it affects us in everything we think and do.
From his book, Sol Stein says:
“That’s what happens in life. Each of us enters into a conversation with another person with a script that is different from the other person’s script. The frequent result is disagreement and conflict–disagreeable in life and invaluable in writing, for conflict is the ingredient that makes action dramatic. When we get involved with other people, the chances of a clash are present even with people we love because we do not have the same scripts in our heads. And the tension is even greater when we are involved with an antagonist.”
So there ya go, the secret to keeping your dialogue and plot action-oriented and full of drama.
Just like we want it to be.