Evaluation for CJ
You presented this learning wish list at the start of this class:
1. Keeping the dialogue natural, while still furthering the plot.
2. Finding ways of characterizing the speech itself.
3. PUNCTUATION, PUNCTUATION, PUNCTUATION.
4. And effective dialogue- how to get a character to speak volumes, while saying very little.
I’ll base my evaluation on how I feel you’ve progressed on each of these points.
1. Thus far, I don’t see you having a large issue with this. The majority of your dialogue is focused, natural sounding, and quite effective. Do be careful with pleasantry dialogue, or with taking natural speech tangents too far—real life doesn’t always make for strong fiction.
2. I think you’ve done a good job with this one in the samples I’ve read. You can take it a bit further than you have in terms of ticks, habits or flaws in their speech patterns, but the majority of what I’ve read has been character rich. Just be careful not to fall back on vernacular as your only differentiation tool.
3. I hope the lesson gave you what you needed in this regard. If not, there are dozens articles out there that will aid you further. From my perspective, there were minor tweaks needed at the start of this class, but as far as I could tell, they were gone after you completed the lesson.
4. Because we didn’t get to spend more individual time on the art of employing subtext, it’s difficult for me to assess your samples fairly in this regard. My best advice is to Google the word: Subtext and read up on as much as you can find. You should also consider looking into getting a few books on this subject. The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot, by Charles Baxter, was a good one for me.
Since you have a little more experience under your belt, you’ve already worked through most of the common pitfalls covered in this class. I’d suggest your seeking further education at an intermediate or better level. Consider a few face-to-face workshops in your area if possible. Even if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for in terms of class, getting facetime with other authors is an invaluable resource that should not be overlooked. I’d also suggest you join a writing organization, if you haven’t already. They too can be wonderful resources for writers looking to further their education and experience.
It was an absolute pleasure getting to know you and your writing. I look forward to watching you progress. Good luck!