Often well written dialogue is taken for granted. Whereas badly written speech stands out like a sore thumb.
Feedback for Round Three BFM
This was an extremely difficult round. In the 2018 smut marathon we had a similar round – 30% dialogue. Two people only, in a lift. And of course a word count. This was my entry. However, in my eyes the specification for round 3 of the fiction marathon was far more challenging.
Round Three Assignment
Write a story where an argument is central, with the following conditions:
At least 50% of your text should be dialogue
The story should use proper punctuation
The length of your entry should be between 650-750 words
Give your story a title of 2-4 words
Argument – an exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one.
Many of the entries were more about a discussion than an argument. But a massive well done to all those who sent in a story for what was an ultra difficult round,
What I was looking for
- I wanted the dialogue to create characters. If each had their own distinct voice, way of speaking or attitude even better.
- Speech can give the reader more information about the people, plot or background of the story by the way the words are delivered, as well as the content. I was looking out for this.
- Even though the idea of an argument points at a moment in time rather than a time line, I was hoping for complete stories. The writers had up to 750 words to play with so that should be more than possible.
My Feedback for Round Three
When reading feedback for your round three entry please remember that what we personally like to read is very subjective. When commenting on other’s words I pull from my own experiences in life and writing, but that does not mean I know better than anybody else. The judges might not all agree, and similarly there will be a wide range across readers votes. What I am trying to say is do not take things too much to heart in regards to feedback. Simply try and take something constructive from it through to the next round.
NB: Find other people’s feedback on the round three stories at the end of this post.
Here’s my feedback in no particular order…
An excellently written story and I loved the exchange between the Father and his daughter in law. The characters were well formed and I could imagine them in a longer scene. I was right with Haven as she moaned about Charlie putting down his son. Never squash other people’s dreams. It was also great to have a little history included so the tale read like a complete story. One tiny point – the argument was very one sided and Haven was far more passionate in her discourse. Because of this at times it seemed like she was ranting.
Late for Brunch
A heated argument between husband and wife. Both blaming the other for something that is really not very important. Yes, we’ve all been there. I really like how the characters came across as normal people from their behavior. Perhaps a couple of the sentences could be improved structure wise. But on the whole a very realistic scene.
I love this story. The off beat nature of the narrative and then the reveal. Well done. And the title is clever, working on a few different levels. The dialogue revealed the personalities of the characters really well. An interesting sentence – “So he condescends to me.” – You don’t find it included as a verb very often these days. That slightly interrupting the flow.
We’ve been over this
I finished reading this saying wow. I wasn’t sure I understood everything and needed to go back and read again. That’s not a bad thing. The narrative and dialogue were very powerful. Avoid unnecessary repetition of words close together. Love that you used the phrase “willy nilly” 😉
Where are they
I really liked that there are a few arguments going on here. The husband and wife. The husband and the friend and also a written argument in the notes. And yes what an asshole John was. I was left a little mythed as to why he behaved like that.
There is a pleasing flow to this tale as the plot takes you where you hoped it was going and with some great phrases along the way such as – “let the dress fall over his body, like a whispered sigh.” The added background information made it feel like a complete story too. Just one thing I would say is the dialogue didn’t come across as what I would call an argument. More of a discussion. But I like the tale anyhow.
We Never Argue
Very sad and realistic story about lack of communication in a relationship. I think you did a good job as even though the guy was pretty rank, I felt for him as well as for her. Each character had a definite unique voice and there were obvious undertones to the dialogue. Well done. Apt end to the tale. One thing – I found the tense changes in the first paragraph confusing.
The Inevitable Crescendo
This is a brave entry. Both characters came across strongly and had their own voices. I understood how after such a traumatic argument she ended by whispering quietly to herself. I’ve done that before. The story certainly gives the reader a sense of this family’s life, I think.
Celebrating New Beginnings
I really like the whole idea of this tale. I have often thought if only a tree could talk what a tale it would tell. And what this tree saw was a moment in time when a woman finally tells her man exactly what she craves sexually. The dialogue worked really well and in a way even though she is leading the one sided argument his response is believable. So, good job there. I would say use italics to emphasise. But not capitals. Your words should be strong enough to convey the meaning.
This made me laugh, so that was a great start. A very creative and individual tale. I liked how you pieced it together and I think it worked really well. The dialogue was very nicely written. However, I would have preferred the voices to be more distinct. But in general the whole story flowed brilliantly. I am not keen on the use of capitals to put emphasis on a word.
The Last Walk
Using the 2nd person- (along side the 1st) – when writing worked for the tale and helped create the intensity, which was apparent from the start and certainly made me want to read on to the conclusion. The writer tells us quite a lot of backgound which helped to make this more of a story, not just a scene, but when I reached the end I wanted to know more – the tale didn’t quite seem complete. Once thing I would say is when using the 2nd person it is better to stick with that, on occasions you slip in to the third person.
A Tight Fit
A well written, amusing and clever scene, with one double entendre after another. Well why not, it was good enough for Shakespeare. The actual argument came across as a slight disagreement. It was expressed well within the descriptions of how the words were said, rather than the speech itself. A great scene, however, I was left wanting a little more.
A definite argument is described in this story. The characters have their own voices too. By disclosing a little background the reader feels as if they know the history of the mistrust within the couples relationship. I felt the woman’s angst and understood the fuck to help resolve the situation. And good job on the ending. A few of the sentences could have been improved to avoid repetition and structure wise.
I’ve made worse investments
I think this is a brave and quite clever scene. This piece was complete dialogue from start to finish and I could tell the writer had a lot of fun with it. In my opinion it worked well and I was pulled along with the scene as if watching a play. Because the characters took turns in speaking it was easy to know which one was saying what although it would have been nice if they had different voices. You can do this by using accents or more easily repeating a “catch word.” Similar to real people who say words such as “like” or “well” too often.
The Shark Bait
Fantastic writing here which created strong characters with unique voices and great visuals. A scene rather than a complete story and I cant say I always understood the pool technicalities, but never the less loved this entry.