Crowd Control (Week Ending September 15)

The next time you’re at a party or in a crowded restaurant, try listening to the conversations around you. Usually it all becomes an auditory blur, that can be mimicked by saying “watermelon, cantaloupe,¬†watermelon,¬†cantaloupe” over and over.¬†Now imagine trying to write that dialogue.

For writers, large casts of characters present some unique problems. Not only is there the very real possibility of over-lapping conversations, there is also what is known in theatre as “blocking” — the movement and positioning of characters on a stage. A writer must know where each character is and what he or she is doing at any particular moment.

So we’ve asked our writers in the Cafe to share with us their tips. What’s the best way to write dialogue for a crowded room? When is it a good time to give secondary characters a chance to shine? How does one keep crowds of characters from spiraling into chaos?

We hope you’ll find the advice from our writers helpful. Be sure to leave comments with them if you have any questions or if you’d like to share your own tips.

Until Next Week,

The Cafe Management

Cafe Management is run by the administration of The Confabulator Cafe. We keep things running smoothly, post stories by guest authors, and manage other boring back-end tasks.

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