We all have our own ideas of drama whether it is getting in a fight with a friend or arguing with your parents. However, translating drama into writing does not come as easy as it does in real life. As an author, you need to capture the emotions and tensions of your characters that the readers will pick up on! Don’t fret on this task because Miss. Literati is right on your side. So grab our hand as we give you a little lesson on how to create believable drama!
Focus on Real Life Issues Pick issues and topics that will your
readers will understand! These can be things such as drama in romance,
school, and home or with peers, parents, siblings, family, and even
Here is a list of just some real- life issues that involve drama:
Breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend
Getting in trouble by your parents because you went behind their back
Fighting with a friend that betrayed you
Fighting a battle against a villain who captured your village
Skipping school and getting detention by one of your teachers
Finding out your best friend has a crush on the person you liked for years
Use Strong Language. Language plays a critical role in how
“dramatic” a scene in your story is. The language your characters use
determines how serious a situation is and what they think about it.
Also, the words you use affect the tone and overall mood of your novel.
You can create a sense of urgency, fear, angry, distrust, and other
moods by using certain words that have those connotations.
FOR EXAMPLE: Dana loathed Rebecca after learning what happened last night between Emmett and her.
The word, loathed, means to “feel an intense dislike or disgust for”.
Amy understood that her parents would be enraged and resentful if
they found out she had been skipping school for a week to visit Jess, an
older boy whom she admired.
The word enraged means “to make very angry”, while resentful means
“feeling or expressing bitterness or indignation at having been treated
Create Impact Dialogue. Rather than giving too many details away
to your reader by writing sentences or paragraphs, show your reader the
drama by creating dialogue between characters.
FOR EXAMPLE: “How could you hook up with him?”, Dana said heatedly.
“I don’t know what you are talking about or who him is,” Rebecca indifferently replied.
“Then explain THIS!” screamed Dana as she held out her phone to Rebecca who quickly turned red.
Create Conflict. Not only is conflict going to make your novel
more dramatic, but it is also going to evoke different emotions and
responses from the reader. Maybe your reader is expecting one outcome,
but you write about another. Always remember that when you write about
the obvious, there is no conflict because it is predictable. So take
FOR EXAMPLE: Amy
skipped school to meet her older boyfriend Jess, and knows her parents
are going to angry, upset, torn, and suspicious. Amy does all she can
to hide the facts from her parents.
The predictable outcome would be her parents find out, ground her, and tell her to never see Jess again.
However, the risk-taking outcome would be that Amy’s parents are the
ones who told Jess to be with Amy to track her behaviors. It was a test
to see if Amy was ready for the bigger responsibilities her parents have
in store for her.
Read Up. Spend time engaging and reading in drama stories and
plays. This will further allow you to see how authors use different
techniques and tricks. When reading, ask yourself how the author created
drama and where did the drama stem from. Also, think of possible
outcomes for the conflict. Was the outcome was as you predicted or
totally different then what you expected?
Written by Nicole Klock