I shall start by being honest about myself. This kind of thing intimidates me because I do not consider myself an expert writer no less an instructor. Okay, I have thrown out this disclaimer because I am probably worried about what will follow. Anyway, here goes.
Let's start with "plotting". For me, I have the idea in my head. The
more I think about this idea the more vivid things become. It is as if I
am picturing a house I want to build. I know where the foundation will
go and I can see the finished product with its roof, windows, doors,
shutters and even shrubs. But, I have not been inside that house nor
have I painted the outside. I still have to install plumbing, heating,
electrical, cabinets, sinks, decide on colors etc. That's what it is
like for me when thinking the story through from beginning to end. Where
and how all of those necessary parts and pieces will fit together I do
not know. It happens as I write and there are many changes that
continually take place. By the time I have actually finished I have
re-constructed that "house" many times before I even considered moving
As far as the characters are concerned, (the people living inside this
house), you have to get to know them quickly but only enough so you want
to know more about them. As I write, these folks develop and sometimes
even I am surprised when I find out who they really are and what they
are capable of. Actually, it is the same as meeting real people.
Sometimes you may meet someone and become life-long friends. Then there
are those who initially impress you but you find out soon enough that
they are trouble and you quickly distance yourself. But, you never know
As far as dialogue: I try to write just the way people speak. I use
slang ie; "ain't got" or "I dunno" depending on the character speaking. I
also try to dialogue interaction where there is a minimal amount of "he
saids" and "she saids". I try to do it in such a way that the reader
knows who is speaking even though you are not saying who is speaking.
That can be a bit tricky at times but I think it is important to do.
Also, try to avoid long winded dialogue and speeches. Get it done in one
or two sentences if possible.