Well-written, dialogue draws a reader into a scene or a situation. It adds immediacy and drama. It can bring characters to life, showing who they are in all their complexity. Dialogue can efficiently convey information, propel plot and highlight conflict or tension. As Edith Wharton says, “Dialogue should short-circuit descriptions of mental traits.” A reader hears the traits, no explanations necessary.
Writing dialogue can be difficult. Actual conversations – the words we hear or speak – may be dull or scattered. Our ears automatically filter out repetitive words, partial phrases and even ‘throw-away’ terms. When we come to writing dialogue, we must filter for the sake of clarity and interest and yet allow an individual’s voice to come through. Characters should not speak in the same way, because people never do.
This one-day workshop focuses on dialogue – engaging, convincing conversation. Conversation that your reader will almost hear. Through the use of discussion, examples, and writing prompts, our students master the skills they need regardless of genre: fiction or non-fiction, memoir, family stories, drama, or screenplays.