dialogue

  1. K

    Pacing-Tension Page Turning Dialogue with Kathy Otten

    One of the most common reasons manuscripts are rejected is because the author has told too much of the story and failed to engage the agent, editor, or reader by showing action. Dialogue is action. It adds tension, conflict, and drama to your story. It’s one of the best ways to engage your...
  2. TereMichaels

    Character It Takes a Village: Writing Supporting Characters with Tere Michaels

    An exploration of world-building, development of plot and main characters through secondary characters. Introduction At the end of the day, no matter what the genre or trope, whether it’s happening in Alabama or on Mars, we are all trying to create the best possible characters to tell our...
  3. LC Hayden

    Lecture Dialog: Lesson 2: Attributions

    Dialog: Lesson 2: Attributions Attributions. Ahh. Perhaps one of the most controversial topics in an author’s career. Really? Yep. So what exactly are attributions? They are the words that tag the speaker. They let the reader know which of your characters said what. So what’s so...
  4. JMPaquette

    Lecture Step Two: Fix Pesky Dialogue Formatting Stuff

    Step Two: Fix Pesky Dialogue Formatting Stuff First, Stuff You Should Know (a quick review) Editors can tweak your formatting, but it certainly makes it easier when you do some of the work beforehand—especially for dialogue. Review the Rules: Note: I used images here to preserve the...
  5. Pamela Jaye Smith

    Lecture BEYOND - Lesson Three "Mythic Statements"

    BEYOND THE HEROINE’S JOURNEY LESSON #3 – Mythic Statements Pamela Jaye Smith Mythic Themes help align your story and give it internal integrity and universality. But it does not stop there. There are more Mythic Tools available to strengthen and enhance your story. Some of the most important...
  6. K

    Homework Week IV Exercise IV

    If you want to try something for fun, here is a really terrible scene. It has the elements of conflict and tension, but has been poorly executed. Thinking about the elements of internal and external conflict, try rewriting this scene. You wouldn't have to incorporate all the elements, just use...
  7. Pamela Jaye Smith

    Lecture Lesson Three - Beyond - "Mythic Statements"

    LESSON #3 – Mythic Statements Pamela Jaye Smith Mythic Themes help align your story and give it internal integrity and universality. But it does not stop there. There are more Mythic Tools available to strengthen and enhance your story. Some of the most important have to do with dialogue...
  8. Allie Pleiter

    Lecture Session 8 - Quick Tips for better dialogue

    We’ve come to our final session! I hope this class has helped you see new possibilities for the dialogue in your stories. You’ve learned how dialogue can: display stress or anger quickly define a character instantly establish a scene or circumstance leverage the power of a lie allow a...
  9. Allie Pleiter

    Lecture Session 7 - Ending well

    As writers, we want to give our readers a satisfying ending. A great final scene or line is one of the surest ways to win a reader’s heart and keep them coming back for whatever we write next. Great last lines stick with us. And while narrative can do the job, dialogue packs the most final...
  10. Allie Pleiter

    Lecture Session 6 - Surprising your reader

    Readers love to be surprised. Just like us (because we’re all avid readers, too, right?), they love plot twists, characters who make shocking decisions, or events that turn out the way no one expected. While readers love to feel “in the know,” the minute they feel as if they’re sure how...
  11. Allie Pleiter

    Lecture Session 5 - Blurting the truth

    What’s the opposite of lying? Telling the truth, of course. And most of our characters are operating in a truthful mode for most of the time. Those characters can take great leaps forward (or backward), however, when they tell each other things they never meant to reveal. If we’ve written...
  12. Allie Pleiter

    Lecture Session 4 - Lying

    In our quest for story clarity, often we forget the tactic of letting our characters lie. What someone is or isn’t willing to lie about—especially to friends and allies—says a great deal about them. Are they the kind of person who lies with skill? Or are they so transparent that their efforts...
  13. Allie Pleiter

    Lecture Session 3 - Launching a scene

    If you need to establish a setting or circumstance, dialogue can be one of the fastest ways to accomplish that goal. If you’ve ever taken an improv class, you know that the right question or comment can offer details that give the audience (in this case, your reader), instant clues as to what’s...
  14. Allie Pleiter

    Lecture Session 2 - Establishing a character

    Every writer fears the “info dump.” Those unfortunate passages that dump backstory or other necessary information onto the reader in too obvious a manner. They drag down the pacing and pull readers out of the story. It’s one of the most difficult challenges a writer faces: how to let the reader...
  15. Allie Pleiter

    Lecture Session 1 - Showing stress

    Stories are the one place where stress is good. Stress pushes our characters to their limits, forces change, and makes things exciting. And certainly there are many physical attributes that we can describe to show our characters feeling under the gun. Still, strong writers know it can’t all be...
  16. Pamela Jaye Smith

    Lecture Myth, Magic, Metaphysics - Lesson Two - Mythic Statements

    “Mythic Statements” Pamela Jaye Smith Though we’re advised not to have dialogue too obvious or “on the nose”, sometimes your characters really do need to say in words what’s going on, what the story is about, what the protagonist’s mission is, and what lesson they learn by the end. These...
  17. K

    Homework Exercise Lesson IV

    His brain told him there was something odd about this picture, but Thomas Spencer Greyson was not a man who let his guard down easily. Several moments passed before his eyes dilated enough to make out the features of the man sitting with the chair tipped back against the wall. His legs were...
  18. K

    Discussion The Mechanics of Dialogue Lesson IV

    The Mechanics of Dialogue Quotation Marks Quotation marks are a visual cue to the reader that the sentence they are reading is spoken aloud. (“) Go at the beginning of the dialogue spoken by one specific person and (”) indicate the speaking character has finished talking. Each new speaker...
  19. K

    Homework Lesson III

    Think about speech tags and action beats and add them to the straight dialogue, or talking heads, you created last week. Consider using body language in your action beats to convey character and emotion. Avoid explaining your dialogue with adverbs. Think about the best use of unattributed...
  20. K

    Discussion Speech Tags and Action Beats

    Speech Tags and Action Beats 1. Speech Tags Speech tags attribute dialogue to a particular character. They clarify for the reader who says what to who. Unless your character is the only one in the story, you will need to use speaker attributions. Don’t be afraid of the word said. It is as...