Photo from VictorinoxThe more I study the topic of writing dialogue, the more convinced I’ve become that dialogue is the writer’s Swiss Army Knife. You don’t have to know what all the other tools on the knife are for if all you want to do is whittle the tip of a willow pole for roasting a marshmallow. But it’s handy to know about the tweezers when someone gets a splinter, and the little scissors are a godsend for snipping off loose threads and hangnails. Screwdrivers come in handy every now and then, and so it goes. Swiss Army knives prune, snip, and open all sorts of things, and so does dialogue.
Even those of us who are fortunate enough to have dialogue pour forth naturally can benefit from learning more about the functions it serves, and how it works. Some of these functions include
- Setting a mood
- Concisely conveying information
- Adding rhythm and color
- Developing character
- And more
Ever since I announced this class and the preview call, questions on that last topic have been pouring in. Truth in Dialogue seems to be the number one concern of memoir writers. I will address that topic in the preview call, so be sure to click over to the NAMW site and register for the call before it begins at 6 pm eastern time, Wednesday, August 26. If you register, you’ll receive a link to download the recording, so you won’t miss the call even if you can’t dial in live.
I’ve also written a guest post on this topic which will appear the day of the call on Karen Walker’s Following the Whispers blog.
Please join me on the call, in the class, and over at Karen’s blog to learn more about adding dynamic dialogue to your stories.
Write now: write a story and include as much dialogue as you can recall. If you don't remember what people said, write whatever you think they would have said. Don't worry if you aren't 100% accurate. Just write it!