Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Five - Dialogue

We had an editor from Harvest House attend the Central Oregon Writers Guild meeting last night. He gave a talk on dialogue. Though I do most of what he was talking about, I thought I'd put down a few of the things that resonated with me.

1) Would the dialog be interesting enough for an eavesdropper to wonder about what is being said?

2)Let dialogue show the emotions.

3) Characters should talk to each other and not the reader.

4) Use "beats"* to show actions, define character, or vary the rythm of the dialogue.

5) Resist the urge to explain the dialogue. If you've written it well, there is no need to explain it in narrative. RUE

* A beat is a bit of action mixed in with the dialogue that you use rather than tags like he said.

The thing I like best about belonging to a writing group is no matter what the topic the speaker discusses I always either pick up a new little kernal of knowledge or I reinforce what I already know and do.


Nicole McCaffrey said...

I love these suggestions, and like you, am glad to realize I already do most of these things.

It's great when you hear a great suggestion and can look at your work and know "I do that!"

Ashley Ladd said...

Thanks for the advice. I love writing dialogue. I think it's my favorite part of writing.

I was just about to ask you what a "beat" is but you explained.

I love to go to workshops and conferences, and read blogs, so I can learn more. I learn so much when my fellow authors share like you just did.

Paty Jager said...

Thanks for stopping by, Nic!

Ashley, thanks for checking out my blog. I try to do writing related stuff at least once a week if not twice. Wednesday is promotion day and not always about promotion but promoting other authors I know.