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“Dialogue is not conversation. It is conversation’s greatest hits.”
– Amy Bloom
“Writing sharp dialogue is tough,” says instructor Kristin FitzPatrick. “If you’re like me, you’re afraid it’ll go on too long, or every character will sound the same, or that what they say just won’t ring true.”
In this class, we’ll learn how to get through the initial obstacles and write conversations that build tension in every line. Reading excerpts from Ann Patchett, Raymond Carver, and John Cheever, we’ll learn how to use dialogue to slow down action-packed scenes and to give readers a taste of how folks sound. During in-class writing exercises, we’ll try out strategies to move the story along at a steady clip and that help readers get to know the characters better.
By the end of the day, we’ll be able to write spare, loaded dialogue that reveals details about characters and gets to the heart of their conflict. We’ll also practice writing the stuff around the dialogue—action and description—that brings our characters’ voices to life.