how to write dynamic dialogue

Would you like the dialogue in your stories to flow more naturally?

Would you like to use speech to reveal character depth and move the plot forward?

Are you looking for feedback on your work in a supportive, encouraging environment?

If so, you may like to consider taking this short course on writing dialogue.

As with all my courses, I aim to make learning fun, collaborative and as effective as possible.

The course runs for five weeks through July and you can either come on Wednesday or Thursday evenings 7.30pm to 9.00pm.

Start Date: Wednesday 1st or Thursday 2nd July

Last Session: Wednesday 29th or Thursday 30th July

Cost: £35 for five 90-minute sessions.

Suffolk Writers Group at work and play.

Each weekly workshop will include fifteen to twenty minutes individual writing time, analysis of published work, feedback and discussion.

The majority of the participants are likely to be relatively experienced writers but hard-working, dedicated beginners are very welcome.

The course will be delivered via Zoom. If you want to practice using Zoom before the course starts, book a £5 one-to-one training session with me by emailing suffolkwritersgroup@gmail.com. For a free alternative, log on fifteen minutes early to the first session.

Week One – All speech, no setting

Meet the rest of the group and discuss how to give and receive constructive feedback.

Next, we will read a play script written for two voices and consider how to write dynamic speech.

After that, you will write your own version and (if you wish) receive feedback from the group and myself.

Homework – write approximately 150 words of a conversation between two characters. (Don’t write anything except what is actually said – no setting description, no ‘he said’, ‘she said’ etc.)

Week Two – he said/she said

Read an example piece of dialogue and discuss how best to add speech tags, eg. ‘he shouted’, ‘she whispered’.

Make sure you have two novels or short stories ready to refer to.

Try adding speech tags to your homework before sharing and receiving feedback from the group.

Homework – Write out a conversation from your memory or something from TV of film. Use speech tags but don’t include movements or setting description.

Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Actress, Actor, Scene
Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall

Week Three – Adding setting and sensory touches

Discuss how best to create an evocative setting so that your reader becomes a part of the story.

Analyse published dialogue and consider about what makes it effective as well as thinking how it could be improved.

Fill out your homework to make a more effective scene. Share and give feedback.

Homework – Select a piece of dialogue from a published work and be ready to share. Make sure it is no longer than 300 words.

Week FourThe Whole Picture

Share and discuss your selected examples.

During this session, we’ll consider how to use different speech patterns and accents in order to give our characters distinct voices.

We’ll also read an example of what I believe to be poorly written dialogue and re-write it.

Homework – Select or write a piece of dialogue up to 400 words in length. This could have been written by you or someone else.

Week FiveWork Share and Future Plans

Everyone will have the opportunity to share a piece of work with the group. This should be approximately 400 words in length and demonstrate some of the techniques we have covered over the previous four weeks.

Costs and Payment Methods

The course costs £35 and your place is guaranteed from the day I receive payment. (If you paid for the course disrupted by the lockdown, there is no charge).

To pay by bank transfer, send me a text (together with your name) and I’ll message back my bank details. My phone number is 07943 068 033

To ask any questions, email suffolkwritersgroup@gmail.com.

Alternatively phone 07943 068033

Mai Black, writing tutor

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