Goldilocks and the Three Kinds of Dialogue

Dialogue in fiction is not simply people chatting away about their day. It’s supposed to do a lot of hard work: characterize the speaker, advance the plot, convey subtext. In a writing workshop that I’m taking this fall, the instructor, author Adam Stumacher, gave us some great advice about dialogue that I wanted to share here. It comes from Junot Diaz, Stumacher told us, and it has three parts. After you’ve written a section of dialogue, take a look at what you’ve written and Continue reading

Dialogue That Multitasks

While at the library last night, I glanced at a copy of the July 2012 issue of The Writer and a quote from ZZ Packer on the cover caught my eye. It was about dialogue and prompted me to open to the article and read the interview. I thought I’d share what she said about dialogue, because I found it incredibly useful. The interviewer, Gabriel Packard, asked Packer: “Something many critics have admired is the way your dialogue vividly evokes character. How do you go about crafting dialogue to make it so effective?
Packer says: Continue reading