Teaching, discussion and writing prompts for Pens of Praise Christian Writers Group
By Susan Marlene
Why is dialogue important? Some editors will skip to your dialogue before they consider what else is in your proposal. You don’t want your readers to put your book down because of stilted conversations and dialogue.
Subtext – Important to use. We all experience someone talking to us like this. Example saying “I love you!” but it is meant to covey the meaning of “I hate you!” (sarcasm.) Character’s response is to what the speaking character means and not to the actual words spoken. (Actors have to show the intention behind the lines to preform well.)
Books The First 50 Pages by Jeff Gerke, The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman, and How to WRITE Dazzling DIALOGUE BY James Scott Bell
Work this out:
Write several lines of dialogue without action or scenery or description.
Parts of a beat and how to use them effectively:
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THIS PAGE?
Beat it! Rewrite the dialogue with beats.
To Include in dialogue:
Because of each character’s motivation:
Feelings, Situation & Setting
Education & or Intelligence
Think about-- if you want the character’s dialogue to be subtly or obviously spoken.
Anne of Green Gables – Matthew’s silence, Mrs. Cuthbert trying to make sense of keeping Anne instead of a little boy to help Matthew., Mrs. Lynn the controlling neighbor & famous busy body.
Write an INFORMATION DUMP. Example:
While speaking to their aunt.
My brother, John Gibbon Jr., who graduated in 1990 and attended Harvard for a couple of years just moved to town in Mildred Green’s house on 10th and Elm, is a man to be admired.
Your turn—write your information dump.
Now write dialogue that would give or imply most of the information from your information dump in a more excellent and acceptable way.
Punctuation with dialogue from How to WRITE Dazzling Dialogue THE FASTEST WAY TO IMPROVE ANY MANUSCRIPT by James Scott Bell Look at pages 94--104
Here are my notes shared for those who couldn't attend the meeting or for those who desire to learn about writing. I wish you the best. Dialogue either makes or breaks a novel for me. Happy writing to you!
P.S. Pens writing prompt for October was: "If only I had said...." You may write it in any genre you wish.
Susan Marlene Kinney is published in Splickety Love magazine and newspapers. She writes devotions, fiction, and nonfiction. She is a member and co-founder of Pens of Praise Christian Writers and is a member of Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, ACFW WISE, and Lighthouse Christian Writers. She speaks at writers groups and prepares devotions and teachings often for Pens of Praise Christian Writers. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and At-Risk Teacher’s Aide. She loves antiques and training her Leonberger, who in turn loves to train her. But don't tell the cat, she thinks she has everyone under control.