Meetup 56 – Dialogue

On October 27, 2012, I hosted a Write Club session on writing dialogue. Unlike most other parts of writing in which it is possible to say what to do, with dialogue I find it easier to focus on what not to do. This is probably because good dialogue is a bit like pornography: it’s hard to define, but you know it when you see it. So on this Saturday we looked at what not to do when writing dialogue, and because I used a snippet from Lord of the Rings as an example, it went down rather well with the fantasy fans in our group. (There are a few, and they’re very hard to please.)

Those of you who were not present at the session will probably be a little confused with the ‘Warm up’ slide, so let me clarify. All that says is that you’re supposed to write for fifteen minutes without stopping (or thinking), with the proviso that your scribbling should be loosely linked to the word given on the slide. In this case it’s ‘Slam’. I remember one of our members wrote a piece that started with: “Slam! The auto driver set his meter and bent to pull the lever…”

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