Dialogue Is Not Conversation: Using the Spoken Word Effectively in Fiction

Dialogue and conversation are not synonyms: conversation is when two or more people talk to each other; dialogue is a literary form that provides the illusion of transcribed speech to either establish character, advance the plot, or preferably, both. Through a combination of lecture, in-class exercises, and discussion, we'll explore what makes good dialogue, what makes bad dialogue, and how to tell the difference. We'll also look at goal-oriented dialogue, subtext, action, differentiating your characters through the words they say, as well as the technical mechanics—everything you'll need to get your characters saying the right thing.



  • John Mavin

    John Mavin has taught creative writing at Capliano University, Simon Fraser University, the... read more