Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | August 27, 2010

Writing dialog

Writing dialog is difficult for many writers. I was one of those. I went back and re-read (for probably the umpteenth time) some of John D. McDonald’s books. You know, the ones with Travis McGee as the hero. I also read the four book set of Robert B. Parker’s westerns. The little book, “Brimstone” shows how dialog can carry a story.

To make your story balance, dialog must be broken by “beats,” narratives that help carry the story. A presenter at Killer Nashville had an unusual technique: using MS Word, reduce the page size to 10%. One can’t read anything, but the writer will see which pages are “white” (lots of dialog) and which are “dark” (narration).
Then, of course, adjust for balance.

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