Living Dialog: Bring Your Characters' Words to Life, Part Two: The Art

Living Dialog: Bring Your Characters' Words to Life, Part Two: The Art

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Having covered the basics in Part One, now we'll plunge into the art of the perfectly rendered line of dialog.

What else is going on when someone says something—what's the message behind the message? How much information can a single line of dialog convey—way beyond the actual words being spoken? And when is it better to leave things unsaid?

Editor and author Philip Athans has worked with best selling veteran authors, young writers just starting to explore their talents, and everyone in between and one sticking point that comes up over and over is dialog. It isn't easy, but it's a vital art form every fiction writer must concentrate on.

In the second part of this two-part tutorial video Philip opens the discussion up to the art of the perfectly tuned line of dialog, covering:

  • The vital importance of non-verbal communication
  • Idiom and the art of the clever, layered turn of phrase
  • The subtle art of "business" (what's not being said?)
  • What not to write to avoid micromanaging the experience
  • Point of view and the character-reader relationship

And you'll be left with a fun exercise to try on your own—combining your new writing skills with someone else's spoken words.