Tuesday, October 6, 2015

#ROSACon2015 Report: Writing Compelling Dialogue

Thank you to Clare Loffler for today's report on Joss Wood's talk on Writing Compelling Dialogue. Joss is a multi-published (17 books and counting!) author for Harlequin and Tule Publishing. Her latest book, Claimed by the Warrior, is out now.

Joss Wood spoke on the art of “Writing Compelling Dialogue” at ROSACon 2015. She said that dialogue reveals characters’ relationships to one another, moves the plot forward and increases tension.

She said it is important to keep the following questions in mind when writing dialogue:

Will the story still make sense if the dialogue is removed?
Does the dialogue increase the suspense for what is to come?
Does it change the character’s situation for better or worse?
Does the dialogue shed some light on what the character wants?
Does it serve to strengthen the character’s resolve or perhaps weaken it?

Joss Wood
Joss stated that it is important to listen to conversations happening around you and to take note of the gestures and tones used as these will help you to write compelling dialogue. Be aware that men and women talk differently, and remember to keep your character’s dialogue consistent and realistic. Dialogue is not just quotations she said, it is also grimaces, pauses, adjustments of blouses and so on… Including physical reactions also helps the reader to identify which character is talking. Action, she said, was a good way to break up dialogue, while simple descriptions are a good way to slow dialogue down. She warned against writing dialogue that serves no purpose, and advised writers to be on the alert for characters telling each other things that they already know.

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