GrubStreet: Writing Dialogue
Writing dialogue can be one of the most difficult and significant tasks a writer faces. The techniques a writer learns along the way may prepare them for every kind of prose, but when faced with dialogue, the writer is lost. How do you create dialogue that feels and sounds real, yet also works to communicate your story? This workshop is designed for playwrights, screenwriters, novelists, and short fiction writers interested in writing crisp, realistic-sounding dialogue. You will study several great scenes from films, plays, and fiction to break down what makes the dialogue so effective.
Topics explored will include creating subtext, hiding exposition, working with slang, and getting the characters in your head speaking with voices of their own. You will learn how to break down a scene into beats and intentions and how to approach the scene as an actor would. Most importantly, during the workshop portion, we will act out your dialogue so that you may hear it the way dialogue is meant to be heard — out loud. The first half of the class will be spent discussing techniques for creating effective dialogue. During the second session, students will use what they have learned to write a dialogue scene and receive peer and instructor feedback.