Not Just Words: How to Write Dialogue that, You Know, is Realistic but not, like, Boring (18101)

Two Tuesdays: October 16, 23, 6 to 8 p.m.


Dialogue in writing presents a difficult challenge to the writer.  On the one hand, you want your characters words to sound lifelike.  On the other hand, if your characters’ words are too lifelike, the result, ironically, is lifeless writing that drones on and on like a transcript of a really boring Congressional hearing.  In this two-session course, we’ll do close readings of real-life dialogue and dialogue in fiction to develop strategies to make dialogue work for you in your writing.  Then we'll do some targeted exercises to explore different types of dialogue strategies that go beyond direct quotation to create a symphony of distinct speaking voices for your characters.

Reading like a Writer, Francine Prose 

The Accidental Tourist, Anne Tyler

Little Children, Tom Perrotta 

Aaron Hamburger was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his short story collection The View From Stalin’s Head(Random House). His next book, a novel titled Faith for Beginners (Random House), was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Poets & Writers, Tin House, Subtropics, Details, Michigan Quarterly Review, Boulevard, and The Village Voice. He has received fellowships from the Edward F. Albee Foundation and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy, as well as residencies from Yaddo and Djerassi. He has also taught writing at Columbia University, NYU, the Stonecoast MFA Program, and George Washington University.

REFUND POLICY: Please note that we can issue class refunds up until seven (7) days before the first class session.

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Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060777050
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Harper Perennial - April 10th, 2007

The Accidental Tourist: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345452009
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Vintage - April 9th, 2002

Little Children: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312315733
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - January 2005