This week, Alida, Kathryn, and Robert answer a listener’s question and address how to better write scenes heavy with dialogue. We talk about keeping things interesting using tools other than dialogue, the apprentice-master model of scenes that instruct both character and reader, what we can learn from the movie montage, incorporating action into dialogue, and the risk of losing readers during passages of dialogue.




What should you do with dialogue heavy passages? How can you break it up? Should you worry about it in the first draft? What are revision techniques to catch your dialogue heavy sections? How can you approach teaching your character? What are some techniques to layer in information? And how do you use them correctly? The most important thing is to focus on what you want to achieve, and figure out how best to communicate that with your reader.

What we talked about:

Angela’s question and our initial thoughts. (0:39)

Don’t try to use extended dialogue to “teach” your reader. (3:05)

What about in first drafts? (3:35)

The idea of difference and how to apply it to your writing. (4:25)

Give it to someone else to read! (5:54)

The art of the montage! (6:50)

How to handle a lecture. (10:38)

Dole out your information carefully. (11:27)

Find another way to express your dialogue, but don’t overdo it! (13:55)

How to do a montage in print. (17:42)

You must have more than one thing happening in your scene. (19:35)

Focus on what you are trying to achieve! (23:33)


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