Everyone agrees dialogue is tough. If it’s ‘flat’ it will suck the life right out of your writing. If it sings, it will suck your readers into the burning hot core of your story.
In this mini-workshop Phil Dwyer and Dale Long will use a case-study approach to examine the essential elements of dialogue: what it’s for and what pit-falls to avoid. Participants will learn:
- The multi-faceted function of dialogue
- Scene setting
- Advancing the action
- How to handle regional accents/dialects (avoiding the Dick Van Dyke trap)
- The difference between literary and genre fiction (and the differences, sometimes not too subtle, between genres)
- The importance of context for believability (whispering and shouting)
Dale and Phil both grew up listening to a hotchpotch of accents and dialects – the guttural stops of cockney and the lilting Celtic inflections of Newfoundland. They’ve also been grappling with dialogue in their projects (both novels are set in London) and they’ve learned a thing or two along the way – chiefly what not to do.
About the presenters:
Phil Dwyer was born in London, and grew up surrounded by the jarring glottal stops of the Cockney accent. His brother in law is a costermonger whose colourful language continues to confuse, amuse and inspire him. He worked for 20 years in the magazine publishing world, first as a reporter, rising to editor and publisher of a dozen titles. His journalism has appeared in over 15 publications, including The Financial Times, The Times of London, and The Observer. In 2001 he started work on his first novel. It is currently in its 9th draft, but is already attracting attention from agents and publishers. His fiction and creative non-fiction has been published in The Globe And Mail, and Canadian Stories.
Dale Long‘s roots began on the craggy shores of Newfoundland. From there his parents moved him west. After many stops they finally alighted in the farm district of Sanford, Ontario. For many years the mathematical side of Dale’s brain hid his creative bent. It wasn’t until he turned 40 that an impulsive leap and a none too gentle push from his wife landed him in a Durham College creative writing course. He hit the ground running and has never looked back. Growing up surround by the heavy brogues of his Newfoundland family and his very Scottish great grandmother, Dale notices a musical quality to speech that he applies to his writing. In addition to his blog, Dale has had a humour article published in the Metroland newspaper and an excerpt from his first novel published in the WCDR’s Wicked Words anthology.