FRIDAY NOTES & NEWS: What Dialogue Should and Should Not Be


In a recent CANSCAIP kids-lit seminar, author and teacher Uma Krishnaswami had this to say about dialogue:

1. It’s not real-life speech (in real life, we repeat ourselves and hardly ever speak in complete sentences);

2. It’s not meant to serve you (the writer);

3. It shouldn’t be used to deliver plot or backstory;

4. Or for long-winded explanations.

It should convey:

1. Each character’s unique voice;

2. What the characters don’t say or are hiding;

3. The interplay and relationships between characters — who prevails, who defers, who interrupts, who listens, who doesn’t, who talks non-stop, who can’t get a word in.

Contributor News

Janet Garber’s recent publications include “How I Became an Instant Grandmother,” Family Story Project; “The Bite,” Jack Walker Press Friends Anthology; and “The French Lover’s Wife (excerpt),” Finalist, Sunspot Literary Contest

Christopher Woods’ short play The Tetons just came online in Another Chicago Magazine.

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