Techniques for Making Your Dialogue Shine

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

If November was NaNoWriMo, then I’m going to call December Dialogue Month. I have a bunch of dialogue-related goodies to tell you about.

The first full-length book in my Busy Writer’s Guide series is out.


How do you properly format dialogue? How can you write dialogue unique to each of your characters? Is it okay to start a chapter with dialogue? Writers all agree that great dialogue helps make great fiction, but it’s not as easy to write as it looks.

In How to Write Dialogue: A Busy Writer’s Guide you’ll learn
– how to format your dialogue,
– how to add variety to your dialogue so it’s not always “on the nose,”
– when you should use dialogue and when you shouldn’t,
– how to convey information through dialogue without falling prey to As-You-Know-Bob Syndrome,
– how to write dialogue unique to each of your characters,
– how to add tension to your dialogue,
– whether it’s ever okay to start a chapter with dialogue,
– ways to handle contractions (or the lack thereof) in science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction,
– tricks for handling dialect,
– and much more!

Each book in the Busy Writer’s Guides series is intended to give you enough theory so that you can understand why things work and why they don’t, but also enough examples to see how that theory looks in practice. In addition, they provide tips and exercises to help you take it to the pages of your own story with an editor’s-eye view.

If you have a NaNo story, the editing exercises at the end of each chapter will help you start to beat your story into shape.

You can pick up a copy at or on Smashwords.

But if you’d like a more personal touch, I’ll be teaching some of the concepts in my book in a 90-minute webinar called Say What? Techniques for Making Your Dialogue Shine ($45) on December 7th. (The webinar is recorded and sent to all registrants if you can’t attend live.) Everyone who signs up will receive an ebook copy of How to Write Dialogue: A Busy Writer’s Guide. Click here to find out more.

And that’s not all. My good friend Lisa Hall-Wilson and I are teaming up to offer a WANA International 2Fer. If you sign up for my dialogue class and her internal dialogue class (both held on December 7th), you’ll get $20 off.

If you’re interested in learning more, you can click here to read about the 2Fer, or you can check out the posts Lisa and I did on Kristen Lamb’s blog.

Do You Have As-You-Know-Bob Syndrome – How Writers Butcher Dialogue and How You Can Fix It by Marcy Kennedy

While You Were Sleeping – The Difference Between Internal Dialogue and Narration by Lisa Hall-Wilson

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