[Book Review] Dialogue: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Effective Dialogue by Gloria Kempton

5/18/2019

[Book Review] Dialogue: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Effective Dialogue by Gloria Kempton

5/18/2019
Craft Compelling Dialogue

When should your character talk, what should (or shouldn't) he say, and when should he say it? How do you know when dialogue—or the lack thereof—is dragging down your scene? How do you fix character who speaks with the laconic wit of the Terminator?

Write Great Fiction: Dialogue by successful author and instructor Gloria Kempton has the answers to all of these questions and more! It's packed with innovative exercises and instructions designed to teach you how to:

•Create dialogue that drives the story
•Weave dialogue with narrative and action
•Use dialogue to pace your story
•Write dialogue that fits specific genres
•Avoid the common pitfalls of writing dialogue
•Make dialogue unique for each character

Along with dozens of dialogue excerpts form today's most popular writers, Write Great Fiction: Dialogue gives you the edge you need to make your story stand out from the rest.

Eh. There's some nuggets of good information here, but it's not the wonderful resource book I had hoped to read. Kempton interjects way too much of her personal life into it, all instances of which added up to paint a very distracting picture of a woman with whom I would not get along (there's a very subtle undercurrent of unconscious misogyny to a lot of the anecdotes she tells and excerpts she chooses, and fuck did it grate on my nerves), and there were long stretches of the book that I found less-than-useful at best and outright useless and/or incorrect at worst.

If you're looking for a book on writing dialogue, I wouldn't suggest this one. It's not terrible, but I really don't think it succeeds in teaching what it sets out to teach.

(If you have recommendations for how-to-write-dialogue books, feel free to send 'em my way! I'm not exceptionally insecure about my ability to write dialogue, but I'm not overwhelmingly confident in it, either. I'd love to read some other books on the subject!)

Craft Compelling Dialogue When should your character talk, what should (or shouldn't) he say, and when should he say it? How do you kn...

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