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Real Talk: Embodying Character through Dialogue
$45.00 – $90.00
This course is part of our 2021 Spectacular Summer Seminar Festival (SSSF) and will be held via Crowdcast. The fees from ABC’s adult writing workshops subsidize our free writing programs for kids, whose work is collected in a yearly anthology, and pay our adult workshop instructors. A limited number of seats in each class are reserved for scholarships, which cover 100% of tuition-fees and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. All are welcome, and we especially encourage BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ writers to apply.
A good line of dialogue can reveal as much about a character as a paragraph of description. But what makes a line of dialogue good? How do you write dialogue that moves the story forward but also sounds like something a real person would say? In this craft seminar, we’ll examine scenes in which dialogue reveals character to discover what the author must have known, or discovered, about their characters before deciding on what the scene needed them to say. Then we’ll do some exercises that will help us practice how to use what we know about our characters to write dialogue that sounds natural. Good dialogue is a careful negotiation between what the characters want, what the context of the scene allows, and what the story needs. By attending to the interplay between the sometimes contending, sometimes converging attributes of dialogue, we’ll gain a better sense of how characters talking to, at, and past one other can create tension and flesh out the world of the story while furthering its plot.
Students who register with the Seminar + Book option will receive Issue 72 of American Short Fiction, which features Rickey’s short story “Spare the Rod.” This story helped make ASF a finalist for the 2021 Ellies/ASME Award for Fiction.
This Austin Bat Cave adult writing seminar is open to writers of all levels and will be recorded.
About the Instructor
Rickey Fayne is a writer from West Tennessee. He has received support for his fiction from the Tin House Writers’ Workshop and the Michener Center for Writers. His work can be found in American Short Fiction and Joyland. He is currently at work on his first novel.