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Dialogue (Elements of Fiction Writing)
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Dialogue (Elements of Fiction Writing)

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  150 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
This book discusses and demonstrates the power of dialogue in fiction. So whether you write novels, short stories, or scripts, you'll benefit from all the different purposes and techniques of dialogue writing the author illustrates in these very pages.
Hardcover, 118 pages
Published May 15th 1989 by Writer's Digest Books
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Rating details
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Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
In this book we learn how to write dialogue by reading dialogue. The author uses the Socratic dialogue with dialogue examples to demonstrate the difference between dialogue and real conversation. We learn formating, pace, dialect, narration, diction, theme, plot, atmosphere, tone, types of speech and genre dialogue. A good book for beginning writers.
Mar 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This was pretty decent.

I thought the book didn't really deliver what it promised on the cover (i.e. "How to get your characters talking to each other in a way that vividly reveals who they are, what they're doing, and what's coming next in your story"), even if it did have some useful information. Most of the formatting/grammatical issues that it covered I already knew about, which is why I didn't pick out a book on dialogue's structure and where to put quotation marks, etc.

I was very glad tha
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: writing
Dialogue reads fast and so does this book. Written in Socratic dialogue, Turco and his fictional buddy Fred Foyle discuss dialogue. The book's five chapters cover: Definitions, speech in narration, diction, types of speech, and genre dialogue. The book didn't offer much than I already know aside from the occasional tidbit like British formatting using single quotes. I've learned more about dialogue from other writing books dealing with other elements of fiction, and online resources. I wouldn't ...more
Apr 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-nonfiction
Loved that the entire book teaches how write dialogue by dialogue. Very entertaining and clear.
The book is written in dialogue, and bad dialogue at that. Not very helpful.
May 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Not a bad read. Parts of this book were really helpful. Initially I thought having the whole book as a dialogue would be good, but it got annoying by the end. Especially b/c the author and his Foyle fought. A lot. Sigh. So annoying. I also agree with his editor that his examples were too long. We don't need 4 pages of someone else's story to illustrate one example about a dialogue.
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
The author creatively writes nearly the entire book in dialogue with a goal to explain writing dialogue for fiction. His goal is only loosely met.

Significant time is spent on aspects of story telling other than dialogue, such as subject, theme, narration, exhibition, scene setting, pacing, etc. Further, it seems that "explanation" is not the preponderance of this work when the focus is turned to dialogue. Some time is spent in idle chat between the characters conversing, which earns credit for
Dec 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: how-to-write
Turco has plenty of solid advice on dialogue here, more than you can pick up from a generalized "how to write fiction" book. The written format is entirely in Socratic dialogue, which is a bit unusual...some thoughts on that:

PROS: The format makes it more entertaining and faster reading. There are plenty of examples of applying his lessons to dialogue, since the book is literally 100% dialogue.

CONS: About half the book is conversational filler, so in that sense it's not faster reading at all. Th
Mark  Thomas
Apr 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: writing-books
A book on how to write dialogue, written in dialogue format. It was a novel idea that worked fairly well. My only reservation is that many of the examples were not clearly defined for me, and I found myself not quite getting the author's point. It is a very short book, and perhaps not the best book on dialogue out there.
Winston Brown
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great informative book.
Jun 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Good reference
Jakk Makk
Aug 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Creative how it's written as a giant dialogue, but I was hoping for a typical reference book.
Joel Gomes
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A very short book, perfect to learn the basics of writing good fiction dialogue.
Jun 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing_books
An older but very engaging guide to the basics of dialogue for beginning writers. Covers all the basics and for most that's enough. I enjoyed the Socratic dialogue approach to the text.
May 30, 2008 rated it did not like it
Terrible! The author attempts to explain how dialogue works... in the form od a book-length dialogue. Barf. Do not read this book. If I could give this book negative stars I would.
David Fortier
A decent book on writing fiction. Apparently there are better ones out there. Still, helpful to a beginner.
Joed Jackson
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thought I was 'perdy good' at dialogue until I read this. He covers it all . . . and I do mean all. So much to learn and absorb. Worth reading and re-reading if writing is your thing.
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Kind of weird to explain dialogue this way, but also kind of ingenious.
Dec 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: own
I didn't care for it. The whole thing was written as a Socratic dialogue between the author and his foil (named Fred Foyle). His editor plays a small role when she "visits" and tells him the whole idea is dumb and he should scrap it.

He should have listened.

It was painful and annoying to read. The author appeared more interested in being clever (and smarter than the reader) than actually trying to teach the reader how to be a better writer.

Pass this one by.
Kevin Orland
May 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: stopped-reading
Couldn't make it through more than 10 pages. The whole thing is written as a dialogue between the author and some fictional guy with questions about how to write dialogue. The gimmick just didn't work, and the failed attempts at humor and cleverness obscured whatever wisdom the author may have had to impart. I guess I'll have to keep looking for a good book on how to write dialogue.
N.A.K. Baldron
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
for the most part it labels different styles of dialog and then quotes large passages. luckily this book was free or I'd want my money back.
Dec 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
A really bad book. very messy and not enough examples. I felt lost and couldn't wait to put it down.
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
Not a fan of two characters talking about dialogue for the whole book. Also, just skip the first chapter or two. It's mostly uncessary definitions.
P.G. Sundling
Jul 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: writing
I would rate this as the least helpful writing book in my entire collection (about 40 books).
Oct 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
I found the tone of the book so obnoxious that I didn't finish. Not at all helpful.
Sep 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: writing-books
A bit dated and not a lot of information. There are better books and workshops out there. Find them.
rated it liked it
Jul 16, 2007
Cecilia Badea
rated it liked it
Jan 26, 2015
rated it really liked it
Nov 06, 2011
Stacy Schmidt
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Feb 06, 2018
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