In a novel, dialogue is two characters talking with a purpose. You use it in your fiction writing because it is efficient. With a few lines of well written dialogue, you could build character, advance the plot, convey information, and create tension lurking beneath the surface of the spoken language, which we call “subtext.” Dialogue is the shortcut to conflict. Conflict makes drama.

Robert J Ray

We have talked a bit about building character, okay, we talk about it often. We have also talked about building scenes. This week we will talk about dialogue.

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Photo by Les Anderson on Unsplash

One of my favorite selections of dialogue comes from William Faulkner’s novel, As I Lay Dying.

The section is called Cora and it is far too long to include here. I do hope you will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed teaching it during my home-schooling days. My son and I still talk about the cake.

This is a small sampling of the dialogue..

“She ought to taken those cakes anyway,” Kate says.

“Well,” I say, “I reckon she never had no use for them now.”

“She ought to taken them,” Kate says. “But those rich town ladies can change their minds. Poor folks cant.”

As I Lay Dying
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