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Saturday, October 29 • 10:45am - 11:45am
Dialogue, Detail, and Characterization: Breathing Real Life Into Stories

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In any writing genre, the effective art of conversation—dialogue—is essential to creating scenes, characters, and worlds. What people say must sound like how people actually talk, whether you're from Pittsburgh, Pasadena, or Poughkeepsie, or it's just recitation. Getting the dialogue right is a practice that can be learned with as little effort as paying attention in everyday life, with examples. In the same vein, all the little details of characters and scenes are as important as dialogue. Details are the unspoken building blocks of characterization and setting. I'm always asking questions in books: If the man just got into his car, what kind of car is it? That might help illuminate the character. Conversely, too much detail, or at the wrong time, isn't good. I don't have to know the car was a Chevrolet Suburban in Premier trim with Cherry Red Tintcoat and premium wheels. That becomes product placement ... and that will be addressed as well. Finally, direct and indirect characterization is really the details of those who populate a story and reflect their worlds. This also requires a careful balance so as not to seem like exposition. Attending this workshop will provide actionable insights into making writing better with the STEAL Method: Speech, Thoughts, Effects on others, Actions, and Looks.

avatar for Daniel Charles Ross

Daniel Charles Ross

Daniel Charles Ross—DCR—grew up in and around metro Detroit. He's a retired U.S. Navy Reserve Chief Petty Officer with 24 years, with a previous seven-year stint in the U.S. Army as a criminal investigator. His civilian career included stops as Detroit Editor at Popular Mechanics... Read More →

Saturday October 29, 2022 10:45am - 11:45am EDT
Buhl 028