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Dialogue: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Effective Dialogue (Write Great Fiction) Paperback – 31 Dec 2004
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About the Author
A former trial lawyer, James Scott Bell is an award-winning author and frequent speaker at writing conferences.
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Generally I found the style and authorial voice OK but it seemed to be far longer than was necessary. Really everything she said could have been condensed into a chapter or two of a more comprehensive book, like Bell's excellent Plot and Structure in the same series, which should probably have been extended to encompass the other books.
Can't help thinking the rest of this series is just a cheap way of quadrupling the publisher's profits after Plot and Structure's success.
However, if you have particular problems with dialogue, this crash course may well prove useful. The exercises were certainly comprehensive, though of course there's no-one to tell you how well you did at them!
The author uses plenty of pages to explain few useful - but not new - concepts, making exercises a pure repetition of the content of the chapter; the same can be said for the grey pages with practical tips. The same ideas would fit in one third of the pages.
That doesn't mean I didn't go out and search for more guides on the topic to further the basic knowledge that I got within. But it was a good warm up and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get a light starter for a part of the craft that challenges may writers.
It also explains why certain techniques do not work so well for writers and it helps convey what and how you want to write your characters to deliver and achieve the desired affect you want to convey as others would readyour story or book. It explains alot, and so as an expressionate person i like to think i am, i'm very interested in this kind of thing and for me what i understand its like to understand your chatacter if you speak in the 'I' sense, the first person - you need to start to become your character and understand him or her - basically if you love a great detailed book that can improve or enable your writing definatly get this book. it has helped me and i always refer to it when i'm in the middle of a story. Oh and the book helps you to enable your writing move at a pace where nothing comes to a standstil - that you need dialigue and the importance of it which flows and always keeps it real.
I found Gloria Kempton's style a little irritating, where she used too much first person narrative: 'I like this...'. 'I do this...', 'I see new writers make a lot of mistakes when it comes to writing emotional dialogue...' etc.
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