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Crafting Dynamic Dialogue by Cheryl St. John, Writer's Digest Writer's Digest Editors

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Chapter 2

The Purpose of Dialogue

Gloria Kempton

You’re at the bookstore browsing through the fiction section. You’re perusing titles, grabbing books off the shelf and skimming the back cover copy, then finally leafing through the novels one by one. Whether it’s conscious or unconscious, guess what you’re looking for.

Space. The eye is naturally drawn to space. Plenty of white space on each page. In a nonfiction book, that may mean text broken up with a subhead or a sidebar here and there. In a novel that means dialogue.

Do you remember those novels teachers made us read in high school? Great Expectations. Madame Bovary. Lord of the Flies. Page after page of blocks of text. Long passages of boring narrative.

Dialogue not only creates space on ...

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