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

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Chapter 4

"Say What?!" Quick Tips for Your Characters

Sarah Domet

An emotional core, derived from your characters’ internal lives, is fundamental to any complex and interesting story.

One problem I’ve noticed in my students’ writings is that they create really interesting, complex, nuanced characters, but they fail to engage them with any of their other characters. In their “real lives” most people tend to be nonconfrontational—especially writer types—and sometimes this rubs off in their writing as well. If you create interesting characters, don’t confine them to their own heads; let them walk, talk, and interact with the other characters you’ve created.

What a person says, too, can go a long way toward revealing her character. Perhaps your character ...

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