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

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Chapter 7

Keys to Great Dialogue

Jeff Gerke

What makes great dialogue in fiction? Is it snappy one-liners or trendy phrases? Is it innuendo or inflection or devastating irony? Perhaps it’s the unforgettable line: “The problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”

Maybe it’s truth that makes dialogue great. Digging down to the essence of the human condition. “I am not an animal! I am a human being! I … am … a man!”

Dialogue in movies gives us some of our favorite moments: “Frankly, my dear …” or “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” or “The horror … the horror.”

Every novelist wants her lines of dialogue to be as powerful and memorable as these. But how? What’s the secret?

And you need to find out because ...

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