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DIY MFA by Jacquelyn Mitchard, Gabriela Pereira

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Chapter 16

Deliver Dazzling Dialogue

Dialogue is one of my favorite parts of a story. Don’t get me wrong—description and exposition both serve an important purpose, but when it comes to raising stakes and building conflict, dialogue excels at shaking things up. What makes dialogue so interesting are the multiple layers of tension it introduces. What are the characters saying? What are they holding back? What are they thinking, and do their thoughts conflict with what they say they think? As you write dialogue, don’t forget the role of your narrator. Does the narrator fade into the background and let the characters take center stage? Or does the narrator also play a part in this interaction by sharing editorial commentary on top of the dialogue? ...

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