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Crash Course on Using Dialogue
November 19, 2022 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
A Crash Course on Using Dialogue. Or, how to avoid “Hi, how are you?” / “I’m fine, thanks. And yourself?” / “Just wonderful.” / “That’s great to hear. Have a nice day.” / “You as well!” with Morgan Talty will be held virtually via Zoom on Saturday, November 19, from 10:30am-12noon.
“Don’t ever start a story with dialogue,” an undergraduate professor once said to me in workshop. I didn’t listen to him, and the revision I submitted began with the very dialogue he encouraged me to move. Was he right? Should I have not started my piece with dialogue?
Yes and no.
Dialogue is an important part of storytelling, yet so many writers either shy away from it or overindulge in it in such a way that it either impedes a story’s narrative momentum or comes across as too “unrealistic.” In this seminar, we will examine writers whose use of dialogue is masterful in order to strengthen our understanding of dialogue, particularly when and how to use it. After exploring the “rules” that tend to dictate dialogue’s usage, we will then put our discoveries to the test by revising our own work.
Bio: Morgan Talty is a citizen of the Penobscot Indian Nation where he grew up. His story collection Night of the Living Rez was published on July 5, 2022, and his work has appeared in Granta, The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, TriQuarterly, Narrative Magazine, LitHub, and elsewhere. A winner of the 2021 Narrative Prize, Talty’s work has been supported by the Elizabeth George Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts (2022). Talty teaches courses in both English and Native American Studies, and he is on the faculty at the Stonecoast MFA in creative writing as well as the Institute of American Indian Arts. Talty is also a Prose Editor at The Massachusetts Review. He lives in Levant, Maine.