Essential Elements: Writing Powerful Dialogue

Event Type: ,
Saturday, September 30, 2017

Times: 9:30AM-12:30PM
$65/$55 WLT/SCBWI Member

Katherine Catmull

Class Size:

Pricing Options

It’s probably the reader’s favorite part of your book: her eyes will slide right past that big, carefully-crafted chunk of description, looking for some sweet quotation marks. Dialogue is where you define and distinguish character, where you lighten or darken the mood. But it’s more than that: often the most crucial action of a book takes place in dialogue as well. So you want to be sure to get it right, and this workshop can help.


We’ll talk about:

  • How to create conflict and energy in conversation
  • Handling the dreaded exposition
  • Using tags other than “said”
  • Whether adverbs in dialogue tags are always a no-no

. . . and much more, right down to the nitpickiest details of punctuation.

We’ll also do hands-on exercises, so bring paper and pen or laptop. You should emerge more confident in writing dialogue and able to spot weaknesses in your own dialogue and use the tools you learn in this workshop to bring them back to life.

**Terms and conditions: Please note that all Writing Barn classes and events are nonrefundable and nontransferable to another class. You may transfer your attendance to another writer.**

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Katherine Catmull is the author of Summer and Bird, one of Booklist’s 2012 Top Ten First Novels for Youth, and the 2016 YA fantasy The Radiant Road, which received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal. She is also one of four co-authors of The Cabinet of Curiosities, named one of the New York Public Library’s 100 Best Children’s Books of 2014. Her short play “Right Into the Night Sky” was nominated as Outstanding Original Script in Austin’s 2016 B. Iden Payne theater awards. Her text-message piece Sister of Shattering Glass, commissioned by Physical Plant Theatre, ran February through July of this year. Catmull is also a stage and voice actor, a freelance editor and arts writer, and a produced and published playwright.