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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)

Revealing Dialogue

No Longer Enrolling

  • $85.00 Non-Member
  • $75.00 Member

Class Description

"I don’t have a very clear idea of who the characters are until they start talking.” - Joan Didion

A line of dialogue can spark an entire story. Dialogue is an entrance point: a character stepping into action, confrontation, revealing themselves on the page. Because dialogue is the only time the reader hears directly from the characters without the filter of the narrator, the words become a window to the heart and mind of the characters. In this class, we will examine how dialogue asks and answers crucial questions about our characters: What do they want? What are they trying to gain or conceal? How are they at cross purposes with one another? Does the dialogue sound true? Through published examples from Deborah Eisenberg, JD Salinger, Claire Keegan, Louise Erdrich, Grace Paley, John Cheever, ZZ Packer, and others, and in-class writing exercises, we’ll study and practice how to write meaningful dialogue, understand how it is different from spoken language, how it can move a story forward, and what makes dialogue zing.

Open to fiction writers of all levels.



Class Format

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting!



Scholarship Information

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

Scholarships Format/Location

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting!

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!