Said and Unsaid: The Intersection of Character and Dialogue in Fiction and Memoir (with Laurie Ann Doyle)

Laurie Ann Doyle

Laurie Ann Doyle


Number of sessions: 1

Time: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Date: Sunday, March 13

Course fee: $95

Is dialogue meant to reveal or conceal? In this one-day hands-on intensive, you will learn how dialogue in fiction and memoir actually accomplishes both, revealing your characters by what is said and not said. We’ll read work by masters of dialogue, examining how artfully crafted speech, gesture, and silence help you not only develop character, but generate tension and subtext, and move the plot forward. You’ll learn how to take full advantage of your characters’ expressive tics, favorite phrases, and utter withdrawal to build an immersive world for the reader. You’ll have the chance to free-write dialogue yourself, trying on different personas of talkative, quiet, and completely uncommunicative characters, with the opportunity to share what you’ve created in a supportive atmosphere. There will also be plenty of time to address your questions and concerns. My goals for this class are for you to come away with concrete strategies for creating a variety of kinds of dialogue, and to experience for yourself what most writers like to keep secret: dialogue can be a whole lot of fun.

Laurie Ann Doyle is the winner of Alligator Juniper’s National Fiction Award, as well as nominations for Best New American Voices and the Pushcart Prize. Her stories, personal essays and poems have appeared in Jabberwock Review, Arroyo Literary Review, Dogwood Journal, Under the Sun, and many other literary journals. World Gone Missing, her new book of short stories, is short-listed for Livingston Press’ fiction award, and a story from the collection appears in their Fall 2015 anthology. She earned an M.F.A. at University of San Francisco and has had the pleasure of teaching writing at UC Berkeley since 2007.

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