Dialogue: Exercise 3 & 4

I need to sit down and write some dialog. You should too and share it with The Flame.

Brigit's Flame Writing Community

In the first set of exercises, I opened the floor for characterization and mood setting. If you recall, the author of our study guide explains that there are seven purposes of dialogue:

  • Characterizes/reveals motive
  • Sets the mood of the story
  • Intensifies story conflict
  • Creates tension and suspense
  • Speeds up scenes
  • Adds bits of setting/background
  • Communicates the theme

In my opinion, a writer cannot intensify story conflict without creating tension and suspense—they are one in the same. So, for this workshop we’ll go with six purposes. In December, we got some stellar dialogue examples from Flame writers.

RicoChey introduced us to an American subulture and one specific, very intense, incident. “The Point of the Life” manages to be create an utterly moving experience within a stark, matter of fact series of dialogue presented as documented police interviews. Rather than merely intensifying conflict and speeding up the scene, the effect is a violent churning…

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