Saturday, September 13, 2014

Stacey Barney: Chit Chat and Jibber Jabber - In Other Words, Dialogue

Stacey Barney, senior editor at Penguin/Putnam for Young Readers gives advice on dialogue:

   #1 rule of dialogue: Ordinary must be extraordinary.
   Characterization must come through. Must stay true to the character. 
   Dialogue is not pushing the plot, it's enhancing it by drawing out and heightening characterization.
   The only true goal of a good character work is to develop characterization.
   If you take out the dialogue and the story doesn't make sense, then you need to rethink your dialogue. 
   Accents--suggest the accent, don't overdo it. Use it sparingly. Stay true to the language used in a certain region. For example; ya'll and dropping g's on the end of a word so the reader doesn't get frustrated.
   Dialogue tags: Don't overdo 'he said', 'she said'. Make sure the setting is clear at the beginning of the scene as a point of reference so the reader knows where the character is. You don't want to rely to heavily on dialogue tags. 
Each bit of dialogue should have a purpose. 

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