Everything you say in a dialogue has 3 dimensions:
1. The words that come out of your mouth.
2. The way you want the other person to interpret these words.
3. The motivation hidden behind your choice of words and tone, and what this suggests about your character.
To say something is to do something.
If you asked someone on the street "How do I get to the Opera Bar from here?", you might get a direct and unremarkable answer: "Take the train to Circular Quay Station." This person is just RESPONDING to your question.
If, instead, the person answered "Opera Bar is boring. I know a cooler place around here. Do you want to go for a drink?", you can sense a lot is being suggested between the lines.
This person is not giving you directions. He is ENTICING you, he is TEASING you, he is PROMISING you can have fun together.
Robert McKee says beneath every line of character talk, the writer must create a desire, an intent, and an action. This action then becomes the verbal tactic we call dialogue.
This is a group for fiction writers (prose and screen) interested in studying and practising the art of dialogue writing. All skill levels are welcome.
I intend to create a series of seminars and workshops to talk about the main function of dialogue in storytelling, analyse good and bad examples from movies, tv series, short stories and novels, and put a series of techniques into practice in writing exercises.
I'm Diego. I have been studying the art of writing and storytelling for almost a decade. I combine insights from literary theory, dramaturgy and social psychology to help writers develop their ideas with more focus and impact.
I'm the creator and editor of the most in-depth site about storytelling in Portuguese (I'm from Brazil - Olá!). I'm now living in Sydney and I would love to meet and work with local writers.