Putting Other People's Words in Your Mouth with John F.D. Taff

Make sure the dialog you're writing for your characters sounds like real people actually said it, ensuring they come off as authentic.

Your Instructor: "King of Pain" John F.D. Taff, author of over 90+ short stories and 5 novels.

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here


Price: $325

Class Description

If you're a fiction writer, it's a safe bet you have characters in your stories. Whether it's actual verbal dialog or internal monologues, characters talk…a lot. Real people talk a lot, too, and readers hear this all around them, all the time. So how do you make sure the dialog you're writing for your characters sounds like real people actually said it?

This class will help writers produce realistic dialog that will ensure their characters come off as real as possible. Students will learn to:

• Translate plot points into discussion
• Employ dialog to move the story forward without falling into the trap of too much exposition.
• Unlock when to have characters talk and when they need to shut up.
• Become your characters so you know exactly what they'd say in any situation.

This four-week workshop will feature written lectures and writing exercises that will be critiqued by your fellow classmates and by John.

What This Class Covers

Week 1—Saying It

  • Learn to listen…to everyone
  • Pay attention to how different people speak
  • Beware the traps of accents, vernacular argot and lingo

Week 2—Making Characters Say Your Words Their Way

  • Make your characters say what they mean
  • Know when characters need to speak…and when they don't
  • Why dialog is (mostly) better than narration

Week 3—Talk the Walk

  • Make your dialog sparkle with emotion
  • Why it's best to stick with "said"
  • Avoid the dreaded adverb

Week 4—Become an Actor

  • How to inhabit each character in your story
  • Listen to the "voice" of the character
  • Learn how reading your dialog out loud is the key

Goals Of This Class

• Write a piece of short dark speculative fiction with cracking, believable dialog.
• Use what you hear every day in your dialog.
• Employ dialog to move the plot of the story along.
• Work with your instructor and your fellow students toward producing the best work possible
• Leave class with a completely critiqued short story manuscript.

About Our Classes Class FAQs