What’s in a Grant: Better Dialogue!

How I Utilized My Grant at George Brown College’s Dialogue Writing Course

By: Carol Newhouse

I was awarded the WritersPlayGround-sponsored Educational Grant from the Writers’ Community of York Region.

So, how did I use this amazing grant? I applied it to a Dialogue Writing Course held at George Brown College in downtown Toronto. I can absolutely say that it was money well spent!

I knew that I needed to improve my dialogue writing skills, and this ten week course was chock full of craft tips I am already starting to apply to my own writing.

The five attributes of good dialogue and the eight components of voice were explained.

Dialogue is structured using the six “Cs”, namely:

(1) characters in

(2) conflict with

(3) a first complication and rising complications

(4) a crisis,

(5) a climax (where the question raised at the beginning of the dialogue is answered) and finally

(6) a conclusion.

Students had plenty of practice analyzing good and bad dialogue to determine if the six “C’s” were present.

The topics of tangled beats in dialogue and the subtext of dialogue both formed the basis of lively conversation.

The best take-away, in my opinion, was the way to prevent first draft block when writing dialogue. If the writer determines the objective of the dialogue, the way the exchange will end, each character’s objective within the scene, each character’s attitude within the scene and how the exchange will begin, they are well on the way to constructing good dialogue.

I look forward to participating as a judge with the WCYR’s 2019 Granting Body and, perhaps, applying for another grant in the future.

Carol Newhouse for winning the WritersPlayGround sponsored Education Grant for new writers. 2019 Education and Publication Grant opportunities will be open for submission January 1st, 2019 – April 1st, 2019.

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