Musings about the writing life.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Two Editors and a Comma Dialogue Workshop

April 20, 2013
Two Editors and a Comma
Dialogue Workshop
Quail Hollow Estates Clubhouse
Charlotte, NC

Yesterday, I went to a great workshop on dialogue led by Carin Siegfried and Betsy Thorpe, Two Editors and a Comma (Facebook page).
Carin Siegfried and Betsy Thorpe

They were extremely well-prepared and all the participants walked away with a stack of handouts.

Carin slipped us into the topic by going over dialogue punctuation on one of their daughter's whiteboard.  Then they bounced other topics related to dialogue back and forth such as layering narrative with dialogue and not overusing dialogue tags such as "exclaimed," etc.--using "said" is just fine.

I met a great group of women which is always nice. And there were very good homemade chocolate chip cookies and iced tea. The room itself was full of beautiful natural light and next to a "plond" (pond/lake) as Betsy called it.

Many great books with great dialogue were mentioned but the one that intrigued me the most was Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.  "Remember, it did win the Pulitzer Prize," Betsy said.

Betsy also mentioned a YA novel, Hysteria, by a local author Megan Miranda that sounded interesting about a girl who murdered her boyfriend but can't remember it well.

Here's what's twirling in my head the day after: Don't bother putting dialogue tags in the middle of a sentence, sentence fragments are okay in fiction as long as they're not accidental, and the publishers of Fifty Shades of Grey did not have a lot of time to edit because it went straight from the web to print and nobody wanted to lose the momentum there. "Otherwise it probably would be half the size."--invisible dialogue tag there because I can't remember who said that.

Betsy said that she and Carin will try to do a workshop quarterly.  I'm looking forward to seeing what they do next.

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