Episode 120 – Jeff and Laura Q&A

In this episode, Jeff and Laura answer questions from the community. Questions include:

  1. In a DIY dialogue class, what would some of the “must read“ books be on the syllabus for a diverse cross-section of excellent dialogue examples?
  2. In a previous masterclass, Laura talked about 5 common mistakes to look for when editing: the reader burden, muddy voices, unbalanced dialogue, minimal change, low impact dialogue. To keep from getting overwhelmed, where should I start with the editing process?
  3. How do the rules of dialogue change for our characters during spicy scenes?
  4. How would you handle scenes where the POV character isn’t very aware of the other’s body language, can’t take it all in at once, and or is maybe not even self-aware of their own?
  5. What is something about how people communicate and speak that you learned at your day job lately?
  6. What’s your favorite thing about working with clients when you’re book coaching?

Here is a list of the books Jeff and Laura listed in response to question 1:

  • Beloved by Toni Morrison to understand character voice.
  • Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace to understand scene structure.
  • The House on the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune to understand “big cast” scenes.
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernst Hemingway to understand the structure of Dialogue
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee to understand the difference between child and adult voices.
  • Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet to understand the art of conversation.
  • The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis to see how a scene can be two characters talking.
  • And court transcripts from the internet to understand what real emotions in conversations sound like.

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If you would rather watch Jeff and Laura talk, check out the episode on YouTube.

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