So far in my class we’ve talked about characterization and point of view, and last night we tackled dialogue. I wasn’t sure how interested my students would be in this subject, but they ended up having a lot of questions — ranging in topic from punctuation to whether it’s more effective to use dialogue or narration to reveal what a character wants. A good discussion.
Next, I recruited two volunteers to read the dialogue in Charles Baxter’s story “Scheherazade” while I read the narration. We talked about where the name of the story comes from and how the third-person limited point of view enhances the dialogue. Another good discussion!
Finally, I wrote some situations on scraps of paper and asked each student to draw one from a hat and write the scene. Each situation centered around a conversation between two characters, so the students got to write a lot of dialogue. Everyone wanted to share what they wrote, which was great!
To top it all off, I had a new student this week — an attorney who saw the class flyer in the library and called yesterday to see if he could enroll. When he left, he said the class was great and he’ll be back next week.
So far, so good…