Tagged: Dialogue

How to Write Dazzling Dialogue – Review

About the Book

How To Write a Dazzling Dialogue, James Scott Bell

Teen to Adult,  Reference, 136 Pages

Compendium Press (July 14, 2014)

There is one sure-fire way of improving your novel fast. . . You may know the fundamentals of how to write fiction. You may be more than competent in plot, structure and characters. But if your dialogue is dull it will drag the whole story down. On the other hand, if your dialogue is crisp and full of tension it immediately grabs the reader. And if that reader is an agent or editor, sharp dialogue will give them instant assurance that you know what you’re doing as a writer. Writing a bestseller or hot screenplay is no easy task, but dazzling dialogue is an absolute essential if you want to get there. The best part is, the skills of the dialogue craft are easy to understand and put into practice. #1 bestselling writing coach James Scott Bell has put together and expanded upon the dialogue lectures from his popular writing seminars. In How to Write Dazzling Dialogue you’ll learn:

  • What fictional dialogue is … and isn’t
  • The 11 secrets of crafting memorable dialogue
  • The 5 essential tasks of dialogue
  • 5 ways to improve your dialogue ear
  • 4 can’t-miss methods to increase conflict and tension in any dialogue exchange
  • The top 10 dialogue issues, and how to resolve them

You’ll also see dazzling dialogue in action with examples from hit novels and screenplays. Don’t sabotage your chances of selling your work to readers or publishers because the dialogue is unexceptional. Dazzle them with what the characters say. How to Write Dazzling Dialogue will give you the tools to do it.

About the Author

For notifications and deals about JSB’s new releases, sign up for his occasional update at www.jamesscottbell.com (the signup box is on the left side of the screen). Your mail box will never be overstuffed nor will your address be shared with anyone else. 

JAMES SCOTT BELL is a winner of the International Thriller Writers Award (for his novel Romeo’s Way) and the author of many bestselling thrillers. He is a popular writing instructor and conference speaker, and formerly served as the fiction columnist for Writer’s Digest magazine. Jim attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where he studied writing with Raymond Carver, and graduated with honors from the University of Southern California Law School. He lives and writes in L.A. and blogs weekly at Kill Zone — www.killzoneblog.com

Jenn’s Review

Dialogue is something I struggle with as a writer. I know that my characters’ mediocre, and often lackluster conversations are about 50% of what’s holding me back from getting published, so, I went out looking for a book to help clarify where I was going wrong. I also attended some great workshops on dialogue at RWA2018, but I was still missing a LOT.

Enter How to Write Dazzling Dialogue by James Scott Bell. Bell’s thrillers are multiple times best sellers, his books on writing craft are multiple times best sellers; this guy has some street credentials, even though I’d never heard of him.
Why his books make bestseller lists so often is clear, all the way through this slim volume on fiction dialogue. The instruction is concise and liberally peppered with examples, both from existing literature and off-the-cuff.

I took this book one chapter a day and will be applying it to my own writing going forward (I’ve already started on that, and the lessons are sinking in, as I notice dialogue more in what I read). Bell tackles such topics as tension, style, info-dumping, punctuation, and cursing. Period dialogue and dialect are also touched on in various degrees within the 134 pages of this book.

Bell’s book on dialogue is written so that most folks can easily understand what he’s demonstrating. If you are a writer, wanting to get published; if you teach writing; if you are the parent of a young writer; and yes, even if you’re an already published author — give this book a read. It’s now a permanent part of my writer’s toolkit, and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to up their fiction writing game.

Jenn reviews HOW TO WRITE DAZZLING DIALOGUE by James Scott Bell in this edition of Thrice Read Books' review blog.

Buy the Book

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions. [affiliate link]