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“Anatomy of a Scene: A Deep Dive into Dialogue” with Stacey Swann

February 12 2022 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM CST

$99.00 – $159.00
Stacey Swann Headshot

Tickets

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"Anatomy of a Scene: A Deep Dive into Dialogue" Class Ticket - Member
$ 99.00
Unlimited
"Anatomy of a Scene: A Deep Dive into Dialogue" Class Ticket - Non-Member
$ 159.00
Unlimited

$99 for Members
$159 for Non-Members

All registrants will have access to the class recording for one month.

Talent for dialogue is not an inborn skill. Anyone can learn to write razor-sharp dialogue!

As readers, there are probably a lot of craft issues we can look past. We can forgive less than inspired descriptions if the characters win our hearts. Or we can handle slightly flat characters if the plot sizzles with tension. However, if the book or story we’re reading has cliched, dull, or simply lackluster dialogue, it will be hard to keep turning the pages. Every stilted line will remind us we’re reading words on a page and keep us from immersing in the world. But there’s good news, too! More than any other aspect of writing, there are clear and useful rules for creating effective dialogue.

In the morning session of this class, we will explore all the major aspects of dialogue writing: how to avoid the most common mechanical errors, how to let your characters’ voices emerge through dialogue, how to handle interior monologue, and how to craft the best physical beats and descriptions to surround your dialogue. We’ll pull back to investigate the best ways to craft entire scenes that are dialogue-based. In the afternoon, we’ll dig deep into the 10 selected scenes to hone these skills and practice implementing them. By the end of the day, students will have the toolset to create conversations that crackle and pop!

The Workshop

Every registrant will have the chance to submit a scene for the workshop in the afternoon portion of the class. The instructor will choose 10 submissions to workshop in the afternoon. The class will receive the chosen scenes ahead of time so that everyone is on the same page. Everyone who registers will be allowed to ‘view’ and participate in the workshop, although they might not have their own work critiqued (again, only 10 will be chosen).

Submission Guidelines:
All submissions should be double-spaced, in 12 pt font, Times New Roman, and 1,000 words maximum. Please follow standard margin guidelines and submit as a Word document.

The deadline to submit a scene for the workshop is Thursday, February 3. 

TAKE THIS CLASS IF

  • You’re writing a novel, short stories, a memoir, or personal essays.
  • You’ve ever thought “Dialogue is not my forte.”
  • You’re ever confused by dialogue punctuation and mechanics.
  • Your dialogue sometimes sounds unnatural or awkward.
  • You’d like to add more dialogue to your existing scenes.

Instructor

Stacey Swann HeadshotStacey Swann’s debut novel Olympus, Texas—published in 2021 by Doubleday, W&N (UK), and Bompiani (Italy)—was a Good Morning America Book Club pick, an Indie Next selection, and longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Swann holds an M.F.A. from Texas State University and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Her stories have appeared in Epoch, Memorious, Versal, and other journals, and she is a contributing editor of American Short Fiction.

Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.

If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click here for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it. If you prefer this option, please email wlt@writersleague.org with a copy of the form as well. We are working out of our office at this time.

Class & Event Registration Policy

Once a purchase has been made, registrations are not refundable and cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a registration and then find you cannot attend the class or event, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at wlt@writersleague.org and let us know the name and contact information for the person who will be using the registration so that we can update the class or event roster.

Credit Card Transaction Handling Fee Policy

All credit card transactions will incur a 4% handling fee. If you’d prefer to pay by check for membership, a class, or an event, you can use the provided forms on the membership or event pages and mail to: WLT, P.O. Box 14355, Austin, TX, 78704.

HOW WLT CLASSES WORK:

Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.

If you haven’t taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to email WLT Program Director Sam Babiak at sam@writersleague.org if you’d like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.

HOW ONLINE CLASSES WORK:

Once you register for the class, you’ll receive an email with detailed instructions no later than 48 hours before the class date. You should expect 2-2.5 hours of direct teaching and 30 minutes of Q&A (for three hours total). If you need to leave the class early or can’t attend the class on that date, all registrants will have access to the recording for one month after the class date. No microphone or camera required, just an Internet connection capable of streaming video. All online classes are hosted on Zoom. To learn more about how Zoom works, click HERE. 

Plan to log in to the online platform several hours before the class so that you can update your software or any other settings required to access the platform. (Updates usually only take a few minutes, but you don’t want to wait until the beginning of class.) Questions? Email us at wlt@writersleague.org.

Cultural Arts City of Austin

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.

Texas Commission on the Arts

Writers’ League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts – Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to www.arts.texas.gov.

National Endowment for the Arts

This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

Mid-America Arts Alliance

This project is supported in part by the Mid-America Arts Alliance. For more information, go to www.maaa.org.

Details

Date:
February 12 2022
Time:
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM CST
Cost:
$99.00 – $159.00
Event Categories:
,

Venue

Online via Zoom