Genre: Writing skills, creative writing, reference

Length: 136 pages

Release: 7/14/2014

Cost: $3.99 on Kindle, $11.39 paperback

NOTES: Highly recommended for fiction writers 

How to Write Dazzling Dialogue: The Fastest Way to Improve Any Manuscript
by James Scott Bell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book, but I have to admit it was a slow read. The information is so densely packed (it’s only 135 pages!) that it was difficult to read any more than a few pages at a time. Although it provides a good basis for creating engaging dialogue, I think this book is more valuable as an editing tool because you can look back at your dialogue and pump it up. It’s an excellent reference guide, but you might find it more useful *after* completing a first draft.

The book is broken down into different sections, starting with the basics, how to increase conflict, make a point, and train yourself to hear and write dialogue. The book ends with “Top 10 Dialogue issues” which is super helpful if there are specific things you are struggling with. The format gives you samples of problematic dialogue, then shows you what the dialogue could look like if it were cleaned up and optimized. The compare / contrast, as well as the explanation, are valuable tools for making your dialogue pop.

I am quite sure that I’ll be doing a skim through of this book after each round of edits. If you like to highlight/underline/take notes (and I highlighted a lot!), this is excellent as a paperback. Otherwise, the ebook does just fine.

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