LA, CJ, & Wyatt,
During the last two years of my working life, I wrote at least 1,500 pages (U.S. letter size, not novel). All of this was expository writing. Several colleagues suggested I try writing a novel. In 2011, I began writing The Kurdish Connection.
Unfortunately, at the time I didn’t know about this website or any similar one. I relied on friends and family to critique my work—big mistake. Sure, they caught a few typos, and made an occasional suggestion, but it wasn’t enough. After completing over 200 novel-size pages, I put it aside and forgot about it. When I stumbled across TNBW this summer looking for something for my wife, I decided to resurrect The Kurdish Connection.
Sure, I had written plenty of words, but what did I know about creating conflict, scenes, characters, and dialogue? Nothing. I had lots of reviews and about 99.9% were very useful. What common thread did they have? Among other things, there clearly was a need for me to create dialogue, not write it. At least I had an excellent outline for where I wanted the story to go—outlines were something I could manage.
Since joining TNBW, Dynamic Writing was the first course offered, and it was just what I needed. From the first lesson, I’ve added to my writing toolbox. Am I an expert now? If only—but I now know far more than I did six weeks ago.
The course was well defined, systematic, and designed so that even the newest “recruit” to writing dialogues could learn. I know I have.
CJ, Wyatt, and I have already met before the class through the review system. It was great to have them in the class—I knew I’d learn from our instructor, LA, but would also benefit from working with them. The class has been a great learning experience, but like any course, completion is just the first step. Now it’s time to take what I’ve learned (or yet to learn—I’ve downloaded the lessons into a file for regular referral) and start applying. Any regrets about the course—just that the six weeks went by far too fast! I’d recommend the course to anyone wanting to improve their dialogue.
This isn’t the end of the road, but just the beginning. I’ve already added several books covering dialogue, conflict & suspense, character emotion, and verbs to my collection:
‘Dialogue: More Than Just Talk’ by Lori Devoti
‘Dialogue Tips & Traps: A Guide for Fiction Writers’ by Brent Spencer
‘How to Write Dazzling Dialogue’ by James Scott Bell
‘Strong Verbs Strong Voice’ by Ann Everett (a TNBW Founding Member)
‘My Writing Life – 10 Tales of Writing Passion’ by Ann Elle Altman
‘Writer’s Guide to Character Emotion: Best Method to Craft ‘ by Sherry Soule
‘Elements of Fiction Writing – Conflict and Suspense’ by James Scott Bell
Many thanks, LA, for an excellent course, one that has given me the necessary building blocks to continue. I know I’ll complete The Kurdish Connection and Adventures of Postal Man (a children’s story). Will either be published? Who knows—but at least I now have a good grounding in a vital area. Many thanks and best regards, Randy