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Dynamic dialogue can turn an otherwise ordinary novel into a delightful read, but dull, uninspired dialogue will cause readers to lose interest and try something else. In this book, bestselling author William Bernhardt, renowned for his handling of dialogue, explains his techniques for making characters come to life through their words. He explains the importance of matching character and dialogue, of avoiding dialogue that’s “on-the-nose,” and the value of using dialogue to suggest what no one will say aloud. Bernhardt explains how to enrich your story and quicken the pace with dramatic and clever dialogue exchanges, skillful use of dialogue beats, and subtext. The book also includes exercises designed to help writers apply these ideas to their own writing. William Bernhardt is the bestselling author of more than thirty books, including the blockbuster Ben Kincaid novels and Nemesis: The Final Case of Eliot Ness, currently in production as an NBC miniseries. Bernhardt is also one of the most sought-after writing instructors in the nation. He is the only person to have received the Southern Writers Gold Medal Award, the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award (U Penn) and the H. Louise Cobb Distinguished Author Award (OSU), which is given "in recognition of an outstanding body of work that has profoundly influenced the way in which we understand ourselves and American society at large." The Red Sneaker Writing Center is dedicated to helping writers achieve their literary goals. What is a red sneaker writer? A committed writer seeking useful instruction and guidance rather than obfuscation and attitude. Red sneakers get the job done and so do red sneaker writers, by paying close attention to their art and craft, committing to hard work, and never quitting. Are you a red sneaker writer? If so, this book is for you.
I have read and reviewed each of the four books so far available in this series. In earlier reviews, I have said that, next to attending on of Bill Berhardt’s excellent seminars, these books are the best way to benefit from this fine author’s grasp of what it takes create compelling fiction. But this fourth installment deserves special praise. Dialogue is the bane of most beginning and even established authors. How do you make it interesting, believable, and still use it to move the story forward without telegraphing your surprises or neglecting important undercurrents? In clear, direct prose, containing numerous spot-on examples, Mr. Bernhardt demystifies a complicated component of writing and provides the budding writer with real tools to tame this wild creature called dialogue. What he teaches makes sense and allows the student to repair and enhance his or her own attempts. The exercises take time and effort, but yield tangible results. This not a read through once and feel enlightened book. This is writing tool that you will return to again and again. Buy it and use it to improve your writing and inform your reading. It’s a gem.
They are easy to read and pack a whole lot of useful …
One person found this helpful.
on February 12, 2015
By Victoria Osborne
I am really impressed by these little books. They are easy to read and pack a whole lot of useful information. Dialogue is one of the most essential parts of fiction. With expressive dialogue you are able to convey tension, and propel the plot forward. This little book fills the bill when it comes to helping out writers. And for the price, you really can’t beat it.
I’ve read all of this series and recommend it to serious writers
on October 12, 2017
By Nikki Hanna
Another Bernhardt book rich with practical advice. I’ve read all of this series and recommend it to serious writers. It will make a difference in your writing. Dialogue is important, even in memoir writing.
Great book for aspiring writers
on July 21, 2017
By Lisa Kovanda
Even more experienced authors would do well to go back to the nuts and bolts, the fundamental writing conventions. For newer writers, you have to be well versed in the rules of writing before you can break them intentionally.
Excellent, effective primer on dialogue
One person found this helpful.
on January 30, 2016
By Mark B
Simple but effective coaching in the area of making dialogue work. Mr. Bernhardt’s series of books are very matter-of-fact and pointed, which is a refreshing change from many other fiction how-to books that can be long-winded, pompous, and overly theoretical. His casual “trust me, this works” approach is fun, and yes, his suggestions are very good. His works have taken my writing to the next level.
on November 30, 2014
Though familiar with many of the writing methods in this particular book, I still find the unique Red Sneaker presentation to be helpful. I believe a writer must always continue to improve, and these books are like an injection of knowledge and style when a writer is in need.
Best Dialogue Advice I’ve Read
on August 9, 2016
By Avid Reader
Love this series! My favorite go-to writing books. Up there with King’s On Writing & Lamott’s Bird by Bird.
Bernardt’s book on Dynamic Dialogue is a great book for beginners and a review for the advanced
One person found this helpful.
on November 19, 2014
By Bonnie Eaton
Worth the money.
You have to have this one
2 people found this helpful.
on August 4, 2014
This is a necessary purchase for serious writers. It is easy to read – I read it very quickly – and full of useful information. It covers everything you need to know about dialogue and more. The author gives plenty of examples, exercises, and makes you laugh a bit along the way. This is one of those ones you can highlight and keep by your computer.
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