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How to Write Dialog that Pops Off the Page with Linda Seger

Today on the show we have returning champion the legendary Linda Seger. Linda and I discuss her new book You Talkin’ to Me?: How to Write Great Dialogue. We do a deep dive into how to write great dialog. Here’s a bit about the book.

Unlike the chitchat of everyday life, dialogue in stories must express character, advance the story, suggest a theme, and include a few memorable lines that audiences will be quoting for decades to come. The best stories have dialogue that sparkles, but it’s easy for inexperienced writers to fall into common pitfalls like creating dialogue that’s wooden or too on the nose.

Other writers end up with exposition awkwardly inserted into conversations, actors tripping over unnatural phrases or characters who all speak exactly the same way. In You Talkin’ to Me? Linda Seger and John Winston Rainey are here to help with all your dialogue problems. In each chapter, they explore dialogue from a different angle and discuss examples of great dialogue from films and novels. To cap it all off, each chapter ends with examples of poor dialogue, which are annotated by Linda and then rewritten by John, so readers don’t just learn how to recognize when it’s done well―they also learn how to make the dialogue better. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, for the screen or for the page, this book will get your characters talking.

Ron Howard says he never starts a film without her book. Having authored nine books on scriptwriting, including the best selling Making A Good Script Great, Linda is one of the most prolific writers in her field. 

Enjoy my conversation with Linda Seger.

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