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We Need to Talk: Writing Dialogue Like a Playwright
We Need to Talk: Writing Dialogue Like a Playwright

Instructor: David Williams
Genre: Fiction and Nonfiction
Level: All writers
Length: 1 hour
Date: Wednesday, February 9, 2022
Time: 5 to 6 p.m. (CST)
Format: Zoom 
Limit: 50 participants
Price: $30 Member $35 Non-member


Has this happened to you? You read over your novel-in-progress and there’s a lot to like.  Your plot runs like clockwork, your prose is gorgeous, and your characters are fascinating.  When these amazing people you’ve created open their mouths, though, everything falls apart.  It all sounds too boring to be interesting, too clever to be believed, or too cliched to be memorable.  Since you don’t want to turn your protagonist into a mime, what do you do?


In this one-hour webinar, I’ll give you the fundamentals on how playwrights write dialogue and the lessons you can take with you into fiction writing.  Playwriting is 90% dialogue and those who practice the craft must learn how to move plots along, bring in exposition, and reveal character, all while making sure it’s believable that these words are coming out of this person’s mouth.  We’ll talk about the differences between conversation and dialogue, how to consistently create conflict with your words, and we’ll run through an exercise where we look at a real-life overheard conversation and find a way to transform it into dialogue.



DAVID L. WILLIAMS is a graduate of the theatre department of Cornell University, where he was a four-time award winner in the Heerman’s-McCalmon Playwriting contest, and recently received his MFA in playwriting from the University of Nebraska.  He has written more than thirty plays and musicals, and his work has been produced across the United States and internationally in Australia, Italy, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Lithuania.  His most recent productions include the world premiere of his full-length play The Starving at Barter Theatre, and he recently published his second book, a collection of ten-minute plays called Disruptions, available through Montag Press.  He lives in Bellefonte, PA with his wonderful wife Kathleen and his amazing son Samuel.


Larksong is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are committed to supporting both the writers who come to us for instruction and the writers who come to us to teach. We keep our class fees low, offer free programming, and pay our instructors. Please consider supporting our mission by making a tax-deductible donation.