The Writer’s Toolbox: Dialogue – Part 2

In my blog post of February 10, 2014 (The Writer’s Toolbox: Dialogue – Part 1), I included an excerpt from Lawrence Block’s mystery novel A Long Line of Dead Men. Block depends heavily on dialogue to drive the story lines in his novels, yet his narrative rarely steps outside the dialogue to give the reader details of physical setting, and he rarely shows how the characters are reacting to one another as they talk. There aren’t many smiles or shrugs or hand gestures in Block’s dialogue scenes. Instead, he depends on the dialogue itself and the reader’s imagination to flesh out the scenes. Check the February 10 post for a good example of Lawrence Block’s technique in writing dialogue.

Block is a successful, award-winning author. Does that mean you should follow his example as you craft scenes of dialogue in your own novel?

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